I love cooking without a recipe or directions. There’s something very exciting about throwing things in a pot, crossing your fingers, and coming out with something delicious and satisfying.
I’d had some quinoa sitting in a cupboard for a few months (another great thing about dried beans/grains/etc. is that they keep forever) with no real plan of what to do with it. Tonight, lacking ideas, I decided to get some veggies going in a pot and cook the quinoa in a biryani curry. I added a little basmati rice for some variety and to fill up the pot a bit more.
If you’ve never tried quinoa, track some down and buy a little for yourself. It’s very much like rice (cooks exactly the same way) but is incredibly nutritious and quite high in protein. It’s a fantastic substitute for rice in dishes like this.
I’m not going to write full instruction for this, because that would go against the theme of the post — cooking without directions. Saute the vegetables in some oil in a saucepan, add the curry paste, quinoa, and water, bring to a boil, and reduce and simmer for twenty minutes or until the quinoa is done. There are so many things you can improvise on: which vegetables to use, how much to make, the ratio of veggies to grain, and what else you want to put in it.
I added raisins because they are my favourite part of any curry dish.
I surprised myself with the result. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I hadn’t cooked or eaten quinoa before, but I scarfed down two bowls before I stopped to catch my breath. I’m going to have leftovers for weeks.
Do yourself a favour and get some quinoa into your diet.