Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quinoa & Red Lentil Soup

Today's recipe is about the little seed that I talked about in my last post. I was so obsessed with this tiny grain until I finished the pack. There are too many recipes for quinoa to try yet. Quinoa has a nutty flavor when cooked ad that makes it suitable for any kind of recipe you want to try.  
This soup tastes more like a kichadi to me than a soup. Initially, the idea was to make a soup. But when I saw lentils in the ingredients, I thought, why not make a kichadi out of it. That way my little boy can also have it. When he had a bowl of this before his school, I was satisfied that he got a good amount of protein for the day.


1. Quinoa - 1/2 cup
2. Red Lentils - 3/4 cup
3. Water - 5 -6  cups
4. Ghee - 1 tablespoon (Optional)
5. Oil - 1 tablespoon
6. Mustard - 1 teaspoon
7. Saunf - 1 teaspoon
8. Onions - 1 chopped finely
9. Ginger - 1 inch grated
10. Tomato - 1/2 chopped finely
11. Curry leaves - few
12. Cilantro - few
13. Carrot - 1 chopped
14. Peas - 1/2 cup
15. Salt - per taste
16. Turmeric - 1 teaspoon
17. chilli powder - 1 teaspoon / per taste


1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and once it is hot, add mustard, saunf and curry leaves. 
2. After it splutters, add onion and ginger, saute it for a minute and add tomatoes.
3. Let the tomatoes cook for sometime. Add salt, turmeric and chilli powder.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and pressure cook it till 1 whistle.
5. Open the pressure cooker after all the pressure releases and check for the consistency. I preferred a little thick like kichadi. If you feel it is too thick you can add hot water and make it a little thinner.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Citric Quinoa Salad

Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to white rice or couscous.
According to the American Merriam-Webster dictionary, the primary pronunciation is disyllabic with the accent on the first syllable (ˈknwɑː/ KEEN-wah)
Most boxed/pre-packaged quinoa has already been pre-rinsed for convenience, and cooking instructions therefore suggest only a brief rinse before cooking, if at all. If quinoa has not been pre-rinsed, the first step is to remove the saponins, a process that requires either soaking the grain in water for a few hours, then changing the water and resoaking, or rinsing the quinoa in ample running water for several minutes in either a fine strainer or a cheesecloth. Removal of the saponin helps with digestion; the soapy nature of the compound makes it act as a laxative.One cooking method is to treat quinoa much like rice, bringing two cups (or less) of water to a boil with one cup of grain, covering at a low simmer and cooking for 10–15 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl and should have a slight bite to it (like al dente pasta). As an alternative, one can use a rice cooker to prepare quinoa, treating it just like white rice (for both cooking cycle and water amounts).Vegetables and seasonings can also be added to make a wide range of dishes. Chicken or vegetable stock can be substituted for water during cooking, adding flavor. It is also suited to vegetable pilafs, complementing bitter greens like kale.Quinoa can serve as a high-protein breakfast food mixed with honey, almonds, or berries; it is also sold as a dry product, much like corn flakes. Quinoa flour can be used in wheat-free and gluten-free baking.Quinoa may be germinated in its raw form to boost its nutritional value. Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content.In fact, quinoa has a notably short germination period: Only 2–4 hours resting in a glass of clean water is enough to make it sprout and release gases, as opposed to, e.g., 12 hours with wheat.This process, besides its nutritional enhancements, softens the grains, making them suitable to be added to salads and other cold foods.

Source: Wikipedia

Lately I have been seeing a lot of food bloggers posting about Quinoa recipes. Out of curiosity, I tried couple of recipes and they were really good. It might be a very good option for vegetarians since, they claim this is the only vegetarian food which has complete protein, meaning, it has all 9 amino acids. Moreover, it is gluten free and can be digested easily.

Today's recipe is a cold citric salad and you can be as creative as you want with the ingredients. I have tried this salad in Whole Foods. So just by taste, I decided the ingredients and it came out pretty good. You can adjust the flavors according to your taste buds. So today I am not going to be very specific about the measurements. Just taste and adjust as you go.


1. Quinoa - 1 cup
2. Water - 2 to 3 cups 
3.Turmeric - a pinch
4. Chopped celery
5. Roasted cashew
6. Raisins
5.Juice of 1/2 a lemon
6. Salt and pepper to taste
7. Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
8. Parsley


1. Boil 2 to 3 cups of water. Add turmeric and quinoa and let quioa cook until all the water evaporates.
2. Fluff it up with a fork and keep it aside until it is not too hot.
3. Mix the rest of the ingredients with the cooked quinoa.

I am delighted to post this recipe to the Serve it Raw event hosted by Krithi and Denny.