There are some dishes, things and products that I tried or even heard off after coming to the UK. One such ingredient is quinoa- the new superstar of health. When I cooked it for the first time, I fell in love with those fluffy tiny bits and since then I use quinoa a lot in my kitchen, even though this is the first time I talking about it on my blog.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa, pronounced ‘keen-wa’ is a great wheat-free alternative to starchy grains. There are two types: red and creamy white. Both types are slightly bitter when cooked and open up to release little white curls (like a tail) as they soften. It is originally from South America (Peru, Chile and Bolivia) and is now becoming popular everywhere and specially in the UK.
Benefits of quinoa?
With twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre. Like buckwheat, quinoa has an excellent amino acid profile, as it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete-protein source. Quinoa is therefore an excellent choice for vegans who may struggle to get enough protein in their diets.
Cautions with quinoa?
Quinoa is coated with toxic chemical called saponin. It is therefore important to rinse quinoa thoroughly. And moderation is key -so it shouldn't be eaten every day. A few times a week is enough.
What I did with quinoa?
Well you can always prepare Quinoa like rice with veggies, but I went ahead and experimented and combined it with other super healthy thing-Oats to make dhokla. Dhokla is authentically made with rice, lentils, gram flour and is a specialty of Gujarat. Basically the batter needs to be fermented and then it is steamed like a cake, cut into squares and finally tadka of mustard seeds and green chillies is poured on it. Mr.Husband is a hard core gujrati food lover and I do prepare gujarati snacks a lot, you can see Spinach Muthiya, Khamman Dhokla, Ragda Patties, Sev Tamato Nu Shaak recipes on my blog.
Quinoa and oats dhokla is sooooo healthy and Oh! Did I tell you it is instant? Yes you just mix up everything and steam, no need to soak up things or ferment it. Chopped green chillies and ginger is added to the batter which makes it even more special and tasty. I never thought that the ingredient like Quinoa can be used in this Indian style. Anyone of you who love Guajarati food will surely, surely enjoy this nutrient packed snack. Great for evening, tea time snack, kids’ tiffin box or just as a meal over all.
1 cup Quinoa
1 cup oats (instant)
1 tablespoon yogurt/dahi
1 teaspoon eno (see notes)
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons oil
Water as needed
1 green chilli chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 green chillies slitted
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
Fill the water in the steamer and preheat it. Grease the plate with oil.
In a grinder, grind Quinoa to fine powder, just like flour. Do the same with oats as well.
In a bowl, mix oats and Quinoa flour. Add in salt, chopped green chillies, 1 teaspoon oil, grated ginger and yogurt.
Keep adding little water at a time to make the batter. Remember the consistency should be like your regular dhokla batter-not too runny and not too thick.
Add in the eno. Mix lightly.
Pour the batter in the greased plate and steam for 20 minutes.
Cut the dhokla in the squares. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a pan; add in mustard seeds and silted green chillies and let it crackle. Pour this over the dhokla pieces.
Serve hot with chutney or ketchup.
Eno is like a fruit salt which is acidic and it can be available in any Indian grocery store. If not you can buy ENO Fruit Salt from here.
You can also add grated coconut, curry leaves and chopped coriander in the oil for tadka.
You can enjoy the dhokla just after steaming; it is not compulsory to do tadka.
I tried my best to see what Quinoa is called in hindi, but I could not find. If you know please comment below :)