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Old 02-12-2009, 01:59 AM   #1
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My Lentil/Quinoa Idea

I've been stewing on a desire to make a pilaf with quinoa and lentils. And I think I've got it worked down to something worth trying.

I'm going to fry some onion, cumin seed, jalapeno and ginger in oil, then add the lentils and a little water and simmer a few minutes while I dry fry the quinoa. I'm thinking that should fix the problem with different cooking times between quinoa and lentils--while still getting the quinoa toasted.

Then I'll add veggie broth, some garam marsala and curry leaves, cover and simmer until the quinoa is done. Then stir in some cilantro and call it done.

I've been thinking about this for a while, but kinda feel like I'm pulling this out of my . . . [cough] ahem [/cough], if you know what I mean, and I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or ideas . . . good, bad or indifferent.

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Old 02-12-2009, 02:29 AM   #2
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This sounds really good vyapti. I guess my only concern is the lentils being over cooked. What type of lentils are your using? Green I think would work the best because they don't break down as much as yellow or red. I have a recipe for quinoa and black beans that I track down the link for you if you like, just as a comparison. It is a little different from what you are doing, but similar enough it might give you a guidline.

In any case, I would really like to know how this turns out.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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I'm using green lentils and a 2:1 ratio of quinoa:lentils. Quinoa turns into teddy bear stuffing if it's cooked too long and I'm desperately trying to avoid that, even if that means overcooked lentils the first time.

A link would be great. Even if it's not applicable, I'm always looking for good quinoa ideas. Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:40 AM   #4
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Here's the link to Quinoa and Black Beans.

What I do with this one is have the beans cooked (I don't use canned) and just add them in at the end so neither they or the quinoa cook too much. Just a thought.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:07 PM   #5
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That is a good thought. I'd have more control if I cooked the lentils separately, and I'm using two pans anyway, so there's no extra dishes either. Thanks for the link too.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:29 PM   #6
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Hi vyapti, I am not familiar with quinoa so I cannot comment on it. I make a lentil rice and had once randomly submitted it for BHG contest and I won.

Here is the general recipe that I use and you can try it if you think it appeals to you.

Lentils - 2 cups and you cook them until they are aldente. They should not be completely cooked. Don't add a ton of water. Add little at a time. When you are done the lentils are tender but intact
Rice - 1 cup cook like pasta in hot boiling salted water, once aldente,drain and reserve

Here is what you need to assemble:

- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- Assorted bell peppers thinly slices (1 cup)
- Frozen Peas (1/2 cup)
- Garlic (3 cloves finely chopped)
- Cumin Seeds (2 tsp)
- Bay Leaves (2)
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 jalapeno or geen chili, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of freshly chopped cilantro
- handful of freshly chopped mint (optional but highly recommended)
- black pepper powder (2 pinches)
- cinnamon powder (1 pinch)
- salt to taste
- Oil 3 tbsp

In a large pan, add the oil, when it's hot, add the cumin seeds and bay leaves. Let the seeds splutter a bit. Reduce the heat and add the garlic and chopped jalapeno. Let it saute until the garlic is slightly golden. Add the onions and cook it all until the onions are soft and almost caramalized. Next add the veggies (bell peppers and peas) and cook that until they are bit tender. Next add the spices (cinnamon, black pepper) cil.antro and mint along with zest and lemon juice. Add the lentils and rice and stir to combine. Cover and let it all cook on low for atleast an hour. It should be on the absolutely lowest setting or if you have one of those oven proof pans (calphalon ones) you can place this in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour.

Serve with some raita - Yogurt, seasoned with some ground cumin powder, mustard powder, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, black pepper, some chopped tomatoes, cumcumber and cilantro.

Note: You can also add boiled and shredded chicken or ground beef to this dish. It is extremely versatile and healthy.

All the best.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quinoa and Lentil Pilaf:

It turned out pretty well. The toasted quinoa offered a nice flavor and texture that went well with the lentils and spices. I'm not sure if I'll do the peas next time, though or, at least, add them at the end so they're firm.

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