Sweet Quinoa Pulao ( Inspired by the aromatic 'Kanika' from Odisha )

In the Coastal pasts of Odisha, it is almost 'du rigueur' to prepare arua-dalma-khatta on the festival days. When one is abstaining from onion and garlic, it makes sense to prepare a combination that is light and well as tasty. But having grown up in Western Odisha, I am more inclined towards having a sweet pulao (kanika) / khechudi and alu-dum on such days. Much of our taste preferences are acquired during our growing years and hence we often balk at the thought of trying out new ingredients or combinations. That was pretty much the case with me before I started blogging and turned really adventurous with food. So it was no surprise to me when this combination was initially met with raised eyebrows at my in-laws home but they too loved it after trying it for the very first time ! However it is another story that they would pick the dalma-khatta combination if they have a choice.

So, on last Sankranti, I thought of preparing the a sweet pulao and aludum (without onion-garlic) for lunch. Just as I opened the cupboard to take out the rice, I glanced at the half used packet of quinoa that had been lying used for sometime. Since the cooking methods is rather similar, I decided to swap the rice with quinoa to give my meal a healthy twist.

So, here is the recipe of 'Sweet Quinoa Pulao' or 'Quinoa Kanika' -


















Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 4-5 pepperorns
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 2 inch cinnamon
  • 1 petal of mace
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar ( adjust as per taste )
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • pinch of turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tsp chopped cashews
  • 3 tsp raisins

Preparation - Wash the quinoa under running water. Let it soak for 30 mins. Drain.

Cooking - Heat the ghee in a deep saucepan. Add the whole spices and wait till they turn fragrant.

Drop in the cashews and raisins. Fry for 20 seconds .

Add the rinsed and drained quinoa to the saucepan. Roast it for 5 mins to give it brownish shade and also to ensure that it's typical smell goes off. Now add 2 cups water and let it cook uncovered . Once it is almost 80 percent done, add the sugar and salt.

Once the water is absorbed, fluff it up .

Serve warm with the aludum or just it itself.

















Note - It is important to wash the quinoa with plenty of water so that the bitterness goes off.


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