Quinoa Tomato Pulav

Oh rice, how  I adore thee! Rice is soul food for South Indians.  Coconut rice, fried rice, pulav, curd rice, sambar rice, kootu sadam, thakkali sadam, lemon rice, dal-chaval, dosa, idli, idiyappam, aappam, oh yum! Rice generously drizzled with ghee and paired with my mother’s Pavakkai Pitlai or Mysore Rasam? It is simply heaven on earth. Thayir sadam, curd rice, Thachi Mammu, a veritable cultural institution in TamBrahm households, an emotional salve.

But with the advent of middle age and a serious health scare/crisis a couple of years ago, I have dramatically changed my eating habits. I minimize if not eliminate grain intake in general and try to substitute rice with healthier grains or legumes, especially ones with more protein in them. But I absolutely love all rice-based dishes from curd rice to fried rice. For all my favorite recipes, I just replace rice  with quinoa, steel cut oats or cauliflower rice which are all pretty good rice substitutes. I have even made Ven Pongal with quinoa and even cauliflower rice and it was quite yummy.

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Dry roast spices and grind them into powder

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Chop the tomatoes and slit the green chllies/peppers

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Stir fry the sliced onions and minced garlic

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Add tomatoes and stir fry

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Add the spices

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Add water and then quinoa

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All done

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Plated with Eggplant Raita and Pappadam

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes – 2-2.5 cups chopped
  • Onion – 1 cup chopped
  • Green chillies: 4-6
  • Garlic – optional – 2 cloves
  • Frozen Lima bean – 1 cup (if you use cooked lima beans, just add towards the end so it doesn’t get overcooked) You can also substitute with any other legume of your choice.
  • Quiona – 1 cup (of course you can substitute with rice if you want)
  • Cilantro – 0.5 cup chopped
  • Ghee or oil – 1.5 tbs
  • Bay leaf – 1

Dry Masala

  • Cilantro seeds – 1.5 tsp
  • Poppy seeds – 1. tsp
  • Peppercorn – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1.5-2 inch stick
  • Cardamom – 3
  • Cloves – 2
  • Poppy seeds – 1 tbs
  • Flax seeds – 1 tsp (I try to add flax seeds to pretty much everything, but it is optional)

Preparation

  • Dry roast the masala ingredients until they are fragrant but do not burn them. When burned, they taste bitter!
  • Grind them into powder.
  • Place a pot on medium-high and heat 1/2 tbs ghee or oil – reserve the rest.
  • Stirfry onions and garlic until onions become clear (3-4 minutes)
  • Add green chillies and stir fry for 30 seconds
  • Add the tomatoes and stir fry for 3-4 minutes
  • Add the ground dry masala and stir fry for about 20 seconds
  • Add the frozen lima beans and stir fry for 2 minutes
  • Now add 2 cups of water and wait for it to come to a boil.
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add the quinoa
  • Close the pot and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes until you can see the quinoa cooked. Keep an eye and make sure that it doesn’t burn.
  • When done, add 1 tbsp of ghee and stir.
  • Serve hot with raita and pappad.
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This entry was posted in Healthy eating, Recipes, vegetarian recipe and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Quinoa Tomato Pulav

  1. Pingback: A YEAR OF GARDENING IN SAN DIEGO: A RECAP | Next Step to Nirvana

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