Quinoa, is a very healthy food! Quinoa is rich source of dietary fiber, iron, protein, several B vitamins and dietary minerals nutrients. It is also gluten free. Cooking it correctly is quite tricky. Some says to cook quinoa perfectly, use 1:2 ratio(1 part quinoa/2 parts liquid(water or broth)). The packet I buy every time, its says use 1:2.5 ratio. I have also seen them saying to drain the water after cooking for sometime. But I think, draining water means.. removing all the nutrients from the quinoa which I definitely don’t wanna do.
I’ve tried cooking quinoa with both portion but without draining the water. Here are the things I noticed.. If you cook quinoa at 1:2 ratio and even if you cook till all water gets absorbed, you will see the seed is transparent from outside and little white at the center which means it’s al-dente/ or under cooked. It doesn’t taste very good.
Cooking with 1:2.5 ratio, takes bit longer to cook because you have to make it dry, not watery. But with this ratio until it cooks completely, I feel the seeds becomes mushy and it also doesn’t taste good. There is also a confusion about weather it should be washed or not? What I find is, Quinoa has some bitter coating which can make it taste bitter when you cook it, so always wash it using very fine strainer. There are some packets we get says, washed. So if its already wash there is no need to wash it again but still if you wish, you can wash it. Also the most important thing is cooking quinoa for longer reduces it nutrients.
So, here I’m sharing my perfect way to cook quinoa perfect, fluffy and tasty.
1/2 Cup raw quinoa(I have sprouted and pre washed quinoa)
1 1/4 cup water/broth
salt as per taste
1/4-1/2 Tsp clarified butter/ghee/oil
In a thick bottomed pan, boil water. Once water starts to boil add salt, clarified butter and quinoa. Give it s good stir and cover it. Now reduce the flame on low heat, let it cook for around 15-18 minute or quinoa cooks completely(The wholes mixture will be almost triple in its size). Remove from the heat, let it cool for sometime and your fluffy, tasty quinoa is ready(you will see the seed is translucent and the white germ in visible).
1) The heat should be on medium to low heat(place the knob’s marking in the center of medium to low), otherwise it can burn the quinoa very fast.
2)Quinoa needs very little salt, so be careful adding salt to it.
3) Adding clarified butter/oil makes quinoa tasty and all the seeds will be separated(same as we want rice for biryani).
4) To know the quinoa is cooked. Take very small portion of it and see if you got a transparent but not mushy seeds. If seeds can be easily mushed, know you have over cooked it. Also if you are seeing a tine white part in quinoa seed, It’s still uncooked and it needs to be cooked for more time. But always make sure not to overcook it.
5) 1/2 Cup quinoa yields 1 1/2 Cup cooked quinoa.