A quick introduction today to a recipe that’s going to gladden the hearts of those among you who call yourselves health nuts: my Sprouted Bean Quinoa Pulao.
I cook healthy most of the time, but I honestly can’t think of the last time I made a recipe that made me feel like trotting around in a halo. It has beans and quinoa and veggies, all in one pot, and it tastes awesome. Ask Jay, who gobbled it down for lunch and dinner and asked for more.
I have waxed on about sprouts in the past, so I won’t subject you to more. Enough to say that the sprouts put this awesome recipe over the top. I used a tiny little bean that’s commonly used in Indian kitchens, matki or moth beans. These tiny, oblong, brown beans are packed with protein, fiber, iron and calcium. For those of you who have never tried these magical little beans, I’d advise hauling yourself over to an Indian store– or just shop for them online. They may not sprout into a big tree overnight, or put a bag of gold coins in your lap, but they will make you strong enough to fight a giant. Almost.
If you’d rather take the easy way out, you can also try this recipe with mung beans. Either way, you won’t go wrong.
- 1½ cups dry matki or moth beans, sprouted (Here's a quick primer on sprouting)
- 1½ cups quinoa
- 2 tsp coconut or other vegetable oil
- 4 cloves
- 4 pods of green cardamom, slightly crushed so they open
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 5 spring onions or scallions, sliced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 2 carrots, finely diced or grated
- 2 green peppers, like serrano, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
- 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika (optional)
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced, or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved.
- ¼ cup chopped coriander
- Salt to taste
- Parboil the sprouts, in a pot or in a microwave. To parboil in the microwave, place the sprouts in a microwave-safe bowl, add a cup of water, cover, and nuke at high for 15 minutes. Remove carefully, stir the sprouts, and nuke again for another 15 minutes. To parboil on the stove, cover the sprouts with water, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until they are tender but not mushy.
- Heat 1 tsp of oil in a saucepan.
- Add the cardamom, cloves, and bay leaf and saute until they just start to turn color.
- Add the washed and drained quinoa and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the quinoa seems rather dry.
- Add 2½ cups of water and salt to taste. Bring the quinoa to a boil. When most of the water has been absorbed, turn the heat to the lowest setting, put on a tight-fitting lid, and let the quinoa cook for 15 minutes.
- In another, large saucepan, add the remaining oil.
- Add the cumin seeds and when they become slightly darker, add the onions and saute until transparent. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute another minute.
- Add the serrano, scallions, bell pepper and carrots and saute for a few minutes until the bell peppers soften.
- Add the coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric, and paprika, if using. Stir well to mix. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to prevent the spices from burning, and continue to saute until the vegetables are cooked to the doneness you desire. I like the bell peppers to still have a little bite.
- Add the cooked quinoa and sprouts and mix well together. Add the coriander and cherry tomatoes and toss in.
- Serve hot with some poppadums.