Pongal has become one of our go-to comfort foods these days. I end up making a simple pongal with rice and moong dal or a simple pej(Congee with red rice) on many days when I do not want to cook elaborate meals. Some days when I want to make it more healthy, I add some vegetables to it, then it becomes a one pot complete meal (although my family prefers plain pongal, they don’t complain). Few days back, I added some quinoa to it, which turned out pretty good. I served this quinoa – vegetable pongal with our favorite huli gojju.
Read more about quinoa Â (and I do not know if it has any Indian names or if it is available in India). I hear so much about this protein packed, slightly bitter quinoa on TV, magazines etc. I have tried so many different dishes from it, but we have a long way to go before we can say we love it. So I usually try to hide it in some dish – it is a bit hard to hide because the quinoa smell comes out no matter where you add it. I feel it is a very acquired taste. My family is slowly warming up to it, when I add it in smaller quantities in other dishes.
I used matta rice/peje tandul here because it gives some body to pongal – I had first read about it at Mahanandi and loved the idea. It does not disappear like the normal white rice.
Here is a wonderful article about Quinoa and its health benefits.
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red boiled rice /matta rice/peje tandul
1/2 cup moong dal
1 cup vegetables – corn, peas, carrots
1/2 tea spn black pepper
3-4 green chillies
A pinch tamarind
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
A pinch asafoetida(hing)
4-5 curry leaves
A pinch turmeric
Wash quinoa in cold water couple of times. Wash rice and moong dal. Keep aside.
Heat ghee and add cumin seeds, green chillies, pepper, curry leaves. Fry for min and then add asafoetida.
Add the vegetables and fry for a minute.
Then add quinoa, moong dal, rice, salt, turmeric fry for another minute. Now add 4-5 cups of water (start with 4 and if you want it more watery consistency, add one more). Cook till rice and vegetables are done. I normally cook it in rice cooker.
Serve hot with your favorite sidedish.
Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 45 mins
PS: If you do not find quinoa, leave it out and follow the remaining recipe.