In season: Quinoa

Cinu Chandran, executive chef, Urban Bistro, discusses using quinoa
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FOOD & BEVERAGE

What’s great about quinoa?

Quinoa is a super food that is currently trending in the food industry. It is known for being gluten-free, and high in protein and essential amino acids. Aside from being a nutrient rich food, quinoa also has a high fibre content, which makes it a popular choice for weight watchers.

How readily available is it in the region?

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There is high availability for quinoa in our market so it is quite easy to find. The price varies. If you prefer to buy organic, it is a bit more expensive.

What should you look for when buying quinoa?

Quinoa is sold in dried form and should be packed airtight and stored. If you are buying it from whole sale retailers, beware of any moisture.

Is it challenging to use?

It’s important that quinoa is washed thoroughly before cooking to avoid any unpleasant smell or taste, due to plant residues or outer coating. It is generally cooked like rice and drained before consuming, so it is important not to over boil the grain or it will turn mushy.

What’s the best way to use it?

Boiled quinoa can be added to many of your favourite salads. I like it to put quinoa in a pilaf with lots of crunchy nuts and veggies, like cherry tomatoes, edamame and bell peppers with a dash of extra virgin olive oil. It also goes very well with a nice homemade chicken curry (my mom’s favourite).

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