Sunday, October 07, 2007

Making Friends with Quinoa

A long time ago a young lady watched a documentary about Quinoa, the wonder grain from the Andean highlands. A baritone voice went on and on about the history of the grain, its importance to certain mountain tribes in Bolivia and its exceptionally high protien content accompanied by visuals of bleak landscapes and snotty, grubby children in faded sweaters. The documentary must have made quite a mark on the impressionable mind of the young lady (who is not so young anymore) because two weeks back in the aisles of her local Trader Joe's she experienced a freaky deja vu moment when her eyes alighted on a package of Organic Quinoa. Yes! They had met before, at a different time in a different place. Anyways to cut a long story short, the box came home with the young lady (who is not so young anymore). And then one lazy Sunday afternoon, the young lady (who as we all know by now, is not so young anymore) with some help from the good people at Gourmet turned the nubby little grains of quinoa into the most sublime of salads.

The recipe can be found here. The young lady (yes, she of the creaky joints and achy bones) would suggest the following additions/changes:
1. steam the quinoa with a two crushed cloves of garlic
2. add half a cup of roasted corn kernels to the salad. Start by dumping the required quantity of frozen corn kernels onto a hot skillet and swishing them around till they get nice and roasty with itty-bity charred spots
3. add a tablespoon of roasted cumin powder and one finely diced jalapeno pepper to the dressing
4. forget the butter in the dressing and just use three tablespoons of good olive oil instead

And if you are into poached eggs then you might want to top your bowl with one (or may be two) of those before digging in.


Madhuri Sinha said...

Looks delicious. Is the grain similar in texture and taste to couscous?

Anyesha said...

madhuri: It is slightly less fluffy and more nutty than couscous.

Shefaly Yogendra said...

Ah! I taught my niece - who has IBS - the joys of quinoa as an alternative carb source and now it seems a big hit in her household... Hmm. Perhaps I should start practising what I preach.

Amit said...

I love quinoa and it makes a regular weekly appearance on my table!! It tastes yummy and is highly nutritious.