My daughter loves quinoa, she took to it quite naturally after I had made this salad. So, I have been playing with this lovely grain in various ways. It is completely gluten-free so it also works well, with people looking for a nutritious grain, without the trappings of gluten.
Today’s recipe with Quinoa, a quinoa pilaf, is also from Shubhra Ramineni’s book, Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking. I have been telling you about this book earlier this week, let me tell you some more. I connected with Shubhra over The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles and she was then adding finishing touches to this book. It therefore gives me great pleasure to see this book completed and in print.
Shubhra is an Indian-American raised in Houston, TX. She grew up enjoying healthy, traditional Indian food and she learned to cook from her mother, an excellent home cook and a professional dietitian. Determined to eat well despite her busy schedule as a chemical engineer with an MBA and a mom to an active toddler, Shubhra set out to developed a no-fuss cooking style that recreates authentic Indian flavors using easy techniques and fresh and easily available local ingredients. She is the author of the award-winning cookbook, Entice with Spice, Easy Indian Recipes for Busy People and also of Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Easy Recipes for the Hurry Home Cook (June 2013 and is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com). Shubhra teaches Indian cooking classes at Whole Foods Market, Williams-Sonoma, Central Market, Sur La Table, and Rice Epicurean stores. More information on her upcoming events and classes can be found at www.enticewithspice.com and you can join her “Entice with Spice” Facebook page and follow her on Twitter @ShubhraRamineni.
This book is a very well illustrated practical volume that offers a concise collection of Indian Vegetarian dishes. These are simple tested and tried dishes that can be comfortably fitted into a practical everyday routine as Shubhra emphasizes, something that works for the “hurry home” cook.
These simple recipes offer a lot of room to learn and then build and develop your own recipes with core inspiration from her book.
Back, to the recipe on hand, I pretty much loved the idea of being able to through in a bunch of vegetables to create a one dish meal. I did eliminate the potatoes as I felt the dish had a nice amount of carbs already and also subbed the cashews for peanuts as my son is allergic to cashews, but otherwise stuck to the recipe to get a great weeknight meal in a hurry.
If you are looking for some vegetarian inspiration for you table, please do check out the book, I think you will enjoy its simple and flavorful recipes.
- cup (180 g) uncooked white quinoa 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 20 whole cashews, split in half lengthwise (nuts optional -see note below) 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 small onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 1 medium russet potato (about ½ lb/225 g), peeled and diced into ¼ in (6 mm) cubes 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into ¼ in (6 mm) cubes
- 1/4 cup (60 g) frozen or fresh green peas
- 2 cups (500 ml) water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Place the quinoa in a large sieve. Run cold water over it to thoroughly wash the grains. While washing the quinoa, rub the grains with your fingers to thoroughly clean them. Drain the quinoa.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a medium saucepan and place it over medium heat. When the oil is heated, add the cashews. Sauté until the cashews are light golden, stirring frequently, about 30 seconds. Remove the cashews from the saucepan and place aside.
- Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil into the medium saucepan and place it over medium heat. When the oil is heated, add the cumin seeds and onion. Sauté the onion until lightly golden, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sautéed cashews, potato, carrot, peas, and quinoa. Stir to combine. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the water, salt, and turmeric. Stir to combine. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
- Stir and reduce the heat to medium- low. Cover the saucepan. Simmer undisturbed until the water is completely absorbed and you do not see any more water on the bottom of the saucepan if you insert a spoon through the quinoa, about 13 minutes. The grains will have turned slightly transparent, and the spiral-like germ (the part of the grain that sprouts into a plant) will have separated from the grain and curl around it like a small thread.
- Turn off the heat. Let rest, covered, for 5 minutes on the warm stove. Keep covered until ready to serve or let cool to room temperature and refrigerate or freeze for later. Before serving, gently fluff the quinoa with a fork to mix the cashews and vegetables. Enjoy!
Recipe from "Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Easy Recipes for the Hurry Home Cook" by Shubhra Ramineni. Reprinted with the express permission of Tuttle Publishing, a member of the Periplus Publishing Group. www.enticewithspice.com