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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Q for Quinoa

I must say, I have been pretty obsessed with quinoa for a couple of months. I first laid my eyes on quinoa last autumn in France in a small supermarket in Villereal. Curious to know what it's like and how I can cook it, I have been reading about quinoa on various food blogs. Quinoa is neither couscous nor rice. It has the texture of sago, yet it's not starchy. To clarify, quinoa stands out on its own. When you taste it raw, it somehow reminds you of freshly crushed apricot seeds. It's crisp and grassy.

This is my quinoa food log :) as it's the first time I cooked this wonderful Incas grain.

Quinoa milk pudding with honey and orange blossom water

Last night I opened a bag of quinoa, I poured a cupful into a bowl and covered with water. I let it soak for at least ten hours.

Type of cuisine: Vegetarian, The Americas/Fusion

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Difficulty: very easy

This pudding is extremely easy to make because basically all you need is quinoa and milk.

a cup of quinoa, soaked overnight

two cups of milk (or more)


4 spoonfuls of single cream (optional)

honey or brown sugar

orange blossom water


Bring the milk, honey and vanilla to boil. Reduce the heat when the milk reaches simmering point and add the quinoa. Work in the grains. Mix constantly to avoid sticking. The quinoa will absorb a lot of milk, so you will need to add some more during cooking time, around 40 minutes. Just before you finish, add the single cream, which will make the pudding extra creamy and smooth. Two large spoons of orange blossom water and more honey (or brown sugar) to taste will accent your quinoa pudding. 

Decorate with small pieces of apricot, pear, mango, papaya or any fresh exotic fruit you have around. 

My verdict
Overall, I simply loved this pudding and I think I'm now hooked on quinoa forever. I will certainly try a savoury dish as well, as I believe it's very versatile. 

While I was waiting for the quinoa to simmer, I started experimenting with it in a separate bowl: I mixed some pudding with chocolate. Bad idea. The chocolate kills the freshness of quinoa. 

Quinoa is a little demanding, so mix continually and watch over it with hawk eyes. It's worth it :)

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