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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How to Cook Quinoa

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.



Priya Suresh said...

Excellent post, am sure whoever struggle in cooking with quinoa will definitely be happy to read ur post, fantastic job.

Kalyani said...

we like quinoa too at home, and yes the kids are yet to taste it .. as u said, its an acquired taste !!

Srivalli said...

We do not get quinoa in regular stores..in super market its priced so high that I don't even bother to pick it up. I have cooked it only once when a friend got it for and it tasted more like korralu..I hear my friend saying that they have replaced rice completely with this..your bowl with the gravy does look inviting!

vaishali sabnani said...

I have tasted it only once , and since we don't get it here haven't really bothered to source it snd try .
Love the clicks Suma .

Pavani said...

I just bought a bag of black quinoa on impulse today. Your tricolor quinoa looks so colorful and inviting. Love your simple and basic recipe.

Gayathri Kumar said...

Quinoa is so expensive in India and so I haven't tried it yet. This is surely a great post for beginners..

Harini R said...

This reminds me to get quinoa again. It has been quite sometime since I made quinoa at home as I am the only one to consume it :)

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Lovely post and since many are changing their lifestyle, it will be useful to many.

rajani said...

You are right about the acquired taste, because here it got shot down by the family. May be I should have tried serving with sambar.I have substituted oats instead of rice and that works well too.

cookingwithsapana said...

Quinoa bowl looks stunning.I have never used it but your post is tempting me to try it.

Nalini's Kitchen said...

Healthy and delicious looking quinoa bowl..

veena said...

That is sn informative post. I did buy but didnt know how to cook