Quinoa Pulao for Navratri? Do we eat that during our fasts?
If you are also wondering that then let me tell you that this recipe is for fasting only. Quinoa is one food item that can be consumed during Navratri fasts (vrat). Quinoa is not a grain, legume, or pulse. It is a seed. So, just like we consume samak ke chawal, singhade ka aata (chestnut flour), kuttu ka aata (buckwheat flour), similarly we can consume quinoa too.
This Navratri fasting, try this quick, easy and delicious quinoa pulao that is loaded with veggies. It is very simple and light yet tastes delicious. Fasting can be fun and healthy at the same time.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa has been introduced into the western diet only recently and it is described as a superfood. But humans have been eating quinoa for 7000 years (source: www.nutritionfacts.org). Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal or technically a seed. It is exceptionally nutritious with high protein content compared to cereals.
Quinoa is also rich in vitamin B complex, vitamin E & C, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, zinc, copper, and sodium. It contains fibers too. And those who are on diet and need to reduce weight, this is just for you. It is gluten-free too. Perfect, isn’t it?
If you are in a hurry, watch the video instead. If you like the video, then please Subscribe to the Youtube channel too.
How to cook Quinoa?
Rinse quinoa once with some water.
In a pan, add quinoa (one part) and water (two parts). Add some salt (or sendha namak for fasting) to taste. Cook on high flame till it comes to a boil. Once it starts boiling, simmer the flame, cover it and let it cook till all the water is absorbed. Once it is done, let it cool down and then fluff using a fork. Using hot quinoa for recipes makes it mushy and sticky.
Make sure the quantity of water is double the quantity of quinoa. You will notice a change in texture once completely cooked. They become translucent and look like tiny pearls 🙂
Can we eat Quinoa during fasting?
As I already mentioned above, quinoa is a superfood that can be consumed during Navratri fasts (vrat). It is not a grain, legume, or pulse. It is a seed or a pseudo-cereal. So, just like we consume samak ke chawal, singhade ka aata (chestnut flour), kuttu ka aata (buckwheat flour), we can consume quinoa too during fasts.
It is just that quinoa has never been marketed as a fasting ingredient. In the Indian market, we only know about some common food items like Samak, buckwheat flour, and chestnut flour. But if you want another healthy food to be included in your diet during the fasting season, give this a try. It is nutritious, and wholesome and keeps you energetic during fasting time.
What food items are allowed (or not) in Navratri?
There are two main food items that are not consumed during the Navratri season – onion and garlic. They are considered Tamsik in nature and hence to be avoided. If you are fasting, then you are not allowed to consume lentils, grains, any grain flour like whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour, salt, canned food, and the food prepared using onion and garlic. Non-vegetarian food items including eggs are also not allowed. Devotees also prefer not to smoke or drink alcohol during these nine days.
Apart from that, you can consume dairy products like curd, milk, paneer, vegetables like potato, tomato, arbi, cucumber, carrot, bottle gourd, eggplant, etc. You can even consume coconut, nuts, and seeds. Spices like turmeric powder, red chili powder, cardamom, ajwain, etc. are also allowed.
Moreover, everybody has their own beliefs and follows their own rules. In my opinion, there is nothing right or wrong, allowed or not allowed. You can simply follow what you want. When I was in the hostel, we used to have food prepared with onion and garlic. That is what has been served to us. So, alter the recipe below as per what you eat during the Navratri season.
- Vegetables: Add any vegetable that you consume in the fasting season like potato, tomato, etc.
- Quinoa: Replace quinoa with vrat wale chawal (samak ke chawal).
Is this recipe vegan?
Yes. Of course.
This vegetable quinoa pulao recipe is vegan and plant-based. Generally, some ghee is added in pulao at the end for some extra flavor but I don’t add it.
This pulao tastes good with some curd on the side and if you are a vegan, you can use plant-based curd that is suitable for fasts too. I prefer soy curd.
How to serve quinoa pulao?
You can serve this pulao with curd or you can even make raita that is suitable for fasting too. Try the recipe for beetroot raita and enjoy it with this pulao. Just replace salt with sendha namak.
Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make this delicious meal for your Navratri fasting season. It is quick, easy, and very tasty. Let’s enjoy this happy meal over lunch or dinner.
If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @thefearlesscooking. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.
Happy Cooking 🙂
Love from us
Richa & Jatin
Navratri Fasting Recipe – Quinoa Pulao
Wholesome Fasting Recipe
- 1/2 cup Quinoa
- 3/4 cup Water to cook quinoa
- 1 cup Cabbage chopped
- 1/2 cup Carrot chopped
- 1/2 cup French Green Beans chopped
- 1 cup Mixed Bell Pepper (optional)
- 1/2 cup Paneer cut into small cubes
- 1 tsp Ginger grated
- 1 to 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/4 cup Roasted Peanuts
- A Few Curry Leaves
- 2 Dry Red Chilli
- Salt (Sendha Namak) to taste
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper Powder
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/2 cup Coriander Leaves chopped, to garnish
- Rinse quinoa one to two times with water.
- Add quinoa, salt, and water to a saucepan and let it come to a boil.
- Once boiled, simmer and cook till water is absorbed and quinoa is well-cooked. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. Fluff using a fork.
- Heat some oil in a pan. Once the oil is heated, add cumin seeds and ginger. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add curry leaves, roasted peanuts, and dry red chili and saute for a few seconds.
- Add all the chopped veggies - cabbage, carrot, mixed bell pepper, and french green beans - and paneer. Saute for around 5-7 minutes on medium-low flame.
Do not overcook the veggies. Keep them crunchy. Add any vegetable that you eat during the fasting season.
- Once veggies are cooked, add boiled quinoa, sendha namak (salt), and black pepper. Mix well. Cover and cook for around 7-10 minutes on low flame.
- Switch off the flame and add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix well and serve right away. Enjoy :)