Quinoa is a high-protein carbohydrate and wonderful as an alternative to rice; in fact, this is cooked in a similar way, and is almost like a broad bean pulao. Always check if the grain is properly cooked before serving, then, if there’s any liquid remaining in the pan, just drain it off. This is just one way of using quinoa with an Indian accent; it’s also great in a salad with tomatoes, feta and red onions.
serves 3-4 as a side dish
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 dried red chilli, broken into 2-3 pieces
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2-3 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1cm piece of root ginger, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
¼ tsp chilli powder
100g broad beans, shelled (if frozen, soak in hot water for 10 minutes and remove skins)
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp chopped basil leaves
1 tbsp chopped chives
juice of ½ lemon or lime
Soak the quinoa in cold water for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse. Put 300ml of water into a saucepan and add the drained quinoa with some salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, then simmer for about 15 minutes, until the grains are cooked but still retain a little bite. Drain off any excess water.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the dried chilli and mustard seeds. Allow them to pop and crackle for a few seconds, then add the curry leaves and onion. Cook until it just begins to turn golden. Now add the green chilli and ginger. Stir-fry for a minute, then add the tomato and chilli powder. Continue to cook for a further five minutes or so, until most of the moisture from the tomato has evaporated, then add the broad beans and continue to stir-fry for a few minutes. Now add the cooked quinoa and mix thoroughly for a minute or two until heated through.
Finally, stir in the sugar, herbs and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly, adjust the seasoning and serve.
This recipe has been taken from Reza’s Indian Spice by Reza Mahammad (Quadrille, £17.99)
Photography: Martin Poole