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

Ingredients
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
Method
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.
Variations
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-http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/types-of-quinoa

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