Saturday, November 20, 2010
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah), a pseudo grain originated in the Andean region (present Peru, Ecuador and Chile) of South America. The Incas, the native of Andean region called the seed "mother of all grains". It is gluten free and very easy to digest. Quinoa has high protein content and is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids. It is exceptionally high in lysine(next to amaranth seeds) which is low in other grains.
When I cooked plain Quinoa sometime back, Mr.B and kids showed almost no interest in having it. This time, I bought a big pack of Organic Quinoa and wanted to make it differently with Indian spices. I made Quinoa kichadi yesterday instead of pongal (to avoid ghee) and it was a super-duper hit in my home. My little girl loved it and Mr. B really enjoyed eating the Kichadi and he wanted me to include Quinoa in our menu a lot hereafter.
Quinoa and Moong Dhal Kichadi
Organic Quinoa - 1 cup
Moong Dhal - 1/2 cup (I used split green moong dhal)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Cumin seeds - ¼ tsp
Mustard seeds - ¼ tsp
Ginger - 1" piece
Salt - 1 tsp
Water - 3 ½ cups
Oil - 1 tbs
Rinse Quinoa several times until the water runs clear. This is to remove the bitter coating called saponin, a protective layer that keeps the insects and birds at bay. Most of the store bought Quinoa are pre-rinsed. Drain the water by placing the Quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. Dry roast the moong dhal till you get the aroma. Add the quinoa and roast it for a minute or two. Add water, turmeric and salt. Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and splutter some mustard seeds. Add Green chilies, Ginger and Curry leaves and sauté it for a minute and add it to the quinoa-Moong mix. Pressure cook them for about 2 whistles and keep it low flame for 5 minutes and switch off the gas.
We had our Kichadi with Chinatakaya Sorakaya Pachadi (Green Tamarind-Bottle gourd Chutney)
Once cooked the grains will become translucent and you notice white spiral like threads attached to each grain. That is nothing but the outer germ around each grain twists outward forming a small spiral white tail.