I'm on a constant quest to add more protein to my diet, difficult since I'm vegetarian and allergic to dairy. Paneer works but there's only so much paneer I can eat before feeling that life is no longer worth it.
Quinoa with vegetables was recommended to me by the health practitioners I'm seeing. I've had quinoa salads quite often and like them but I like my spicy foods and honestly, it's difficult to make salad that spicy.
Being from Karnataka which has a variety of vegetable bhaths on offer, I decided to experiment with Quinoa Vangibhath and I'm delighted to say it was a hit - I've had it two days on the trot without getting bored.
Vangi Bhath is typically a rice dish made with white rice, brinjals and a special spice mix. My parents have begun using MTR vangi Bhath powder and it is absolutely delicious. Moreover it uses byadgi chillies for that fresh red colour which makes the dish look appetizing as well. Other vangi Bhath powders don't make the cut as they don't appeal to my palate so for this dish I've switched to buying the branded masala instead of making it at home.
1 cup cooked quinoa ( I do the presoak before cooking to get rid of any bitterness)
1 cup mixed cubed vegetables ( carrots, beans, capsicum, a little potato if you like, peas). You can also add long brinjals, cut into long, thin slices.
1.5 tsp oil (I use cold pressed groundnut oil for everyday cooking)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds1/
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Handful curry leaves
Salt to taste (I use powdered rock salt)
Chili powder if desired
1 tbsp MTR vangi Bhath powder
Heat the oil in a wok. Add the cumin seeds. When they start to crackle, add the turmeric powder and curry leaves. Once the leaves crisp up, add the veggies and saute until they are cooked but still a little crunchy. Add the cooked quinoa, the vangi Bhath powder and salt. Stir to mix and let sit for half an hour till the flavours are well absorbed.
Serve hot with a slice of lemon per serving, if anyone wants to add a dash on top. It makes a complete meal with a simple raita.