This Indian Spiced Quinoa Pilaf with Peas recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. Fragrant with whole spices, including cardamon, cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds, this side dish is deliciously healthy.
A number of years ago, I took a few Indian cooking classes from a local woman. She was a fabulous home cook who wanted to take the mystery out of Indian cooking to people in our community. Before I took her classes, I was totally intimidated at the thought of cooking Indian food. There seemed to be so many spices and the cooking techniques were foreign to me. However, after my first class, I realized that there was nothing to be afraid of. There are a lot of spices that can be used in Indian cooking, but they are also dishes like this one that use relatively common spices, and there’s nothing tricky about the cooking technique either. Flavor development comes mainly from toasting the spices and sautéing aromatics (onion and ginger are used quite often).
Today, I’m sharing one of the Indian recipes this woman prepared during that class, except I’m using quinoa in place of the traditional rice used in this dish. The traditional dish is called Rice Pulav with Peas which is simply rice pilaf with peas. Although the name might sound very ordinary, the flavor is not at all plain. This pilaf is fragrant with lots of whole, toasted spices, including whole cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, black and green cardamon pods. Green cardamon is milder tasting and black cardamon has a smokiness about it. If you have an Indian grocery store near you, you can find these spices very inexpensively. Penzey’s also carries these spices.
I made this for a friend recently who had surgery and needed to get back to good health. She loves Indian food and quinoa, so this Indian Spiced Quinoa Pilaf with Peas, some dal, and a few containers of Magic Mineral Broth fit the bill.
This pilaf takes less than 30 minutes to make and is a wonderfully fragrant dish to try if you’re new to Indian cooking.
- 2 cups quinoa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 black cardamon
- 5 green cardamon
- 1 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
- 6 whole cloves
- 1½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
- Wash quinoa in a bowl of water several times to remove bitter saporin coating; drain.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan; add black and green cardamon, cinnamon stick, and cloves and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cumin seeds and sauté another 10-15 seconds, until they are toasted and browned. Add quinoa and stir until coated with oil. Add water and salt to pan; bring to a boil; then lower heat to simmer, cover pan and cook for 20 minutes. Add peas and cover pan; let pilaf stand for 10 minutes, then fluff and serve.
I’m participating in Food Network’s Sensational Sides event today where Grains are being featured. Please be sure to check out what my fellow foodie friends made:
Weelicious: Mushroom Barley
Virtually Homemade: Easy Yellow Rice
Feed Me Phoebe: Maple-Chia Overnight Oatmeal
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Mujadara with Roasted Tomatoes and Greens
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Indian Spiced Quinoa Pilaf with Peas
The Heritage Cook: White and Wild Rice Pilaf
The Mom 100: Red Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Artichoke Hearts and Olives
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Wild Mushroom, Sweet Pepper & Leek Risotto
Red or Green: Spicy Barley Risotto
Taste with the Eyes: Brown Rice Noodles paired with Tamarind Fish
The Cultural Dish: Three Ways to Make Risotto
Creative Culinary: Rice and Egg Bowl with Salmon and Peas
Swing Eats: Stir-Fried Quinoa with Chinese Vegetables
FN Dish: 5 Quirky Grain Switch-Ups You Gotta Try