Although quinoa is technically a seed, it is known as a pseudo-grain due to it light and fluffy nature. Quinoa is a great nutrient-rich alternative when you want a change of pace from your everyday rice or cereal grain. On its own, quinoa has a very mild and slightly nutty taste, but as the name of this recipes suggests, this particular dish is spicy, extremely flavorful, and a delicious complement to a wide range of meals!
If you haven’t explored the vast health benefits of quinoa yet, you will quickly see why this “grain” is an excellent alternative to almost any cereal grain. Quinoa is known as a perfect protein since it provides us with each of the essential amino acids that are body cannot produce on its own. In addition, quinoa is a great source of fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, omega-3s, and antioxidants. It is low on the glycemic index indicating it can be useful in stabilizing blood sugar levels, and beneficial for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Quinoa is said to be a tonic for the heart due to its ability to lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels.
Sesame seeds are another heavy hitter in the world of healthy eating and provide us with additional protein, fiber, vitamins, and essential minerals (great for women’s health and bone health!). The black pepper, cumin, and brown mustard seed add in a deliciously spicy kick and make this recipe great for the digestion, circulation, and detoxification.
Due to the light, heating nature of these ingredients, this recipe is very beneficial to eat during cleansing programs, illness, and digestion issues. Although many grain recipes can be Kapha-provoking, this spicy quinoa recipe is reducing for Kapha, making it great when experiencing weight issues, congestion, sluggish digestion, and general feelings of heaviness. Overall this spicy recipe can be enjoyed by Vata and Kapha types during the fall, winter, and early spring seasons; but sadly due to the fairly extreme heating properties of the ingredients, should be avoided by Pitta types (or those with a Pitta imbalance), as well as during the hot summer months.
Spicy Sesame Quinoa Recipe
- Medium sauce pan
- Small frying pan
- Spice grinder or blender
- Measuring spoons and cups
For the quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 2 teaspoons ghee, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the seasoning
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds (use 2 tablespoons for Kapha)
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, whole
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed, whole
- 1 1/2 teaspoons brown mustard seed, whole
Preparing the quinoa
- Place the water in a medium sauce pan and bring it to a boil.
- While waiting, rinse the quinoa under warm water to wash off any debris and starches.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and add in the quinoa, 1 teaspoon of ghee, and salt. Stir well and cover the pan, leaving a slight crack in the lid to avoid overflow.
- Cook here for 12 minutes, covering the lid completely around 6 minutes.
- Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the hot burner. Add in 1 teaspoon of ghee and stir well. Cover the pan and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the quinoa to fluff.
Preparing the seasoning
- Place the sesame seeds, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, and brown mustard seeds in a spice blender and blend for 1 minute until a powder is formed. If a spice grinder is not available, you can use a blender.
- Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat.
- Once hot, add in the powdered spice blend and dry roast for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring very frequently.
- Add the powdered spices to the cooked quinoa and stir until the quinoa is evenly coated.
- Serve this quinoa as a spicy base to any dal recipe, or top it with any vegetable or curry dish.
Pairing tip: This spicy quinoa recipe makes a great complement to many dishes including the Tridoshic Red Lentil Dal, Simply Steamed Veggies, Cooling Coconut and Kale Sauté, Sautéed Kale with Golden Tahini Sauce, Spicy Spinach, Kale, And Cauliflower Curry, Coconut Cilantro Chutney, and Vata-Soothing Root Veggie Stew. It is also pairs delightfully with any dal, sambar, or veggie sauté, or can be a tasty snack or light meal all on its own!