Roughly about 18 years ago, I received my first credit card in an envelope posted from the United of the Kingdoms. You know Mr. A was crunching numbers there, so he decided to send me a grey and blue plastic card (I think so, to impress me), with my maidenly name on it – poor (not then, but now) Mr. A, little did he know that his Desi damsel was to use this cash in hand machine like no one’s business.
What this number cruncher also doesn’t know is that in the recent past my credit card has been swiped insanely, stupendously and religiously for this one grocery item, Quinoa (keen-wah)! Thank God banks don’t display shopping lists on their statements, otherwise mein ‘keen wah’ key peechay tabah ho jaati.
Although this protein rich, gluten free grain is about 7000 years old (Allah tobah, so many years before Christ), I was introduced to Quinoa, only a couple of years ago and since then has been fanatically addicted to it. In fact, I am thinking, Mr. A might want to put me into rehab for this.
I recently made a speech to a group of foodies (Mr. A was amongst the crowd also), explaining and selling the benefits of Quinoa in our diet. Number cruncher wasn’t too sold on the idea; however, I could see faint glimmers of excitement in the audience. This low calorie grain, grown primarily in Bolivia and Peru has gained worldwide acclaim because of its versatility, high protein, antioxidant, essential vitamins and minerals content.
Although there are hundreds of cultivated types of quinoa, this nutritionally rich grain is most commonly sold in red, white and black varieties. Quinoa is so adaptable and multifaceted that in can be incorporated into any meal of the day. In fact, I am thinking, if the credit card permits, perhaps I should devote an entire series to this little king. What say?
Cooked in the same way as rice, it is always a good idea to rinse it thoroughly before cooking. Cooked quinoa refrigerates well and can be used in a stir-fry, as a topping on salads or mixed with milk, dates and honey for a hearty breakfast. Featuring below is a recipe with cooked quinoa, succulent prawns, rich coconut milk, Thai red paste and green earthy coriander.