Have you tried Vegetable Quinoa Pulao? Just like vegetable pulao, it is delicious and is a great way to work more veggies into your meals with quinoa – a healthier substitute for rice.
Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by truRoots but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Sheer chance – That’s how I discovered quinoa. On a flight to Singapore, I was served quinoa with baked salmon. I was skeptical at first since I was expecting rice, I reluctantly took a bite and I was hooked. It was mildly flavored yet delicious and filling. It complemented the salmon quite well and the curiosity bug bit me – what’s quinoa and where does it come from?.
What is quinoa and where do they grow them?
For those new to quinoa, it is an ancient, traditional grain from South America and it is grown at 12,000 feet above sea level. It’s really a seed but considered a whole grain and one of the best resources of protein in the vegetable kingdom. Quinoa is also gluten-free, has a low glycemic index and is considered easy to digest.
My serendipitous discovery was followed by what I interpreted as a sign to try quinoa! I was in Target getting my weekly grocery when I saw this pack of “truRoots Organic Quinoa 100% whole grain” mistakenly left in another section. So I looked around and realized truRoots have quite a few varieties – 100% whole grain quinoa, sprouted quinoa trio and sprouted quinoa and after pondering for a minute or two, I decided to buy all three.
My imagination started running wild – what could I make with these packs? I could make a crispy dosa (crepe), maybe some porridge, how about a smoothie.. (yum!) and I circled back to using it as a rice substitute for dinner like I had on the flight. Instead of using rice, I could make vegetable pulao with quinoa. That’s what I decided to do – make pulao. For those who are new to pulao/pilaf – it is a rice dish consumed mainly in Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East.
After reaching home, I started gathering the ingredients to make vegetable quinoa pulao for dinner. Typically pulao uses garam masala but I wanted to keep it simple, so I kept the garam masala out and decided to give this dish a bit of a South Indian spin by using curry leaves.
As I sat down to read the cooking instructions for quinoa, I learned more about the brand – truRoots was founded on the philosophy that people should understand not only what’s in their food, but where that food comes from. That’s why truRoots forges personal connections with farmers and supports techniques that are rooted in tradition. truRoots offers a wide variety of Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project® Verified and gluten-free products – sprouted and unsprouted, and organic grains, beans, and seeds, the Accents® line, which features a balanced blend of sprouted grains and legumes, delicious Ancient Grain Pasta and flavorful sprouted pilafs.
How to make vegetable quinoa pulao
Vegetable Quinoa Pulao
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 sprig of curry leaves or kadipatta, kadipatta roughly 10-12 leaves
- 4-5 cashews, halved
- 2 green chilies, slit lengthwise
- 1/2 cup chopped onion, chopped finely
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1 cup assorted chopped vegetables, carrots, peas, beans, corn, etc.
- 1 cup truRoots whole grain quinoa
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt to taste
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- finely chopped cilantro / coriander leaves for garnishing
- Heat oil in a medium sized wok and then add mustard seeds. As they begin to splutter add curry leaves, and cashews(if using). Fry them for a minute.
- Add grated ginger along with onions. Fry the onions till they are translucent and then add quinoa, along with chopped vegetables, green chilies, salt, and sugar. Fry it for a minute or two. Add 2 cups of water and once the mixture comes to a boil, cover it.
- Lower the gas and let the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Take the lid off, add ghee and gently mix it in.
- Sprinkle coriander leaves and serve hot.
Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.
It is a versatile dish – if you are making it for dinner, pair it with some grilled vegetables or fish. It can also pass off as brunch or even as a hearty breakfast.
I loved how this dish turned out and can’t wait to try out the other recipes I had in mind.