Beetroot and Green peas Quinoa Pulao

A few months ago, out of curiosity, I bought a pack of Quinoa. After a few hits and misses and online research and getting tips from Kanika, I finally figured out how to make fluffy Quinoa. But that was just the start. I wanted to try more flavourful recipes with this grain so I started making Quinoa Pulaos.

I had a few beetroots in the fridge resting in some water (yes! they stay crispy and fresh that way!) and was struggling to use them in a dish. I always stock frozen peas in my freezer and it had been a while since I had used them in a dish.

So one afternoon, I brought together these colourful ingredients and this is what I ended up making!

A healthy and colourful Beetroot and Green peas Quinoa Pulao

healthy Quinoa Pulao recipe

You can make this dish using other grains too like Amaranth, Dalia (bulgur) even pearl millets (Bajra)!

Some indigenous grains like Bajra and Amaranth (Seel/Rajgira) are just as healthy as the Quinoa, are gluten free and much cheaper! I usually replace the quinoa with Dalia in some pulao recipes but that’s because I don’t have an issue with gluten. If you want to use a grain that is gluten free then Amaranth and Bajra should work for you.

The texture and cook times will obviously be different.

Amaranth for a pulao will have to be soaked overnight or a couple of hours and then cooked with thrice the amount of water. An Amaranth pulao would have a gelatinous texture and would turn more like porridge. For Pulao like recipes, Bajra and Dalia should work better as a quinoa replacement.

Pearl Millet or Bajra will have to be soaked overnight and be cooked with approximately four times the amount of water.

Also, eating local grains is far more ecological and sustainable for the environment. Choose whatever grains are locally available to you and are affordable.

Beetroot Quinoa Pulao recipe

Ingredients

1 small onion, sliced
1/2 cup green peas, thawed
1/2 cup quinoa (Can be replaced with millets/bulgar)
1 small beetroot, peeled and shredded
1 clove of Garlic, chopped
1 sprig of rosemary
salt to taste
1/2 tablespoon ghee (or vegetable oil if you are Vegan)
1/4 teaspsoon Cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 cup water for cooking

Method

Start by prepping the ingredients. Measure the green peas and quinoa. Place the green peas in water to thaw for 5 minutes.

Place the measured amount of Quinoa in a fine strainer and wash. Let it drain in the strainer for a 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the onion and slice. Peel and finely chop garlic clove.

Wash the beetroot and peel. Shred using a box grater or a food processor.

In a pan, heat ghee or oil on medium high heat. Add cumin seeds next and let them bloom for around 5 seconds. Add the sliced onions and chopped garlic and stir. Cook these for 5-7 minutes till they are translucent.

Next, add the shredded beetroot and stir.

Now I added the green peas after 5 minutes of cooking beetroot. What happened was that the green peas lost their colour to the beetroot. If the colour is important to you, you can microwave the thawed green peas for a minute and add them later or else you could put them earlier if colour is not an issue.

I cooked the green peas and beetroot together for another 3-5 minutes till I saw some oil separate on the sides.

Add the drained Quinoa next and stir it in. Stir and cook the Quinoa with the vegetables for another 3-5 minutes.

Next add salt, red chilli powder and black pepper and cook stir well.

Follow by adding 1 cup of water and reduce the heat to low. You can chop the rosemary leaves and add them to the pan now.

Let the contents come to a simmer and then cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Check the water level and give it a quick stir.

Cook covered for another 8-10 minutes and check if the water has been absorbed.

Enjoy this Beetroot and Green Peas Quinoa Pulao with some lemon tea and your lunch is sorted!

Easy Quinoa Pulao recipe

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