Gluten-free Indian Quinoa Masala Recipe

August 10th, 2010 yum Posted in Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Indian, Nut Free, Quinoa, Rice Cooker Recipe, Rice Free, Soy Free, Uncategorized, Vegan, corn free 19 Comments »


Ever since I embarked on a special allergen-free diet for Baby Yum, I have been experimenting with some of the more exotic gluten-free “grains” or pseudo grains. Some of these have been a trial (amaranth, anyone?) and others have been a true pleasure to work with (quinoa, sorghum, millet). Quinoa is a grain that I long thought bothered my tummy, but it turns out other grains may have actually been the culprit. I’ve been enjoying tons of this cute little seed ever since I started my crazy-grain rotation diet, and am regularly amazed at its versatility. It makes a mean, if somewhat delicate, allergen-free muffin. But in its whole seed form, quinoa can also stand in for rice with amazing success. I’ve used it to make sushi, chirashi, fried rice, and lately, I’ve even been experimenting with it in Indian dishes. The last two weeks I’ve been obsessed with Indian recipes. My taste buds rebelled against plain-Jane allergen fare and begged for spices, spices, and more spices. And of course, Indian recipes are very good at presenting a rich array of flavors for the palate through the generous use of spices. I’ve been using coriander by the tablespoon, and cumin like it is going out of style. Good thing my local Costco caters to the Indian community here and sells it in quantity! Of course I could also buy spices from Indian markets, but I do have some concerns that the ground spices may be cross contaminated by flour milling and packaging. I’ve made scrumptious toor dal made by the Indian culinary goddess Manjula and an assortment of recipes from my favorite Indian cookbooks. Pictured above is a modified version of “Supreme Okra” from The Best of Lord Krishna’s Cuisine recipes. The original had enough salt to qualify as a cow-lick, but with some modification made plain old okra plate-lickingly delicious. For now, though, I’d like to share the recipe for the accompanying Masala Quinoa, a dish that was inspired by a recipe for rice but modified for pre-cooked quinoa with amazing results. I can safely say this is hands-down the tastiest quinoa I’ve ever had. I liked it so much that I made this recipe twice in one week; the second time I made it, it was for a long plane ride and it traveled beautifully. This is only the beginning. I’ve been experimenting with quinoa as a stand-in for rice in many Chinese and Japanese dishes, but now I see how well it works in Indian rice dishes, I have a feeling I’ll be trying quite a few more recipes in the future. I hope you enjoy this one!

Indian Masala Quinoa Recipe
Ingredients
2 or 2 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
3 tbsp mustard or canola oil
1 tsp black mustard seed
3 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1/2 piece ginger (peeled, julienned)
2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
Directions
Heat oil in a large skillet (nonstick ok) with a lid on medium or medium high. Add your mustard seed and bay leaf to the oil and let it sizzle. Add your cumin seeds and wait a few seconds before adding the onion. Saute onions until they start to soften and turn brown. Add ginger, tomatoes, and turmeric. Let soften and then add your quinoa, stirring it in gently and sprinkling with salt. Reduce heat and cover, cooking for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir once, sprinkle with cilantro, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff and serve.
Notes
*To prepare quinoa, rinse 1 1/2 cups quinoa and cook in rice cooker with 3 cups water, or bring same amounts to boil in pot, turn to low and simmer for 15 minutes. fluff and let sit, covered until you use. You can also freeze quinoa, defrost in microwave and use in recipes*

The most delicious quinoa I’ve ever had.

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Gluten Free Indian Recipes: Mint Vegetable Veg Pulav Rice Pilaf Recipe

July 14th, 2009 yum Posted in Bangalore, Hide your Veggies, Indian, JM friendly, Rice, Rice Cooker Recipe, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian 2 Comments »

indiandinner
vegmintpulav4This week we had some friends over for a potluck dinner and movie inspired by my friend’s hometown of Bangalore. I made Dal Vada, or Dal Pakora, a delicious recipe I encountered at a dinner party in Bangalore, and cilantro chutney. My friend made a delicious Veg Pulav recipe as well as a lovely dal dish made with Toor dahl. I loved the smoky dal she made (flavored with charred mustard seeds, yum!) but the Veg Pulav was my favorite. It reminded me of our travels in India, and of rice dishes with paneer I’d ordered from hotel room service. The flavor was wonderful too, and I wondered how the mint was infused through the dish. I thought maybe Archana had used dried mint, but it turned out the secret was frying fresh, ground mint and then distributing it throughout. Since rice is such a staple for many of us gluten-free cooks, I wanted to share the authentic flavors of this recipe with you, with the cook’s permission of course. Tired of having rice the same old way time after time? Try this, with or without some cheesy, firm paneer. It occurs to me that tofu might also be a good substitute for paneer- or you can just leave it out if allergies are an issue.
mintvegpulav2

Archana’s Mint Veg Pulav with Optional Paneer
Ingredients
2 cups rice
1 tbsp. or less oil
3-4 cloves
cardamom pods
one cinnamon stick
2-3 bay leaves
1.5 cups veggies (chopped onion, carrot, beans, corn, peas, whatever you like)
1/4 cup or more paneer, cubed (optional)
one bunch of mint leaves
2 green chilies
salt
3 cups water
Directions
Rinse rice thoroughly and leave soaking in water. Heat oil in a pan on medium and add your cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon. Let them fry for a few seconds and then add your chopped veggies, starting with the onion and letting it cook a few minutes before adding the rest of the veggies and optional paneer.

Meanwhile add one bunch of mint leaves and 2 green chilies to a blender or food processor and blend it coarsely. Add to the pan with the veggies and fry until the raw mint smell fades.

Drain rice thoroughly and add to the pan with the mint and veggies. Salt to taste and add water.

If you have a rice cooker, at this point you can transfer to a rice cooker and run the cycle. If you don’t have a rice cooker, cover the pan and cook on medium for approximately 15 minutes. Remove lid and check for doneness, fluffing with a spoon. Serve and enjoy!

Notes
This fresh, tasty rice recipe took me back to our travels in India- love it! I didn’t have it with paneer this time but it would be a very yummy addition. For vegan or to accommodate dairy allergies, just leave it out.
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