If you want to eat more whole grains, this recipe for quinoa, chickpea, and pomegranate pilaf is a yummy choice. This beautiful salad is modelled on the pilafs of Middle Eastern cookery but uses quinoa rather than rice. It is a low-fat dish absolutely packed with health and nutrition. Pomegranate is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, chickpeas are also a superfood, and quinoa is the perfect substitute for rice as when cooked it has a fluffy creamy, slightly nutty texture. To make this extra special, if your calorie count allows it, stir some finely chopped garlic into some low-fat yoghurt and add a spoonful when serving.
Preparation time: 75 minutes
Cooking Time: None
Serves: 6 people
Energy: 237 calories per serving
Spice mill or mortar and pestle
Large serving dish
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 cup quinoa
1 cup cooked and drained chickpeas
100 grams pomegranate seeds
Handful of coriander leaves
Cook the Quinoa as directed.
Chop the onion.
Mince or finely chop the garlic.
Heat a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat.
Add the cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Toast them stirring or shaking the pan until they begin to smell fragrant.
Transfer to a spice mill. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then pulse to crush or coarsely grind. Set aside. If you haven’t got a spice mill use mortar and pestle.
Return the frying pan to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and salt, stir together for about half a minute.
Stir in the cumin seeds, and coriander seeds.
Add the remaining olive oil and stir in the quinoa, chickpeas, and 3 tablespoons of the pomegranate seeds.
Stir over medium heat to heat through for several minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning if required.
Roughly chop the coriander leaves and add to the mix.
Transfer to a platter or wide bowl and decorate with the remaining pomegranate seeds.