Monthly Archives: September 2013

Quinoa Pulao

Chenopodium quinoa before flowering
Chenopodium quinoa before flowering
English: Quinua (Quinoa) plants near Cachora, ...
Quinua (Quinoa) plants in Peru

Quinoa chickpea pulao(pilaf)
Quinoa is a healthy gluten-free whole grain from South America.  Quinoa is rightly named “mother grain” because of its high protein, vitamin, fiber, iron and magnesium content. Quinoa has become   increasingly popular all over the world as a ‘super food’. It is easy to cook and can be made into salads, soups and a main dish like the one I am describing.

Preparation time- 15 minutes
Cooking time-30 minutes
Serves 4

11/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, diced
½ teaspoon garlic paste
½ teaspoon ginger paste
3 cups water
2 cups of cooked chickpeas (or 1 15 oz can drained and rinsed)
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
Juice and zest of 1 lemon/lime
½ cup green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt/pepper to taste
1.    Take a heated non stick pan and sauté the onion till translucent, about 5 minutes. Add water if the onion sticks to the pan.
2.    Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
3.    Now add the quinoa and the water and let it come to a boil.
4.    Reduce the heat and add the cumin, turmeric, chili powders.
5.    Cover and let the quinoa cook for 15-20 minutes.
6.    Stir in the chickpeas, tomato, lemon zest and juice and cook for another 5 minutes.
7.    Season with salt and pepper and garnish with green onions and cilantro.
Instead of quinoa you can substitute bulgur or couscous.

There are many types of quinoa-red, white, brown. To know more about this fascinating, ancient grain, check out this website-


Semolina Pudding-‘Sheera’

Sheera for GanpatiSemolina pudding
Today is Ganesha Festival, which is celebrated in Maharashtra, a state in the west of India. We have grown up celebrating this joyous 10 day festival. So I feel compelled today to make something special to offer to Lord Ganesha,the elephant-headed God, who is loved by all.
I have made a vegan sweet dish made from semolina which is traditionally made on auspicious occasions like today. It is called ‘sheera’.
Preparation time-  5 minutes
Cooking time- 10 minutes
Serves 4 people
1 cup roasted semolina/ sooji/rava
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon cardamom powder
2 tablespoons raisins/cranberries
3 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 tablespoon pistachios crushed
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
2 drops vanilla extract
1)    Take a heated non stick skillet and add the semolina. Roast it for 3 minutes as you stir it to prevent it from sticking.
2)    Add the milk slowly as it will start bubbling when you add it. Lower the heat and keep stirring.
3)    Add the cardamom powder, raisins or cranberries or both and the sugar.
4)    Let it cook for 5 minutes till all the milk is absorbed.
5)    Add the vanilla extract.
6)    Garnish with the almonds and pistachio.

To know more about Lord Ganesha you can go on to this website: