Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Coriander, Coconut Masala Quinoa - Oh No, Not Your Traditional Coconut Rice

Coriander, Coconut Masala Quinoa - Oh No, Not Your Traditional Coconut Rice

Food fads come and fads go, one day there is research showing the benefits and the very next day there is research showing just the opposite. Off late with so much information available online it gets even confusing and harder to make the right choice, point in case is today's ingredient. Once upon a time eating coconut was deems extremely dangerous, cholesterol causing, fattening etc etc.. today suddenly there are so many studies suggesting its benefits. Go to any organic/ Whole food you would find tons of offerings of Coconut products from oils to butters to soap to paste. Well what ever the benefits might be for South Indian belle like me its just a staple, something that has bee used on a daily basis for generations.
The uses of coconut in a typical south indian home are many, growing up my hair was drenched in coconut oil, babies were massaged with coconut oil, infact every part of the coconut tree was used up starting from the fruit to the bark. Today's recipe is a modern adaptation of traditional Coconut Rice recipe.

Fresh ingredients

1 fresh coconut grated
2 cups of coriander washed and chopped
1~2 green chilies
1/2 cup green bell pepper/capsicum dices finely
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup grated carrot optional
1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa

Dry ingredients

2 bay leaves
2 cloves
1~2 elachi
1 tbsp of garam masala
2 big tbsp of channa dal
1/4  cup cashew nuts/almond/walnuts (nut of your choice to your hearts content)
1/2 tbsp of oil
salt according to taste


1. In a shallow pan add oil and when oil gets hot add all the dry ingredients and sauté for a minute or two till you get a strong aroma
2. Grind coriander, mint, green chiles in a food processor and keep a side
3. Add the grated coriander, bell pepper and carrot and sauté till coriander is well fried and the raw smell is gone takes about 3 minutes
4. Now add the freshly grated coconut and sauté for another couple of minutes
5. Add boiled Quinoa, salt and fresh pepper and sauté till all the ingredients are mixed well

Remove from heat and adjust for salt and serve piping hot or at room temperature with some fresh coriander as garnish.
Guilt free, delicious and protein filled cannot ask for a better alternative. Eat it for dinner or lunch.You can also squeeze some fresh lemon juice if you would prefer.

On a different note, we at home have been feeling the gardening itch and started seedling indoors and one experiment with Hydroponics. Looking forward to a steady temperature to transplant them into the ground. Nothing excites me like seeing a sapling breaking the seed and out of the ground. Hoping all these plants would survive for the next couple of weeks.

Have a beautiful rest of the week my dear readers, chow .....

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