Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toasted Quinoa - One pot meal

Did you know that Asian Indians are at a high risk of being diabetic? It is so true since most of the Asian Indians are vegetarians and eat a lot of carbohydrates as a main part of their diet. Both my in-laws are diabetic. So is my mother. And Quinoa is very good for not only diabetic people but for those who have a history of diabetes in the family. That being said, I have a bag of quinoa in my pantry which, if I cook, I end up eating alone. My husband doesn't even like the smell of it. I came up with this to disguise the nutty taste so that I don't end up eating Quinoa all by myself.

Quinoa - 1 cup
Olive Oil - 3 TBSP
Cumin - 1 tsp (optional)
Red Onion - 1 small chopped thin
Tomatoes - 2 medium chopped into chunks
Green onions/Spring onions - 2 white and green parts separated and chopped
Cabbage - chopped and measured about 2 cups
Garlic - 3 pods sliced thin (You could mince or grate it if you don't like the bite of it)
Black pepper powder - 1 tsp or to taste
Salt - to taste
Hot sauce - 1 TBSP or to taste (I used Sriracha)
Cilantro - few TBSP chopped for garnish (optional)

Take a large skillet. Place it on medium heat. Put uncooked quinoa in it and keep stirring to toast it. After about 3 - 4 minutes, you will start hearing the popping sound. Stir one more time and take it out of heat. Rinse the quinoa in water (Best way to do it is put quinoa in a strainer and run water through it). Shake off the excess water and place in a microwave safe bowl. Add about 1 3/4 cups of water to the bowl and microwave till quinoa is cooked. It took 12 minutes in my microwave but my microwave is not a very powerful one. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
 Meanwhile, to the same skillet, add oil. When hot, add cumin. When cumin seeds pop, add garlic and stir. Do not let garlic burn. Add chopped onions and stir to mix. Sprinkle some salt on it and let it wilt. Add the white parts of the green onions and cabbage and mix. When cabbage is almost cooked, add tomatoes and increase the heat so that the water from tomatoes evaporates fast. Keep an eye on it though and do not let it burn. Add black pepper powder and hot sauce at the end and stir. When everything is cooked and there isn't much tomato juice left in the pan, add quinoa, green parts of the spring onion, cilantro if using and mix well. Lower the heat and let it come together for a couple of minutes. Adjust the seasoning if required and turn off the heat. Serve warm.

You could use any vegetables of your choice. Use your choice of herbs. Skip the hot sauce if you cannot take the heat. Or, you could use green chillies or Jalapeno peppers instead of hot sauce. Saute couple of tofu cubes and add them to increase the protein content of this dish.

Enjoy!! Pin It


  1. Cant wait to try this toasted quinoa, am an addict to quinoa dishes..thanks for sharing..

    Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes

  2. Gr8 idea..shall try it sometime this week itself!!

  3. I am a carb addict and I am at risk of getting diabetes cause my dad's side and mom's side of the family has it.The Quinoa dish looks splendid! My hubby doesn't like anything besides white rice. I would like to try this on him and see what happens!

  4. looks very yummy and very healthy too..

  5. Hi there, have been following ur blog for a few weeks now. And I LOVE ur ideas!

    That looks totally yummy as well. But, and this may sound silly, i don't what Quinoa is! Is it something like sabudana? help! :)

  6. Thank you everyone for taking time to leave a comment.
    Quinoa is a whole grain. It is actually a seed but is categorized among whole grain. It is very rich in protein and is said to have many health benefits. You can look up the info online. It looks more like a very fat poppy seed and when cooked, it opens up a coil like part of it. Hope this helps.

  7. thank you for the info. Haven't ever seen it or heard of it before. Doubt if I'll find it in Romania though. :)

    Some websites say its called Masoor in hindi - but that didn't sound right to me. is it?

  8. No. It is not masoor. I doubt it is even known in India. You can probably get them in health stores if they have anything like that.

  9. hmmm yeah. thanks for clarifying for me though! :)


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