I love quinoa salad. Cold or warm, it tastes good either way. Quinoa (Keen-wa) is actually a seed but many consider as a whole grain. It is naturally gluten-free and consists of 9 essential amino acids. This pilaf makes an appetizing accompaniment or a wholesome meal on it’s own.
1 cup Quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 ¾ cup Vegetable broth or chicken broth or water * I used chicken broth
½ tsp Salt
2 tbsp Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 cup Mushrooms, diced
½ cup Red cabbage, chopped
½ Green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup Carrot, grated
¼ cup Celery, chopped
½ tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
¼ tsp Nigella seeds (Kalonji)
2-3 Bay leaves (Tej patta)
½ tsp Ginger-garlic paste
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
½ tsp Garam masala powder
1 tsp Green chilli, chopped *optional
2 tbsp Mint leaves, chopped (Pudina)
2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped (Dhaniya)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
- In a large pan, toast quinoa over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the grain is nearly dry and browns evenly.
- Add the broth or water. Mix ½ tsp of salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook until quinoa is tender for about 15-20 minutes.
- Heat oil in a skillet and add cumin seeds, nigella seeds and bay leaves. Add onions and saute till brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook till raw smell disappears.
- Add turmeric powder and garam masala powder. Sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, bell pepper, cabbage, carrot, celery and green chilli.
- Sauté for few more minutes until vegetables are cooked tender but not soggy.
- Now add cooked quinoa and mix well. Stir in mint and cilantro. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.
* I use this pilaf as a filling for stuffed peppers. The variations are countless. Feel free to mix match vegetables and meat in this pilaf.