Protein-packed mint-flavored Quinoa Pulao with chickpeas, edamame, and Indian cottage cheese (paneer). If you're looking for a nutritious one-pot meal that you can make in an hour including all prep work then you cannot go wrong with Quinoa Pulao. Though this mint quinoa pulao is very yummy by itself, some people prefer to have it with some yogurt. It tastes best accompanied by kadhi and papad.
Moving from Rice Pulao to Quinoa Pulao
In general, I am always trying to switch from rice to quinoa to add more quinoa to my family’s daily diet. Mint flavored rice pulao is a common recipe in my home, which everyone loved. So, this was an attempt to re-create the same mouth-watering flavors using quinoa, the current times super grain. Each serving of this recipe has only 519 kcal, but provides 30 gm of protein and 20 gm of dietary fiber. This nutritional enhancement is achieved by using beans and vegetables (predominantly peppers) along with quinoa in this recipe.
Quinoa Recipe Health Benefits
Quinoa has a much lower amount of carbohydrates, compared to the same serving size of rice, and at the same time has a much higher plant-based protein content with all 9 amino acids. It also has a low glycemic index to help controlling blood sugar and high in anti-oxidants. Both kidney beans and black beans are also rich sources of protein, fiber, folate, and essential minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, etc. Combining peppers with iron sources helps with absorption in addition to other nutritional benefits.
Protein Sources in Quinoa Pulao
This quinoa pulao recipe has four major protein-rich ingredients, namely quinoa, chickpeas, edamame, and cottage cheese (paneer). Due to these four ingredients combined, each serving of quinoa pulao provides 30 g of protein, which is 60% of the daily dietary requirement.
Green Paste for Mint Flavoring in Quinoa Pulao Recipe
The green paste used to add mint flavor to the quinoa pulao recipe is similar to cilantro mint green chutney recipe, but less spicy. Four main ingredients used for making the green paste are mint, cilantro, green chilies and ginger.
Health Benefits of Cilantro (Coriander) and Mint
If you are a cook, you must have surely tossed Cilantro into your recipes for flavor and as garnishing. Other than the fact that green leaves look healthy, few people know that this everyday herb is loaded with fiber, iron and helps cleaning all heavy metals from the body. Cilantro, also known as coriander, is also capable of reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, and balancing blood sugar.
Mint has been used in medicines from ancient times, and a popular herb that has been used in toothpaste, gum, candy, and tea, etc. since it has one of the highest antioxidant capacities. It is a popular aid for indigestion, upset stomach, and gastric attack as well.
Adding Vegetables to Quinoa Pulao Recipe
When it comes to adding vegetables to a pulao recipe, you can go all out or just add a little. I personally prefer to add a lot of vegetables and that is what makes it a nutritious balanced one-pot meal. In this quinoa pulao recipe, I have used onions, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and peppers. All easily available in most local grocery stores if not already in your kitchen fridge.
Spices used in Quinoa Pulao
Another element that makes this recipe really simple is spices. All spices used in this recipe are common hose hold spices that can be found in most kitchens. In this recipe, I have used asafetida, cumin seeds, salt, red chili powder and coriander powder.
Mint-Flavored Quinoa Pulao
Mint flavored green paste:
- 110 g Onion 1 medium size sliced
- 100 g Cauliflower florets – 1 cup
- 90 g Broccoli florets – 1 cup
- 125 g Carrots 2 medium size sliced
- 150 g Peppers 1 cup mix color
- First of all cook quinoa till it is ¾ done and keep it aside.
- Boil chickpeas al dente, we don’t want mushy chickpeas keep it aside.
- Steam edamame pods shell them and keep it aside.
- Take all the ingredients for green paste and run into a blender and keep it aside.
- Heat some oil in a wide open pan, add hing and cumin seeds wait till seeds cracked.Mint-Flavored Protein Packed Quinoa Pulao Enhance Your Palate
- Add sliced onions and fry it for 2-3 minutes.
- Following that add cauliflower and broccoli florets cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat.
- After that add carrots, mix peppers, edamame and mix everything.
- Sprinkle all the spices and give it a good stir.
- Now add green paste.
- Cook for another 5 minutes.
- After that add chickpeas and paneer, again mix everything.
- Finally, add quinoa mix, cover, switch off the heat and leave it for 10-15 minutes and let the steam work on absorbing all the flavors into the dish.
- Before serving sprinkle some lemon juice and enjoy.