I realized that for most people apart from the taste of food and appearance of food, the texture of food is very important. Quinoa has a nutty taste, has a texture of a crunchy grain but smells a little to me like poppy seeds or kasa kasa. When most rice eaters try it, they will not consider it as an alternative to rice.They might have great resistance to it because the distinct smell is kind of strong.Though I have known and used quinoa a lot, I still did not use it as a perfect substitute for rice.
But all that changed when my sister served me quinoa with onion sambar and potato curry. I was sold. All the smell disappeared and the texture was similar to rice and actually tasted good. Thanks to Indian cooking that has a great smell killer Asafoetida. It is so over powering that it takes away any mild or subtle smell. I have been using quinoa as a substitute for rice and I love it. I have made payasam, puliodharai, lemon and yogurt quinoa, had it with rasam, kozhambu and sambar. I am so glad that it cooks like rice in a rice cooker and tastes great. A very healthy alternative to rice especially for those who have blood sugar issues.
Today I made Thair/Yogurt Quinoa for dinner and we loved it. Cannot ask for more on a very hot day.The yogurt, onion and cucumber will totally cool your system. A perfect alternative to regular yogurt rice. Next time you have people over for lunch or dinner give this one a try.
Pan with lid
Measuring Cups and Spoons
For Making Quinoa:
Organic Quinoa (from Costco) - 1 cup
Water - 3 cups plus 1 1/2 cups for rice cooker
For Yogurt Sauce:
Yogurt - 2 1/2 cups
Milk- 1/2 cup
Oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Cashew Nut - 8 (optional)
Green Chillies- 1 (deseed to reduce spice)
Asafoetida powder - 1/8th tsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Cilantro - 2 tbsp chopped
Persian Cucumber - 2 diced into small cubes
Ginger - 1/2 tsp grated
Onion - 1 diced into small cubes
1. In a rice cooker add 1 1/2 cups water. Plug it in and allow the water to warm up.
2. In a bowl add quinoa and wash it well. Add 3 cups of water to the quinoa and place this bowl in the rice cooker and allow the quinoa to cook.
3. In a pan, add oil and when it warms up add asafoetida, and mustard seeds. The mustard seeds will pop so cover it with a lid. When it is done popping add cashew nuts, greens chillies, curry leaves, onions, ginger and salt. Cover and allow it to cook on low heat for a few minutes. The onions will turn translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4. When the quinoa is done remove the bowl and spread it out in a plate and allow to cool.
5. Add the cooled quinoa to a bigger bowl, add milk, yogurt, cucumber, cilantro and mix well. Add the onion mix and mix well. Taste and add salt if required. Serve it cold or at room temperature with pickles, grapes or cooked veggies.