Monday, July 11, 2011

Quinoa Pudding with dried fruits and nuts

I have become an unofficial home made yogurt promoter. Someone need only ask about home made yogurt, I waste no time in giving them a bit of starter and instructions on how to make yogurt. There is a saying in Tamil loosely translated to "the pleasure you get should be spread to the world".

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.


  1. I love home made yogurt. We stopped buying yogurt about 3 years ago. I've got a question about home made yogurt. Every six months or so I lose my starter and end up getting new starter from my friends. This time it just turned too sour. New batch from this starter is also too sour. It has an off smell to it. Any suggestions on how to stop it from happening ?

  2. Looks like sago pudding ...yum ....nice recipe

  3. Ihave been making Yogurt/curd at home for many years like you but lost the starter culture while moving. I have been making them from greek yogurt these days.
    Quinoa payasam looks delicious!

  4. Indu, here in my new place I get to access to a grain called varagu which very much resembles quinoa by looks. I too made a payasam with it which tasted great. This one looks lovely. And on the yogurt part I am a person to pair up yogurt with odd things...I like spicy noodles with a cup of yogurt on the side. It tastes lovely. Even here sometimes I use up all the yogurt and go borrow for some seed in the neighbourhood ;)

  5. The quinoa pudding looks delicious

  6. Indo, yesterday when I saw this post on my reader, I did a double-take - because you've said/indicated at least a couple of times that you don't like quinoa. Seems like you've had a change of heart. I finally got to your post just now and was surprised to see the amaranth recipe mentioned. I still have some of that batch left, by the way!

  7. Suganya,
    I follow a simple method that my mom did back home because of all the heat - make many small batches instead of one big batch. This way the ones that are not used stay in the fridge and don't get sour.

    Using sour starter does make the new batch sour too. There are folks who do like sour yogurt but...

    In summer yogurt tends to get sour because of the heat. So make sure you put it in the fridge once the yogurt is set.

    What I have noticed with using store bought yogurt is that it makes the yogurt slimy. Have never tried with Greek yogurt. How is the texture? If it is not slimy it is good to have a backup.

    Yes yogurt is fine for all seasons and menus :)

    Your amaranth curd (rice) was what gave the idea in the first place to try some payasam with quinoa. I am born again as far as quinoa is concerned. It is my fall back for any occasion. As long as I don't cook it to death and it still retains its shape I am good. The thing is the kids and the other adult like it too.

  8. I too make homemade yogurt.. it's too easy to not do it I think. We've been incorporating quinoa more often.. nice idea to make a pudding with it - looks like mini javvarisi in the photos.

  9. Indo, I come by your blog and this great recipe. I love this idea. I've not tried sweet quinoa yet and this is the perfect excuse.

  10. Hi Indo,

    I have cooked quinoa with vegetables. But never thought of trying a sweet dish. Very innovative

  11. Agree, our lunch/dinner is not complete without yogurt rice. In my early years of landing to US, I used to make yogurt at home, but now I just buy the store bought one.
    Like the idea of using quinoa instead of sabudana, but minus the starch, won't this be a bit thin? (at home we like thick payasam, hence the question).

  12. RC, whatever works. I don't might the flavored store bought yogurt but to mix with rice or make raita I need home made.

    I generally use 2% or whole milk so the payasam gets thick anyway and the starch from the tapioca pearls made it even more so. If you are using fat free milk maybe the payasam would be too thin otherwise should be ok. There is no taste in sago that is the other reason why I like quinoa.


Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate you taking the time.
Comments embedded with links, spam and in poor taste will not be published.