March 5, 2016

Quinoa Shrimp Pilaf

The beauty of making pilafs are that they are a one pot dish.
Prep your ingredients, add the masala and quinoa; cook on low heat! You may use the crock pot if you like. The key to a great pilaf is slow cooking. You can use it anyway you like, as a holiday dinner or as light breakfast/lunch.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Serves 4
2 cups shrimp, cleaned, deveined and tail off
2 cups quinoa
4 cups of chicken/vegetable stock, or boiling water
1 cup ripe tomatoes diced
1 cup fresh/frozen peas
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped or grated
6 to 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced
1 cup onions, diced
A few sprigs of cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp whole garam masala (1/2 inch cinnamon, 2 cardamoms, 4 cloves, 1 tsp fennel seeds)
1 tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp ghee/oil
Salt, to taste.


  • Pour quinoa on a sieve and rinse the grains in cold running water for about a minute; set aside. 
  • Add ghee into a medium pan. Over medium heat, add the whole garam masala, and fennel seeds. Let them roast in ghee for a minute.
  • Stir in chopped ginger, garlic, and onions. Once they turn soft, add chopped tomato. 
  • Saute on medium-high till they are soft and pulpy. About 3 minutes.
  • Toss in the shrimp. Saute until the shrimp turn light pink. Add the powders (chili powder, turmeric and salt); Stir it around. Add  quinoa, roast the entire mixture for about 3 minutes. Add in the peas
  • To this mixture, pour 4 cups of boiling hot water or stock. Bring to a rolling boil on high for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the lime juice, then, cover the simmering mixture on low heat for the next 10-12 minutes. All the liquid should have evaporated. 
  • Test to see if the quinoa is flaky/cooked. If it is watery, let it stay on low heat for a few more minutes. Turn off the heat. Smear the top of the pilaf with  some ghee just before it is served. Enjoy it hot!