Sunday, July 13, 2014

How to cook Quinoa-How to cook Quinoa in a rice cooker and on stove top

Today I am going to introduce a new grain (seed) called Quinoa. Quinoa is pronounced as "Keen-WAH". Many of you might already be familiar with this grain. Though quinoa is used in cooking like a whole grain, it is actually a seed but can be prepared in the same way as rice or any other grains. You will find half white, red and black quinoa in stores. I have used half white quinoa as it is more commonly available. Let us see some of the important Health Benefits of Quinoa-
It is considered a Super Food as it a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
It is gluten free, so considered a perfect food to include on a gluten free diet. It is a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index, hence keeps you satiated for a longer time.
Quinoa is great choice for vegans and vegetarians as it is a good source of fiber and high in protein. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein
Quinoa is very low in fat compared to other grains. The great thing is that the fat present in quinoa is almost all made up of healthy fats like essential fatty acids, or omega-3 fatty acid which makes it a perfect choice for weight loss diet.
Advantages - Quick and easy to cook. It can be substituted in place of rice, millet, couscous, pasta in any recipe. It is a nutritious alternative to white rice or couscous.


How to cook Quinoa

How to cook Quinoa

 Prep Time5 mins
 Cook Time : 15 mins
 Serves: 2
 Recipe CategoryMain Dish

   Ingredients needed

   Quinoa -1 cup
   Water/vegetable broth -2 cups
   Salt (optional)

Stove top Method

Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and wash it well under running water. Washing it well is important as the outer hull of a quinoa seed is very bitter. Though commercial processing methods remove the bitterness, it is still advisable to rinse quinoa well.

Add 2 cups of water for 1 cup of quinoa. When water starts boiling, reduce the flame/heat to low.

preparations to cook quinoa

Cover and cook simmered for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Let it sit for 10 minutes.Then fluff it with a fork. Fluffy, light and tasty Quinoa is ready.

how to cook quinoa on stove top

Pressure Cooker Method

After rinsing quinoa well, add 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker. When water starts boiling, reduce the flame/heat to low, close the cooker and put the weight. Cook simmered for 8-10 minutes or cook for 1 whistle and turn off the heat. It varies according to the capacity of the cooker.When pressure subsides, open the cooker and fluff quinoa with a fork. I usually prefer to cook in a vessel inside the cooker. In that case, you can cook for 3 whistles.

Rice cooker method

Add 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water in a rice cooker. Turn on to cooking mode and cook. Once done it will automatically switch to keep warm mode, otherwise turn off the heat once all the water is absorbed and quinoa is soft. Let is sit for 5-10 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork.


You can add vegetable stock (for vegetarians) or chicken stock (for non vegetarians) to cook quinoa instead of water.

You can toast quinoa seeds with a little oil on low heat after draining the water completely to give it added flavor.

You can add a little salt while cooking if preferred.

How to cook Quinoa
Light and fluffy cooked Quinoa
Quinoa is delicious on its own. When prepared with vegetable broth, it tastes great. It can be used in place of rice, millets or couscous. You can also have this with regular sambar, kuzhambu or kootu. You can make a variety of dishes like salads, soups, pilaf etc. You can combine it with stir fried vegetables, beans or even prepare a quick breakfast with it by adding milk and nuts. I will soon share many quinoa recipes.

Where can you buy? - It is available in all health stores and big super markets in cities.

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  1. Replies
    1. No, Chitra, Thinai is foxtail millet. Quinoa is not a millet. It is a seed. I do not think there is any name for it in Tamil. You must ask for quinoa in big supermarkets in cities. You will get it there.

    2. Yes quinoa doesnt have a tamil name as such but itis called "seemai thinai" in tamil. (Seemai =foreign). Its available in most organic shops around.

  2. Healthy and useful please share the recipe of bamboo rice

  3. Hi Padhu, Thanks for your basics on quinoa cooking... followed your stovetop method to make a pulao... thanks again

  4. Hi jus a this quinoa is called as thinai in Tamil??

    1. I have already answered the question above. Thinai is not Quinoa.

  5. Hi padhu, tried ur quinoa upma recipe, everyone enjoyed it,thank u very much,can we use it on a regular basis instead of white rice?

  6. Hi Padhu
    Very informative post for me as I am going to cook quinoa fot the first time. Thanks.


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