Quin-oha

by Khushboo on September 2, 2013

The longer I live in Bombay, the more I seem to develop a liking towards Indian food.  While I am yet to crave popular dishes like butter chicken, saag aloo or baingan bharta, I’ve started to embrace a handful of dishes.  One of which is Poha i.e. my go-to lunch or dinner 3 to 4 times a week.

Poha with Scrambled Eggs

Poha with Scrambled Eggs & Zucchini

If you haven’t tried/heard of it, Poha is a Maharashtrian dish that is made from flattened rice, vegetables, onions, potatoes and various spices.  It’s often eaten for  breakfast/brunch or as a snack.  Trust me to go against the norm and eat is as lunch or dinner ;).  Although wholegrain rice flakes, as well as oats specifically made for poha, are now available, I tend to stick with regular white rice flakes. If I want to switch things up, I prefer to replace the rice flakes with quinoa, resulting in Quin-oha.

photo 3

Is it me or does any dish involving quinoa automatically get marketed as a “Superfood meal”.  This dish certainly fits the bill, but I am attributing its superfood status more to the use of turmeric, mustard seeds and curry leaves.  Although their health benefits are often overlooked, they are more potent than I realised:

  • As a good source of vitamin A, curry leaves promote good sight.  Extracts of curry leaves can also reduce chemotherapy and radiation side effects. (Source)
  • Mustard seeds contain selenium and magnesium, both which can help reduce blood pressure , the risk of cancer and the frequency of migraine attacks (Source)
  • Turmeric can help treat digestive issues such as stomachaches, excessive gas, diarrhea, and excessive bloating.   It is also a natural remedy for chest disease such as the common cold, bronchitis, and chest infections (Source)

photo 4

Especially as this is really quick to make and lasts up to 4 days in the refrigerator, I prefer to make multiple servings at once to use for lunches/dinners during the week.  Pair a serving with a couple of eggs, Greek yogurt or a breast of chicken and consider that a well-rounded, meal…not to mention flavorful!

Quin-oha Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup each of finely diced green beans, onions & carrots
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peanut (or sunflower) oil
  • 1 ½  teaspoons mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsps lemon juice
  • Crushed peanuts (optional)
  • Finely chopped coriander (optional)

Method

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat & add mustard seeds.  Once they start to splutter, add the curry leaves, green chili, and onions.  Stir over medium heat till the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Then add in the carrots, beans, turmeric & salt. Sauté for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Mix in the quinoa and lemon juice and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes, till the dish has warmed through.
  4. Depending on your preferences, garnish with peanuts & coriander (Obviously the latter is a no-go in my Poha Quin-oha 😉 ).

What’s your favorite grain?

Indian food- yay or nay?

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Reena September 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Looks yummm!!!

I can never get my quinoa to be perfectly cooked.. Its either soggy or little under cooked…

But I love it in any form!!

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Ah I used to have that problem too- stick with the ‘1 part quinoa to 2 parts water’ ratio and you’re golden!

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Lucie@FitSwissChick September 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm

That sounds like a superfood meal indeed! I love Quinoa – especially sweet 🙂 I mix it in greek yogurt with cacao powder, stevia and cinnamon – and you have a sweet meal that counts as dessert too!
I love Indian Food, but my stomach doesn’t so much. Still, I go for Indian Food once in a while, the taste&smell is just sooo delicious!

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Ooh I never think to have quinoa in sweet form but your combo sounds great…even more so if some PB is added 😉

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Arman @ thebigmansworld September 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I love Indian food, but homemade as opposed to store bought! I find restaurant versions are very heavy and make me feel uncomfortable!

That recipe looks like an absolute winner- and you bet I’ll be making it this week. And I’ll join you on the lunch/dinner bandwagon- I can’t see myself eating it for breakfast!

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:46 pm

OOh lemme know what you think if you do end up making it 🙂

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Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen September 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I’ve never had Indian food from a restaurant, but in the past year I decided to experiment a bit with Indian cooking and tried channa masala and a lentil dahl. I really liked both. And I know I’d like this dish too – it looks delicious!

My favourite grain is short grain brown rice. I could seriously eat it every day.

