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.

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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!

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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