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.
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.
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)
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
- 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)
- 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.
- Then add in the carrots, beans, turmeric & salt. Sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Mix in the quinoa and lemon juice and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes, till the dish has warmed through.
- Depending on your preferences, garnish with peanuts & coriander (Obviously the latter is a no-go in my
PohaQuin-oha 😉 ).
What’s your favorite grain?
Indian food- yay or nay?