Monday, August 26, 2013

Lemon Quinoa | Lemony Quinoa Pilaf

South Indian style lemon rice is probably one of my favourite rice dishes. It is a delight both to make and to eat - the fragrant tempering, the hot and sharp tastes, and the beautiful yellow colour are so inviting! Its also so easy to make that it can be ready in a snap. It is also great to make if you have left over rice from a party or get together. Lemon rice is one of the dishes I love to make when we are planning a road trip or a picnic. It travels so well, tastes delicious hot or cold, and you never have to worry about the accompaniments.

Some time back I decided to try this recipe out on quinoa. Quinoa by itself takes on flavours very well, and is extremely versatile. I use it to make all kinds of pilafs and salads. So you can imagine how delighted I was to find that it takes on the seasonings for lemon rice beautifully. Delicious and healthy all on one plate - what more can you ask for!!

1 cup quinoa
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric)
1 lemon, juiced

To Temper:
11/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
6-8 curry leaves
1/2 tsp rai (mustard seeds)
1/2 tsp zeera (cumin seeds)
1/8 tsp hing (asafoetida)
2-3 red chilies, broken

  1. Prepare the quinoa as per the instructions on the label. When it is ready, gently turn it out onto a large serving plate and allow it to cool completely.
  2. Heat the oil in a wide bottomed saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the dals. Fry them for a minute, then add the curry leaves, the broken red chilies, and all the other tempering items.
  3. Once the tempering is fragrant and the seeds all toasted, turn off the heat.
  4. Add the turmeric powder and salt, and then after about 30 seconds add the quinoa.
  5. Toss gently until the tempering begins to cover the quinoa. Now pour in the lemon juice, and continue tossing until all the tempering is evenly spread.
  6. Delicious lemon quinoa is ready to enjoy.

Good to Know
  • This is a good recipe to prepare ahead. I usually make the quinoa, spread it on a plate and allow it to cool completely. Then I cover the plate with cling film and refrigerate until needed.
  • It is best to make the quinoa in the morning for an evening meal.
  • Always add the lemon after turning off the heat. If not, the lemon will acquire a bitter taste.

Vegan Recipe

Like this recipe. Tried it. Leave me a comment:) 

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  1. This sounds delicious. What are dals and are they easy to find? If not, is there a reasonable substitute?

  2. Such a healthy dish, prefect enjoy with some spicy side dish.

  3. Healthy tangy dish,love the presentation and clicks.


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