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:47 pm

I’m so impressed that you made both those dishes- I am yet to learn how to make either 🙂

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Truth be told, I’m a complete stranger to Indian food. I’ve played around with curry and Indian spices on a few occasions, but let’s be honest – I had no idea what I was doing 😆 That being said, this dish sounds delicious, and I’d be over in a heartbeat if you were making it for dinner… as long as you left out the peanut oil 😉

As for favourite grain, does oatmeal count? If not, then white rice. I know brown is supposed to be better for ya, but I can’t deny that I love the taste of white.

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Errr of course oats count…otherwise I’ll have to rethink my favorite grain 😉

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Alex @ therunwithin September 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I have never had indian food, I know! and I love spicy stuff. I think I just need to go with someone who knows all about it because I am so foreign to it

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:48 pm

If you love spicy stuff, you will be a huge fan of Indian food 🙂

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karina September 2, 2013 at 7:31 pm

You meal pics make me more anxious to come home and eat my heart out! This looks like such a yum easy meal to make. Def going to give it a try this week as have all ingredients at home.

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:48 pm

17 days to go <3

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Alex@Veggin' Out September 2, 2013 at 8:35 pm

YUM!! Indian food is one of my favorites! I didn’t know about all the benefits of the spices. Between them and the quinoa, this dish is THE definition of super food! 😛 There are lots of grains I love – quinoa, brown rice, bulgar, oats… But oats are probably my favorite. Well actually, it depends on how they’re cooked. Cafeteria oats? Ew, they hardly even count as oats!

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Haha your cafeteria oats sound like the oatmeal they used to serve in boarding school- SO unappetizing!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 2, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Annnnd you’re making me crave Indian food. I figured that the quinoa would make it a ‘superfood’ but I had no idea about the other seasonings…good to know! I would probably have to go with brown rice as my grain of choice, just because I always have it available in the house!

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Fortunately brown rice is also becoming increasingly available in restaurants too 🙂

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Brittany September 2, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I LOVE Indian food, the spices are AMAZING!! This dish looks sooooo good, and I love that you incorporated quinoa!!

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Definitely try this out- I think you’ll love it 🙂

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honeywhatscooking September 2, 2013 at 10:20 pm

looks so goooooooood… i love making poha with quinoa too, it’s so much healthier. love your healthier twist with carrots and beans. 🙂 such a cool name – quin-oha!

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Haha I’m glad you appreciate my dorky sense of humor 😉

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z@ kickingkilos September 2, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I do love roti and korma…but I prefer eating the nom indian goods. God, if I had to eat dal or saag everyday I would have been twice as heavy(roti with ghee)
I am starting to.like quinoa mainly as it keeps me full for a good amount of time.
Nice recipe…will try it soon.
zainab

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

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Nikhita September 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Brown rice is my favorite grain, I’m such a huge rice eater it’s insane!! But I also love oats 🙂

And sometimes I crave Indian food, cause it can be comforting, but it’s way too fattening! Usually when I crave Indian spices I prefer things like tandoori chicken wraps, since they are so much lighter to digest!

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I’m completely with you on finding many of the typical Indian dishes too heavy…that’s one of the reasons why I rather eat Indian dishes that are homemade (versus at a restaurant).

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P September 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm

I love this take on Poha! Love the play on words too :)!

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Khushboo September 2, 2013 at 11:55 pm

“Quin-oha” was almost too easy to avoid 😉

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Ameena September 3, 2013 at 12:48 am

I love quinoa but I don’t know how to make it very well. This looks way more delicious than I could ever do.

And if I lived in Bombay? I’d be eating non-stop. I love Indian food!

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Khushboo September 3, 2013 at 8:51 am

Stick with the “2 part water to 1 part quinoa” ratio and that should do the trick- I used to always either over- or under-cook it but that ratio works like a charm every time!

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Priyanka September 3, 2013 at 2:17 am

That’s a great idea and a fantastic way to get a healthy fix for that poha craving.

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Khushboo September 3, 2013 at 8:52 am

Thanks Priyanka!

