Indian Dinner :: Peas Pulao

indian dinner - peas pulao 600x400 Indian food isn’t Indian food without rice. I get that. But I’ve tried to move away from white food {rice, potatoes, bread}…. you get the picture. Quinoa has proved a great substitute for my starchy favorites. So I played with my beloved Peas Pulao {typically made with white basmati rice} to come up with an acceptable substitute. Oh, yum! Quinoa carries the delicious flavors of the spices*, cilantro and cashews, and makes a terrific base for the Chicken Tikka Masala I posted earlier this week. An added bonus? It’s ready in a fraction of the time that basmati rice takes to prepare! indian dinner - flowers

Peas Pulao
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped small yellow onion
  • 1 tsp cumin seed {not ground cumin}
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 whole cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1½ cup quinoa
  • 2½ cups water {or stock}
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • salt & pepper
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped cashews
  1. In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in spices and stir gently until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add quinoa and cook 1 minute. Add water or stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until water is almost absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in peas and finish cooking until water is completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Top with cashews and cilantro and serve.

* I’ve updated this recipe since the original post, adding some different spices for a deeper Indian flavor.

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