Archive for March, 2013

What can be better than this fantastic combination of taste and nutrition.  We have protein rich quinoa along with the easy-to-digest, vitamin, mineral and protein providing moog dal.  Then there is the great comfort food, rice, which adds bulk and gives satisfaction.  I add a good amount of veggies, whatever I have at home, to create balance and enrich the meal with additional vitamins, antioxidants and good fiber.

This dish is a complete, balanced meal, and is so easy to make.

Quinoa Khichadi


1/2 cup quinoa grain

1/2 cup yellow moog dal

1/2 cup basmati rice

2 cups or more finely chopped vegetables of your choice (carrots, cauliflower, peas, peppers etc.)

1 large onion thinly sliced

2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste ground with 1 jalapeno pepper (green chilly) or to taste, and half a cup of fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves

3 cloves

2 small sticks of cinnamon

1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder,

3 Tablespoons oil

1 Tablespoon pure ghee (clarified butter)

Salt to taste

2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)  and 2 Tablespoons shredded coconut for garnish

3 cups hot water

2 teaspoons lime juice (optional)

Note:  I make my own garam masala to avoid cross contamination with any allergenic ingredients.


Wash rice and moog dal together, drain and set aside

Wash quinoa using a sieve, rinse well three times and set aside

Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and add cloves and cinnamon sticks.

Add sliced onions, and saute till onions are soft and translucent

While onions are cooking, put up 3 and 3/4 cup water in a smaller pan, to heat and almost boil

Gently add washed and drained grains and moog dal to the softened onions, stir them in and saute for 2 minutes

Add the ginger-garlic-cilantro-jalapeno (green chilli) paste, saute for a minute more

Stir in vegetables, saute a little and add turmeric powder

Pour in the measured hot water

Add garam masala (optional) and ghee as well as the lime juice

When the water starts boiling, lower heat.

If the saucepan is large enough, you will be able to cover and cook on low heat without any water spill over

Cook for about 15 minutes or till the grains and moog dal are soft cooked

Turn off heat

Let the pilaf/ khichadi rest for a few minutes before transferring into casserole or serving dish.

Garnish with shredded coconut and cilantro leaves.

Serve hot with cut onions, tomatoes / yogurt based raita.


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This is an easy-to- prepare meal.  It combines the nutrition of chicken with the goodness of veggies and the comfort carbs of rice.  Add a simple green leafy salad to enhance wholesomeness.  What can be better than something so healthy and perfectly delicious?

Chicken Risotto


4 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed (use leg, thigh and breast pieces if you like)

1 1/2 cups long grain white rice, preferably basmati

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

1 cup tomato puree

1 large onion, finely sliced

1 cup frozen peas (or shelled fresh peas)

1 cup finely chopped carrots

1/2 cup sliced olives

1/2 cup tightly packed grated cheese (optional)

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried chopped basil

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Salt to taste


Apply garlic, salt and pepper to chicken pieces

Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan, swirl it around, and gently place chicken pieces

Cook covered on medium heat for about 5 minutes

Turn over and cook for a further 5 minutes or until both sides are lightly browned

Turn off heat.

Wash and drain rice

In another saucepan heat the remaining olive oil and add sliced onions

When onions are soft and translucent, add rice

Saute rice for about 2 minutes or until slightly brown

Add vegetables, saute for a minute more, remove from heat

Transfer sauted rice and veggies onto chicken pieces in saucepan.

Heat broth and water in microwave, or heat in small saucepan while preparing rice and veggie mixture

Pour hot liquid over chicken and rice.

Add paprika, basil and cayenne pepper

Cook uncovered on medium heat for 5-7 minutes

When rice is partly fluffy and most of the water has been absorbed, add tomato puree and half the cheese

Turn heat to low, and cook covered for about 3-4 minutes, top with remaining cheese, cover again and cook for 2 minutes more, or until all liquid has been absorbed.

Turn off heat.  Wait for about 5 minutes before removing lid.

Serve immediately while hot.

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