Indian-spiced Chicken Quinoa Pilaf
I’ve made this a couple of times now, this time with a heavy tweak, and I feel like I’ve got it pinned. Boyfriend gave it his official seal of approval, which is a good litmus test for healthy recipes. Dog looked very interested, as you can see in the photo above, but she offers this level of interest for all foods, so that doesn’t say much.
Anyway. This recipe’s a cracker. Really warm and hearty, great for a rainy Sunday.
It’s based on this recipe from Taste, but I halve the quinoa they specify and it really makes it extra punchy.
Ingredients (serves about 3)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 400g deboned chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbs finely grated ginger
- 1 long fresh green chilli, seeded, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1/2 cup of green beans, chopped to about 3cm lengths
- 1/2 cup toasted cashews and/or almonds
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped coriander
- Natural yoghurt, to serve
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add half the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until brown all over. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat in another batch with remaining chicken.
- Add onion to pan and cook, stirring, until onion softens and begins to brown. Add garlic, ginger, chilli, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add quinoa, stock and chicken; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat. Scatter peas and beans over quinoa. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Add nuts and coriander; gently toss until just combined.
- Spoon the pilaf onto serving plates. Serve immediately with a dollop of yoghurt
A note on buying yoghurt
The yoghurt aisle seems so fraught with missteps! So much deceptive labelling, ‘Low Sugar’ filled with fat and weird chemicals or ‘Low Fat’ filled with sugar.
For this recipe I used Jalna BioDynamic Organic Yoghourt. My process for picking yoghurt is pretty much to check the fat and sugar percentages on the packaging and avoid anything gnarly - they should both be under 10%, and the Jalna comes in under 5% for both. You’ll usually find that the ‘natural’ ones are more reasonable than the flavoured options labelled as diet.
I also really dig the Barambah Organics Natural Yoghurt - they do a Bush Honey variety for the sweet toothed among you that is both acceptable in terms of sugar content and totally delicious.