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Quinoa Pilaf


Quinoa is an edible seed which is used in cooking like grains. It is said to be a source of 'complete protein'. Due to all its nutritional values, it is said to be the mother grain and is a very good option for vegetarians.
For cooking, quinoa can be used very much like rice or as its substitute. Hence all the commonly made recipes with rice can also be made with quinoa. Some of the dishes that can be made are lemon quinoa, tomato quinoa, coconut quinoa, quinoa pulav, quinoa upma etc. You can also make salads and soups with it. Here is the recipe of an indian style quinoa pilaf. You could also name it quinoa upma or quinoa kichadi.

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  • Quinoa - 1 cup
  • Sliced/Crushed Almonds - 1/2 cup
  • Onion - 1/4 (finely chopped)
  • Tomato - 1 (chopped)
  • Green Chillies - 2-3 (chopped)
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Curry Leaves - 1 spring
  • Coconut milk diluted with water - 2 cups
  • Lemon Juice - 2 tblsp
  • Cilantro - handful (finely chopped)
  • Oil - 2 tblsp
  • Salt - as needed


Servings 3
Level of difficulty Average
Preparation time 5mins
Cost Average budget


Step 1

1. Wash the quinoa thoroughly a couple of times and drain the water.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
3. When it starts crackling, add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
4. Add the chopped onions, green chillies and turmeric powder. Fry for few minutes.
5. Next add the chopped tomato and cook till it turns mushy.
6. Add the coconut milk-water mixture, garam masala and required salt. Bring this to a boil.
7. Add the quinoa and lemon juice. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes.
8. Reduce the flame to medium low, cover with a lid and let it cook for 15 minutes till all the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa.
9. Switch off the stove and add the crushed almonds and finely chopped cilantro.
10. Gently fluff up with a fork, cover it and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
11. Tasty and healthy quinoa pilaf is ready to be served as breakfast, lunch or dinner.

- You can also add vegetables of your choice after adding the tomato to make it more healthy. Some of the vegetables that taste very good with quinoa are capsicum, carrots, green peas, potatoes and broccoli. In the above picture I've added capsicum.
-You could also use only water instead of coconut milk.

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