Quinoa pronounced 'keen-wah' is a pseudo-cereal, meaning it is not a grain in a true sense and are only seeds. It has been cultivated in the Andean region for thousands of years though it has caught the fancy of the Western world recently. And why not? It is gluten free, a high source of protein and fiber compared to the other grains and can be easily digested. It is versatile and can be adapted easily into any cuisine. The flip side however is it is expensive compared to the other commonly available grains. Initially I remember spending around 8 to 9 $ per pound of quinoa though the price has come down in the recent years. I find it cheaper to buy it in bulk at Whole Foods store rather than packaged stuff in super markets, comparatively. At least, locally. And also, my family has proven that it is an acquired taste and everyone may not go gaga over quinoa even it is healthier. :) Luckily I like the taste of quinoa and I am sticking to it.
Quinoa can be cooked and used just like rice and so this is not much of a post if you know how to cook rice. Over the years, I have realized that I enjoy quinoa when served in mushy/gravy style dishes rather than in the dry forms like salads. Now I use it in place of rice for my south Indian style meals where I serve it with sambhar and curry and the added bonus is that a small portion of quinoa is way more filling than rice, comparitively. My today's lunch was carrot-beans sambhar and potato curry served with tri-colored quinoa.
Ingredients: (3 servings)
3/4 cup quinoa
Water (Check below for the quantity.)
Cooking quinoa on stove top:
* Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan.
* Meanwhile, wash quinoa thoroughly and drain. Add the quinoa to the boiling water and turn down the stove to low / medium flame. Cover and cook until the quinoa grains appear transparent and well cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes. The water quantity mentioned above is sufficient to cook this quantity of quinoa. However check once or twice intermittently to see if any extra water is needed.
If you are cooking multi-hued quinoa, particularly look for the light colored one and notice that the center portion of it to see whether the whole grain is cooked / whether it is done. The center portion of the grain gets cooked at the end than the surface portion.
Cooking in a pressure cooker:
* Wash 3/4 cup quinoa thoroughly with water. Add quinoa directly to a small pressure cooker or to a container that is going to be placed in the pressure cooker. Add 1 & 1/2 cups water to the quinoa. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and put the pressure valve on. Cook for 3 to 4 whistles and turn off the stove. When the valve pressure is released, open the lid of the cooker and use the quinoa as needed.
This goes to Blogging marathon #60 under the theme 'Healthy Recipes / Diabetic Recipes'. Check the link to see what other marathoners are cooking.