Quinoa Vegetable Pulao

Serves: 2

Quinoa is a gluten-free super grain that has been gaining a lot of popularity over the last few years. While it looks very similar to the pearl millet easily available in India, I don't believe there's an Indian name for quinoa or that it's locally produced. Quinoa pulao makes a great lunchbox recipe since it doesn't dry out as much as rice pulao tends to.

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1 cup quinoa , rinsed well and drained
1/2 cup onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
4 cloves
1 small piece of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
3 to 4 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 cup mixed vegetables (i used frozen carrot,, peas, corn)
a few mint leaves or coriander leaves (optional)


1. Heat the 2 tablespoon oil in a pan, preferably non-stick. Add the cumin seeds and when they sizzle, add the whole spices - cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf. Fry for 10 seconds and then add the chopped onions. Fry until just soft (about 3 mins) and then add the ginger and garlic. Sautè until fragrant - about 2 mins.

2. Add the vegetables now, along with finely chopped coriander or mint leaves (if using). Sautè for 4-5 mins until the vegetables are almost cooked.

3. Add the 1 cup quinoa to this.

4. Check your quinoa package to see recommended amount water needed to cook it. There are different varieties and I am assuming they have differing lengths of cooking time. I have only cooked with white quinoa and the method I follow is to add double the water. So 1 cup quinoa gets cooked in 2 cups water and that's how much I added.

5. Add salt and bring this to boil. Then lower heat to simmer and cook covered for about 5 mins. Check in between to make sure there's still water in the pan and the quinoa or vegetables is not burning. Ensure heat is at a minimum and you should be fine. The quinoa will fluff up quite a bit on cooking and in about 5-6 mins, you should have very soft and fluffy quinoa. The rest of the vegetables should be done now too. Add more coriander leaves if desired and serve hot.

Source: cookingandme.com

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