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Quinoa can rightfully be called a ‘superfood’. It contains quite high levels of protein so is very useful in a vegetarian/vegan diet. It is rich in calcium and other minerals like magnesium, iron and copper, and has very high levels of fibre. Eating quinoa regularly can help support the many people who have low levels of magnesium, such as those prone to migraines, digestive problems, and those with type-2 diabetes. Quinoa is a really versatile grain for use in soups, casseroles, salads, burgers, or as a high-protein breakfast porridge (great with walnuts!).  I hope you enjoy this recipe for Tandoori Spiced Quinoa!

Serves 4-6 as part of a buffet

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, plus extra for dressing quinoa
  • 170 grams quinoa
  • 340 ml lightly flavoured stock
  • 2 teaspoons of your favourite tandoori spice mix (I used green saffron)
  • ½ level teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamon pods, whole
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of ½-1 lime
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander
  • 100 grams cashew nuts, toasted and lightly crushed

Paneer Marinade

  • 150 grams paneer cheese, cut into 1cm lengths or diced
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated cooked beetroot
  • A small squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • A pnch of freshly ground toasted cumin seeds
  • A pinch of garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Seasoning
  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free – see Maggie’s tip
  • Diabetic friendly
  • Low GI
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
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Method

  1. First soak paneer in boiling water for 5 minutes to help soften its texture when cooked. Meanwhile, mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Drain and rinse paneer, then marinate it for at least half an hour or overnight – the longer the better!
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a saucepan. Add tandoori mix, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and cardamon, cook for 30 seconds, then add stock to saucepan and bring to simmer.
  3. Whilst stock is heating, rinse quinoa in a large bowl of water by swirling around, then rinse under a tap and add it to boiling stock. Give it a quick stir and then cover saucepan and bring to boil again. Cook on a low simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Ideally there should still be a little crunch in the grain. When a tiny white disc appears around the grains, the quinoa is ready. Drain any excess water.
  5. Let the quinoa sit for 5-10 minutes before fluffing up with a fork.
  6. Cook petit pois as per pack instructions, refresh in cold water and set aside until ready to combine.
  7. Dry roast the cashew nuts over low heat for 2-3 minutes, then lightly crush with mortar and pestle.
  8. Lightly fluff the quinoa and add lime juice, zest of lime, melted coconut oil and coriander. Mix through.
  9. Add half the cooked peas and crushed cashews, season to taste.
    Remove paneer from marinade and drain. Season with sea salt then grill on a heated pan until paneer has browned on the edges (around 5 minutes), turning once. Transfer to plate and keep warm.
  10. Spoon quinoa into a large serving dish and top with paneer, remaining petit pois and crushed cashews. Best served warm, but also good at room temperature.
  11. The mint and yoghurt raita adds a lovely creaminess to this dish.

Maggie's Tips

  • Use the above quinoa recipe as a base for other dishes and salads.
  • For dairy free or vegan version use tofu and follow paneer instructions.
  • For paleo add in roasted vegetables and omit the cheese.