Quinoa Pongal

For people trying to lose weight or tying to keep down sugar levels, Quinoa is a super food. It is high in protein, and is a great substitute for rice. I prefer making a Tabbouleh Salad from quinoa, because it has a nice nutty, crunchy texture, but there are times when we have craved traditional comfort food and just experimented with whole grains. Quinoa also makes excellent Pulav, Bisisbele bhath, Upma and Dosa.

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To Cook fluffy Quinoa- 

Wash 1 Cup of dry Quinoa under running water in a colander for a few seconds. Put the grains in 1.5 cups of water and add some salt. Bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot and cook on a low flame till all the water is absorbed. It usually take about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Fluff the quinoa, using a fork.

To make Pongal- 

Ingredients- 
1. Cooked Quinoa- 1 cup
2. Moong Dal- 3/4 cup
3. Grated Dry coconut- 1/4 cup Or fresh coconut, cut into tiny pieces
4. Whole black pepper- 10 to 15
5. Jeera- 1 Tsp
6. Curry Leaves- 1 sprig
7. Green Chilies- 2 slit (optional)
8. Ginger- 1/2 inch piece, chopped fine
9. Cashews- a few pieces
10. Ghee- 1/4 cup
11. Hing- a pinch
12. Salt- to taste
13. Milk- 1 Cup
14. Turmeric Powder- 1/8 Tsp(Optional)

Method-
1. Cook the Quinoa as mentioned above.
2. Make a coarse powder of the Jeera and black pepper.
3. In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee. Fry the cashews till golden brown and keep them ready.
4. To the hot ghee, add the Jeera- pepper powder, hing, ginger, curry leaves and chilies. Saute for a few seconds and add the moong dal. Saute the moong dal till it turns golden brown.
5. Add the milk and 3 cups of water. Add the dry coconut and the turmeric powder.
6. Cover the cooker and cook the mixture for 2 whistles.
7. Add the Quinoa to the cooked moong dal and stir well.
8. If the Pongal turns out to be dry, add a little more water and cook uncovered for a few more minutes.
8. After the mixture is cooked, add the salt and mix well. Add the cashews.

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