Quinoa is known as quinoa in India, there is no Hindi translation yet. It can be found in Mumbai or Delhi usually.
Quinoa(pronounced KEEN-wah) originating from the Andes region of South America, is revered for its excellent nutritional profile.
Quinoa is billed as a grain, but it’s actually a high-protein, gluten-free, super-nutritious seed that is as tasty and versatile as it is healthy. The quinoa seed is high in protein, calcium, and iron, and is a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans.
One researcher said, "While no single food can supply all of the essential life-sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the vegetable or animal kingdoms."
Quinoa is a small seed that in size, shape, and color looks like a cross between sesame seed and millet. In its uncooked state, it takes the form of small off-white disks with a flattened band around its periphery. As the grain cooks, this band partially separates from the seed but retains its curved shape.
Method to Cook Quinoa :
The key factor in making good quinoa is to wash it several times in water. Quinoa seeds are covered with saponin, a resin-like substance that is extremely bitter and forms a soapy solution in water to make the seed edible. The saponin must be removed, traditionally done by hand-scrubbing and adequate rinsing.
Quinoa is as easy to cook as rice. In fact, it’s cooked exactly like rice, though it needs to be rinsed first. Just throw it in a fine sieve/colander and run it under some cold water, or swish it around in a bowl of water and then drain it.
To cook it, use two parts liquid to one part quinoa.
I am beginning to explore more and more vegetarian fare - especially healthy fare. I love to cook and entertain friends and family for good wholesome meals and am always looking for the absolute best ways to prepare dishes of interest to me.
I had a few vegetarian type questions for you please if you may:
1. I recently discovered Quinoa - the grain with the highest protein content and the only grain that is a complete protein unlike a lot of legumes. This was the staple of the Incas and has literally been resurrected into cultivation after many centuries. Anyway, my question is - where can I find versatile and really delicious and creative recipes that use quinoa? Are there any web-sites you can point me at or maybe cookbooks that have a dedicated section on great recipes using that grain? Thank you!
2. I have cooked once and only once with turnip (put it in a dish with kidney beans for an East Indian recipe by Madhur Jaffrey) - never to be repeated again. Turnips are bitter by nature and it made the taste of the entire dish bitter - I had them cooking with the beans in the liquid of the dish along with the spices. Total disaster in my opinion. Very recently exactly the same thing happened when I made a stew that cooked slowly in a stockpot which called for parsnips as one of the ingredients. Bitter! I have heard that an alternative way to use such vbegetables if you don't want the bitterness to dissipate into the rest of the dish is to boil these vegetables separately and add them to the dish at the end. But the whole thing is moot because parsnips when tasted even by themselves will STILL be bitter - just as they are in their uncooked form. So how WOULD one cook these vegetables without the "unpleasant surprise?" Moreover, are there other such vegetables I should be forewarned about that my result in a similar "disaster?" Sorry if I'm putting these vegetables down - but I don't like the strong bitterness of these vegetables.
3. What are some of the main uses of Asofetida [very pungent] powder [I know it is used in East INdian cooking and even more so in Iranian cooking], Fenugreek seeds, Allspice and Star Anise? Can you please point me to some sumptuous recipes?
4. There is a really really expensive and relatively rare Basmati rice whose grains once cooked can be an inch to an inch-and-a-half long - availble in India - usually consumed at ritzy Indian weddings. I have never had the privilege myself to try it. I know the Indian name of it starts with a "T." I was wondering if I can reliably purchase this rice here in the U.S. either by postal mail or ideally at a store in the Seattle, WA area. Also would you be so kind to point me to some recipes and resourceful sites for this particular gourmet Basmati?
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