Quinoa pronounced KEEN-wah is one of the most accepted health foods in the world today. It has been eaten for generations in South America and has only in recent years become a popular health food and has achieved the superfood status. It is a grain crop grown for its seeds that are edible.

Quinoa is: gluten-free, high in protein, contain all nine essential amino acids, high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.  Quinoa is much higher in fiber than most grains. One study found that 100gms of Quinoa contains around 11 gms of fiber. Manna from heaven – especially for vegans and vegetarians.

The glycemic index of quinoa is around 53, which is considered low. However, it’s still relatively high in carbohydrates. Quinoa’s high fiber & protein content and its low glycemic index have been linked to glycemic control in diabetics, weight loss and overall improved health.

India also has acknowledged quinoa as a new age food especially in its metros and class A cities. A lot of health-sensitive families have it as a permanent part of their grocery list. There is also a lot of preference for organic quinoa that is available in specialty stores like Nature’s Basket and Fab India. Further our ability to innovate and blend foreign ingredients with Indian taste has made quinoa a common household name.

Below is a wonderful recipe for quinoa moong dal khichdi with vegetables.

Depending on the type of quinoa, it may be important to rinse it with water before cooking to get rid of the bitter flavor that sits in its outer layer. However, some brands have it pre-rinsed. You can buy quinoa in most health food stores and many supermarkets.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

Quinoa moong dal khichdi is a healthy and low carb meal. It is tasty and filling and can be had for lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 0.25 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 cup green peas raw
  • 1 tomato
  • 0.5 cup onion raw
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 0.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 0.5 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsbsp oil
  • 0.25 cup moong dal raw

Preparation:

Rinse quinoa and moong dal separately several times, remove the water and soak together for 20 minutes. In a pressure cooker, add quinoa, moong dal, water and salt. Cover and cook until 3 whistles. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure cooker to cool naturally.

In a saucepan, heat oil, add cumin seeds, the cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaf and sauté until a nice pleasant aroma. Add the chopped onion and sauté until the onion becomes soft. Add turmeric powder and cook until the turmeric powder loses its raw smell. Add chopped tomato, salt and cook until the tomato becomes soft and gravy-like. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder and mix well. Sprinkle a little water and cook until the spices lose their raw smell.  Add green peas and mix well. Add the cooked quinoa and moong dal and mix well. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with lentil soup.

Makes for a wholesome, delicious and diabetic-friendly meal anytime of the day.

Recipe: Kinjal Dhanda