Quinoa, often referred to as “super grain” or “superfood” has become very popular lately due to its nutrients. It is gluten-free and packed with proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a great addition to our daily diet.
Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. Its seeds are edible and used in cooking. When cooked perfectly, they become fluffy and crunchy and hold this earthy flavor that makes them taste unique. They come in different colors. But, white, red, and black are the most commonly used, each having different cooking times and chewiness.
I have tried two types of quinoa: white and red. Frankly, I enjoy eating both of them individually and love mixing them up and adding them to salads. Apart from that, they can be used as a replacement for rice. This means, you can eat it with sambar and curries, or make Indian breakfast specials such as upma, poha, khichadi, and use it even to make idly and dosa batter.
How to rinse quinoa?
Quinoa has an outer coating that contains saponins (just like many other legumes), making it bitter. So the best way to get rid of this bitterness is by rinsing it.
Initially, I used to have trouble rinsing quinoa; the grains would wash away since they were so small. Later, I learned from my fellow bloggers that using a fine mesh strainer to rinse them is the best solution. I have been doing that since, and it works well. So I recommend rinsing quinoa using the finest mesh strainer available 2-3 times in cold running water until the water runs clear.
How to cook red quinoa?
Well, cooking a perfectly fluffy red quinoa is easier than it sounds. So, I always prefer cooking it fresh, rather than storing cooked quinoa in the refrigerator and using it later.
Once you have rinsed it well, transfer it into a thick-bottom cooking pot (I have used a thick-bottomed aluminum pot). Pour water (approximately 3x times that of quinoa) and begin cooking on low heat, without the lid on!
I prefer not adding any salt. However, you can add a pinch of it, if you feel the need.
Halfway through, you will notice the grains getting bigger after absorbing the water. Continue cooking on low heat until quinoa is well cooked and all the water has evaporated. Then, turn the heat off and allow quinoa to rest for 5 minutes.
Fluff up the quinoa using a fork or spoon and use it in your favorite way!
How to cook fluffy red quinoa?
- Thick bottom cooking pot
- Fine mesh strainer
- 6 tbsp red quinoa
- 300 ml water
- Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa 2-3 times thoroughly in cold running water.
- Transfer it into a thick bottom cooking pot. Pour water into it and begin cooking on low heat, without the lid on.6 tbsp red quinoa, 300 ml water
- Continue cooking until quinoa well cooked and all the water has evaporated.
- Turn the heat off and allow quinoa to rest for 5 minutes.
- Use to fork to fluff it up and serve quinoa in salads. Or serve it as a replacement for rice and eat with sambar or curries. Enjoy!
- Add a pinch of salt before cooking quinoa, if you prefer.
If you tried this recipe, tag your food recreation on my Instagram @swaadista and let me know how you liked it!
Happy cooking and happy eating <3