I was craving quinoa recently and decided to make a very simple but flavorful recipe that uses ingredients that are in your pantry. I like to include it in my family’s diet because of its healthy properties. It is high in protein and fiber, includes an impressive array of vitamins and minerals as well as being low in gluten. This grain is easy to cook, like rice.
This recipe for Spiced Quinoa with Almonds has three basic steps. First the quinoa is cooked in water that has been seasoned with onion, garlic and cumin seeds. While the quinoa is cooking, I fry a few sliced almonds that will add a nice crunch to the finished dish.
The last step is the most important in the recipe. It is a traditional process in Indian cuisine and can be found in some form in most recipes. Spices are tempered, fried in hot oil, and then poured over the dish. As the tempered spices are added, the hot oil sizzles when it encounters the water in the quinoa. It makes a glorious sizzle! The purpose of tempering spices is to bring out their aroma and flavor when added to the dish. In some recipes, tempered spices are added at the beginning of the cooking process to flavor the cooking oil.
In my Spiced Quinoa with Almonds recipe I use tri-colored quinoa. This is a blend of the three varieties: red, black and white. I use it simply for the color since there is not a difference in flavor between the three that I can detect. The major differences are in the cooking times differ and texture with the white quinoa cooking the fastest and most tender while the black grain takes a few extra minutes to cook and has a crunchier texture. Using a blend of the three gives a variety of texture.