Spiced Quinoa With Onion, Garlic & Ginger

We’re all suffering from a lingering cough at the moment, so I fancied cooking something that at least felt healthy.

It’s really hot here too, so I decided to go for something fairly light as well & quinoa seemed the perfect candidate.  Quinoa, garlic, and onion.

Usually I would cook the quinoa first on its own and then add it to a frying pan with the onion & garlic in it.  This time I decided to do things the other way around and cook the quinoa with the already softened onion & garlic.

I started out by rinsing the quinoa to get rid of the bitter taste & left it in the sieve to drain.  I then chopped up the onion and put that in the saute pan (with some olive oil) on the same medium-high heat that I usually use for quinoa.

While the onion was softening I chopped up the cloves from half a bulb of garlic (what?  I really like garlic – and I’m ill – and garlic is good for you!)  I also got two heaped tablespoons of easy-cook ginger (finely sliced ginger in vinegar – but you could use fresh if you liked) and gave that a bit of a chop too to make the pieces smaller.

Once the onions started to go transparent, I added the garlic & ginger and cooked them until the vinegar had evaporated from the ginger.  At that point I added the spices and seasoning and stirred them in.  If I made this again then I might leave out the spices, or play with a different blend.

I added the rinsed quinoa and let it toast with the spices for ten minutes.  Normally I let it toast until it starts to pop, but with the moisture from the other ingredients it wasn’t popping, so I stopped when the onion started to go brown.

Spiced Quinoa 1

At this point I added the water and put the lid on the pan, leaving it to cook for ten minutes.  N.B. – It’s important to cover the quinoa, because otherwise you’ll lose too much water to evaporation before the quinoa has the chance to absorb it.

Spiced Quinoa 2

After ten minutes I took the lid off the pan and added some chopped cashew nuts, letting them toast lightly as I stirred the quinoa and let the excess moisture evaporate.  If you like your quinoa porridgey, then add more water & leave the lid on for more of the cooking time.  I prefer mine with a bit more substance!

Spiced Quinoa 3

Quinoa cooked, I then added a drizzle of chilli infused olive oil & some petit pois.

The (in)exact measurements I used were:

  • Quinoa up to the 10fl oz line on a measuring jug
  • 19fl oz of water (more if you like your quinoa mushy)
  • One medium onion
  • Half a bulb of garlic, finely chopped
  • Two heaped tablespoons of chopped ginger
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Spices:  I used 3/4 teaspoon of turmeric, a tiny dash of cloves and a sprinkling of nutmeg.  You could leave out the spices if you prefer.  I’d also suggest doing what I did – sniff all your spices and decide what you fancy & what will work well together!  I mix my spices & seasonings up in a small pot before adding them.  This helps prevent steam from the pan entering the spice container & causing it to clump together.

So there you go. 🙂

Spiced Quinoa 4

2 thoughts on “Spiced Quinoa With Onion, Garlic & Ginger

  1. No probs. 🙂

    It’s also nice rinsed & cooked with just under 2 cups lightly salted water to 1 cup quinoa & served with garlic infused olive oil, salt & black pepper to taste – and peas or other green veg.

    Or, you can rinse it and add it to soups or stews for the last ten to fifteen minutes of cooking time. It’s good in bean soups.

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