Quinoa and vegetable pilaf with indian flavours

Gluten free, vegetarian. Serves 4

If you have a teenage vegetarian, this is the recipe you should give them to master. If they're a none too diligent vegetarian you should master this yourself. Why? It's whole, in every way. It's complete, in every way. While quinoa is protein rich, it is not complete, and the inclusion of the legume mung dahl and cashews provides the missing amino acids.

Mung dahl is also very easy to digest. It's full of vegetables and quality complex carbohydrates, and the fat ensures all goodness makes it to the cells. And if you want more reasons why, it's easy and quick. Even though the cooking time is about one hour, your actual work time is minimal. Put it on when you get home, then go and relax while it's in the oven. You'll be mighty pleased with yourself.

Kitchen Notes: Don't mistake a dark sesame oil (which is roasted) for the unrefined sesame oil.
You don't have to soak the quinoa, but it makes more nutrients available and easier to digest.
Don't use the whole mung bean, but rather the mung dahl, which is broken and the yellow inside is clearly visable.

2 tablespoons unrefined sesame oil 2 tablespoons ghee 1 medium brown onion - finely diced good pinch sea salt 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 cardamom pods, opened so the seeds can escape or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom pinch nutmeg 2 whole cloves 1 tablespoon minced ginger 1 teaspoon minced garlic or pinch asofitida 1/2 cup/ 108g mung dahl - checked for stones 1 cup quinoa - soaked overnight in 2 cups water with 1 tablespoon yoghurt or 2 teaspoons whey or lemon juice 1 medium carrot - cut into 1cm dice 1/2 medium cauliflower / 200g - cut into florets green beans - 1 good handful / 100g - cut into 3cm length 21/2 cups stock 1 cup peas (frozen is fine) 2 medium tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced 1cm approx handful coriander - leaves only 1 cup roasted cashew nuts

Pre heat oven to 180c or 165c if fan forced.

Using a large ovenproof frying pan or cast iron dish (with lid), heat the oil and ghee. When the ghee is melted, add the onions and salt. Cook over a gentle heat for 15 mins, stirring frequently or until the onions are ever so lightly coloured, but not brown. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, garlic and mung dahl. Stir through and cook gently for a minute or so. Add the well drained quinoa, carrot, cauliflower, beans and stir through. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Immediately cover with the lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 40 mins. Remove from oven, fold through the peas and tomato, cover and let sit for 10 mins. Toss through the coriander and cashews before serving.