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Quinoa risotto with zeerish berries and tofu

This super grain quinoa was first introduced to me by my sis-in-law she bought it for me from Indianapolis before that I had never ever heard about it, it's difficult to find it in regular grocery stores, but now it's available with big stores. 
zeerish &quinoa 

I read somewhere that few days back quinoa was as mysterious as dark matter. Few could even pronounce the name of this ancient, disk-shaped “super grain” mistakenly calling it kwih-NO-ah (it’s KEEN-wah). It tasted a little strange, home cooks didn’t know what to do with it . 
But now quinoa is everywhere, everyone knows everything about it. You'll probably recognize its flavor and crunchy texture. When I was told that it’s not a grain at all, but rather a chenopod related to spinach and beets, I was extremely surprised. And amazed to know that worldwide demand for quinoa has become so high that many of those who live in the regions of Bolivia where the crop is grown can no longer afford to buy it. 
My first experience with it was very disappointing as the grain was not cooked properly and it's taste was pathetic as I was clueless how to cook and I cooked it as I cook rice, but the result was very different as all vegetables were over cooked and texture became very mashy. I didn't loose hope and after three four trials I got good results  and started experimenting with this "super grain", 

My favorite new quinoa obsession is transforming it into nice risotto , You boil it separately with a little salt on low flame drain and spread the tender grain on kitchen tissue to dry up,  toss them with seasonings and and vegetable of your choice. And enjoy as healthy breakfast . You can use them in salads, stir-fry dishes, pastas or anything else you might be inclined to finish with toasted bread crumbs or chopped nuts. I used cashew nuts as I love the crunchiness of roasted cashew. To give special flavor to it I added zeerish berries or berberis at the end. 

Quinoa Risotto


1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 garlic clove, pressed or chopped 
4-5 button mushrooms chopped or sliced
1 big capsicum chopped in small square pieces
1 small red or yellow bell pepper cut into small square 
1 tomato chopped in small square pieces 
1/4 cup  tofu cut into small pieces
1 tsp italian seasoning 
1 tsp dry barberries or zeerish berries ( soaked in water for 15- 20 min) 
7-8 whole cashew nuts 
Salt as required , black pepper 1/2 tsp 
2 big square pieces of tofu marinated and roasted 
3 teaspoons chopped fresh coriander 
For marination 
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp chilli garlic paste
1/2 tsp gram flour
Salt as per taste
A little red chilli powder

How To Proceed 

1. Bring 2 cups salted water to boil in medium saucepan. Add quinoa, reduce heat 
    to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender and water is absorbed, about
    minutes. Drain excess water and spread it on kitchen towel to dry up properly .
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 
    until onion begins to brown. Add garlic, stir for few seconds. Add mushrooms, 
     bell pepper and capsicum. 
3. Sauté until mushrooms and vege's  are tender. Add tofu pieces and tomatoes in  
4. Mix all ingredients of marination and marinate tofu in it for 5-6 min , heat I tbsp oil  
    in pan and roast marinated tofu on it till turn golden brown from both the 
    sides. keep aside. Roast cashew in same pan till light brown and crunchy keep 
5. Mix quinoa into mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper.  Add quinoa, 
    reduce heat to medium-low and mix properly. Add zeerish and mix well.( zeerish   
    or berberis ,Barberries are small currants that are often used in Persian cooking  
    And have a sweet and tangy taste).
6. Take out quinoa risotto in serving dish, topped with roasted cashew and    
    marinated tofu garnish with green coriander.


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