My Swedish neighbor's daughter likes to eat her cereal with yogurt. My Iranian neighbor make yogurt and eats it with finely sliced cucumber. My Polish colleague at works says he makes yogurt with 2 gallons of milk every week. He stays by himself with his family back in Canada. He also smuggled some of the starter yogurt (nothing fancy just a tablespoon of yogurt to be saved from your batch every time) across the border (shhhh! secret). All of them were beneficiaries of starter yogurt from me which itself was from my Andhra neighbor perhaps smuggled all the way from home.
Most Indians grow up eating yogurt from the time they are a few months old (unlike here in the US where you have to hold off feeding the baby milk products till they are a year old). I just turned the other way when I saw my mom or MIL feed both the kids yogurt contrary to the doctor's advice(before their first birthday).
A South Indian meal and for that matter a North Indian meal is not complete without some yogurt. In the South we eat yogurt mixed in with rice as a final course while in the North yogurt takes the form of a raita eaten throughout the meal. Delicious in their own unique ways.
It has been more than 10 years since I stopped buying yogurt. Only under extreme circumstances do I buy yogurt. The best brand is Stonyfield Farm Full Fat Plain yogurt. My only advice is if you have no choice and have to buy yogurt go for the full fat one, the fat free and low fat versions have a lot of sugar. Research shows that the sugar is the worst culprit compared to the fat at least in the yogurt.
I knew that yogurt was good but only after seeing this article did I realize that yogurt actually helps avoid adding on pounds. Read the full article and see the graphic about pounds gained and avoided. You guessed it potatoes get a bad rap again, boiled being not much better than fried. I like my potatoes and I am not going to give up on it that easily.
As for the recipe today, quinoa pudding is made with milk and not yogurt. You are forgiven if you did think that I made it with yogurt with all this talk about yogurt. The inspiration or the creative juices started flowing(oh! don't take that too literally. You all know I am not one of those creative types, anyway) when I first saw Sra's Amaranth Yogurt rice I was thinking quinoa payasam and I could not resist any longer after I had a glimpse of this tasty looking and delicious Lapsi on Priya's Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes(the site has quite a few dishes I want to try. I am going to be busy.)
completely cooked quinoa
I got on to the quinoa bandwagon late. My first attempt at making a soup did not sit well but then the pulao style recipes have made me a fan.
If you like milk pudding(payasam) this is a must try.
I make payasam with sago or tapioca pearls but it tends to thicken the milk with all the starch. The advantage with quinoa is, it retains its shape and does not impart any starch to the milk it is cooking in. I am going to be leaving behind the tapioca pearls for good.
Quinoa Pudding with dried fruits and nuts
1. 1/2 cup quinoa
2. 2 cups 2% milk
3. 1/2 tbsp ghee
4. 1-2 tbsp slivered almonds (cashews, pistachios can be used) + 1 tbsp of raisins
5. 2/3 cups of sugar
6. 1 tsp of powdered cardamom
1. Soak the quinoa for about 20 minutes and wash it with 2-3 changes of water and drain completely
2. In a wide mouthed pan add the drained quinoa and saute till the moisture is gone
3. Now add the ghee and saute for another 8-10 minutes till it gets a slightly brown color and let it cool a bit
4. While the qunioa is roasting, in a sauce pan heat the milk and let it come to a boil
5. Add the roasted qunioa to the milk and let it cook for 20-25 minutes till the qunioa is translucent and cooked. Add the cardamom powder after the first 20 minutes
6. Roast the nuts and raisins with some ghee and garnish just before serving
Serve warm or chilled.