Here’s another good recipe for all you Quinoa lovers out there. How can I be so sure about it? Because I’m a love of Quinoa myself and if you made this for me, I would sit down happily and chow down a big bowl of it. And I’d be happy because I got my protein fix for the day.
Before I go into the recipe, here’s a question for all of you. What is Quinoa known as in Hindi and Tamil?
I heard that it was Thenai in tamil. But, after an extensive Google and Wiki research, I tend to disagree with that.
Thenai is a very common grown grain in India and the English name for that is Foxtail Millet. This is also known as Kangani in Hindi. And one of the points that Wiki talks about is how this grain feeds a lot of poor people in the northern part of India. That can just validate that this is not Quinoa at all because I heard Quinoa costs about Rs 500-600 per kilo. So, now it brings me back to the question – what is Quinoa called locally in India. Looks like even the Agriculture department has not yet categorized it – here’s a glossary for the names of many grains, pulses etc straight from the agri folks! So, if you’ve cracked the case, do share the knowledge!
Meanwhile, check out the Wiki facts on both Quinoa and Foxtail Millet. They clearly belong to different families.
Call it what you want, but this wonderful grain with its nutritious properties makes for a great salad or meal. Here are a couple of my other favorite Quinoa recipes on the blog – Cold Quinoa Salad and Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Just adding al dente Quinoa to any salad makes it more appealing and healthy. But today we’re going to look at a toasted salad recipe where Quinoa is the king. And of course the king has him many flavorful sidekicks!
I cook Quinoa similar to rice in a rice cooker. If you are using raw Quinoa, make sure you wash it clean multiple times. Some store bought packaged Quinoa comes already cleaned but I still wash it a couple of times. Yes, I have trust issues. For 1 cup of Quinoa, add 2 cups of water or veggie broth and cook similar to white rice.
The next step will be to organize the sidekicks. So, here I start with lots of ginger (my favorite), a couple of green chillies, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, corn and black beans. Feel free to substitute your favorite veggies here. Avocados would go great and I know one person who as soon as she reads this will make it along with avocados! Nod your head when you read this, you know who you are.
Now you could just add all these ingredients raw, throw in the Quinoa, mix well and refrigerate for a cold salad. But I wanted it to be a slightly toasted and then chilled salad. Your Kitchen, your wish. Do it anyway your heart desires.
In a pan, add a tsp of oil. Throw in the ginger and green chillies first. Then add the onions and don’t let this over cook or brown. Just sauté for a min and immediately add the bell peppers and tomatoes.
Again, let all the ingredients cook for only a few seconds – they should still be crispy when you eat the salad but at the same time, you won’t have to breathe out the raw onion on your family or co workers!
Add in the corn and black beans in the end. Sprinkle some salt to taste and add about ¼ tsp of paprika or red chilli powder. Toss in the Quinoa and mix well. Switch off the stove immediately.
Finally add some fresh cut cilantro for a fresh flavor.
This is ready to serve as is. I was actually making this late at night to take to work for lunch the next day. So, I ate it cold the next day and absolutely loved it. The onions were still a little crisp and perfectly done. And I could bite into all the veggies and that crunch provided the needed texture rather than all it being a smushy upma consistency. Sometimes that would taste good too – but today I just loved it all crunchy.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your protein fix for the day – cook up some Quinoa and get started. Here’s to a healthy you and me!
Enjoy. Peace Out!