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ritu September 3, 2013 at 6:27 am

I love quinoa in any form. It is so easy to use it instead of rice in rice dishes. I have tried it for lemon rice, curd rice or tamarind rice. but never for poha. Thanks for posting.. I would love to try it.. I am a die hard poha fan.. can eat it always without getting bored..

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Khushboo September 3, 2013 at 8:52 am

Hope you enjoy it Ritu- quinoa really does work well in poha 🙂

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Meghan@Clean Eat Fast Feets September 3, 2013 at 6:42 am

I think the flavors in this bowl sound amazing. I’ll have to give this a try.

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Khushboo September 3, 2013 at 8:53 am

Let me know what you think 🙂

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 3, 2013 at 10:22 am

I love all of these flavors. I had no idea curry leaves were so beneficial – I cook with them ALL the time.

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Khushboo September 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

Ooh do you use them in any non-Indian dishes?

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 4, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Here’s one on my blog: http://www.sprint2thetable.com/recipage/?recipe_id=6045503. It’s “white girl” Indian. 😉

I put them in everything though – I even make a curry leaf kombucha. 🙂

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Khushboo September 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm

“White girl” Indian—> thank you for making my day hahahaha 😀

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Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com September 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Quin-oha sounds delightful, what a flavor and texture feast! Genius to add crushed peanuts! I just got me a handful of fresh turmeric and cannot wait to pair it up with quinoa which is hands down my fav grain! By the way -is flattened rice the same as arborio rice?
I love Indian food – the spices and smells – oh my!

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Khushboo September 4, 2013 at 10:32 am

Flattened rice is bigger than arborio rice- it’s almost the equivalent to rice flakes 🙂

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Alexis @ Hummusapien September 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I’ve never cooked with actual curry leaves, but I bet they lend incredible flavor. There are a lot of studies where I go to school being done about the benefits of turmeric in preventing cancer. There’s lots of research showing it’s preventative for Alzheimer’s, too! I loooove quinoa and curry, so I’ll be making this for sure.

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Khushboo September 4, 2013 at 10:33 am

Perhaps hospitals should look into adding curry to their menus 😉

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GiGi Eats Celebrities September 4, 2013 at 10:13 am

I actually cannot eat any grain, so I don’t have a favorite 🙁 And I won’t lie to you, when I was younger I was not a fan of Indian food except for NAAN, but now I cannot eat that either. Any dish that’s grain and dairy free, I will chow down on though now a days!

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Khushboo September 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

Hopefully you are a big meat-eater :)!

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Lisa September 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Quinoa! I love all things quinoa. It’s on of those foods that I swear tastes good any way you style it. I love that you incorporate quinoa into an Indian styled dish. Looks super yummy.
I’ve been a HUGE turmeric fan these days, so I bet I’d be all over this one!

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Khushboo September 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Have you tried quinoa in sweet form? I’ve been meaning to- I’ve heard rave reviews 🙂

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Tessa @ Amazing Asset September 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Quinoa is always OMG SUPERFOOD but you’re right, those other items mentioned are fantastic for you as well! I love pretty much any quinoa dish… well that’s not entirely true, it needs the correct seasonings and such haha. So basically I just contradicted myself. Anywayyyyy this looks like a winner in my book, so many interesting flavors and with the great consistency of quinoa? Delish.

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Khushboo September 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Hahah I completely concur with your thoughts on quinoa- it’s fantastic so long as it’s rightly seasoned 🙂

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Davida @ The Healthy Maven September 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Sufficiently salivating now! I would say quinoa is probably my go-to grain but I also really like millet! Lately I’ve been adding tumeric to everything since it’s an anti-inflamattory and my stupid leg keeps acting up. I’d like to believe it’s helping but who knows?!?!

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Khushboo September 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Oh man I’m sorry to hear about your leg! And whether or not the turmeric helps, one thing’s for sure: it can’t hurt 🙂

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Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness September 4, 2013 at 10:12 pm

quin-oha looks delicious!! i love the spin you put on it! i love indian food. i downright crave it often. and i keep hearing such wonderful things about turmeric, i really need to work it into my diet more.

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Khushboo September 5, 2013 at 9:35 am

Turmeric is pretty flavorless so I’m sure you’d be fine adding it to any of your dishes 🙂

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