I am a Huuuuge fan of Quinoa, and it’s not because of the label ‘super food’ or because I think it’s healthier than rice, or anything like that. The truth is, I actually love the taste and texture of white quinoa, and the fact that it goes with everything. It’s like having a pair of black pants in your wardrobe, but in this case in your pantry. I refill my quinoa jar regularly because I use it ALL the time. I make desserts, breakfasts, lunches for school and dinner out of quinoa. Another thing I love about quinoa is that when I eat it, I never feel too heavy or extremely full afterwards, even if I accidentally intentionally over eat; whereas with pasta and rice, all it takes is a second serve for me to undo the button on my pants so I can have some space to breath. It must have happened to you too, at least once in your lifetime. Don’t lie. p.s: I still have SO much respect for pasta and nothing NOTHING will ever replace it. haha!

Some of you will want to read this post to know what a Pilaf looks like. Is this you? Well, normally a Pilaf is a dish consisting of sautéed rice mixed with meat or vegetables or sometimes both, flavoured with spices from the Middle East. Nuts and sultanas could possibly go in as well. Here I have replaced the rice with quinoa for the first time, and again, it worked SO well! 

I actually made it again the next day from how good it was. I mean, it’s a light and simple dish but surely is a very satisfying one and will make your house smell amazing too.

Before I move on to the recipe, I have some news for you and NO, I’m not pregnant LOL!

I have a feeling my regular readers will be so excited to hear it.

Drrrrrrrrrrum-roll … … 

I am going to EGYPT very very soon!! Yipeeeee 

It’s been 3 looong years since the last time I was there!! 

You don’t understand, we’re counting down the days now. Only 7 more sleeps people and I will be sleeping in my old room at my parents house, which I still consider ‘HOME’. Isn’t this the best feeling ever?!

For those who are new to my blog and don’t know much about my background, I was born in Cairo, Egypt and lived there my whole life. Then I moved with my husband to Sydney in 2003 and have been living here since then. OMG! I can’t even believe that it’s been that long!

I do go back home to visit every 2-4 years, and my parents visited me in Australia twice during this time. Australia is such a wonderful place to live in, and is truly my second home. It has a very special place in my heart because it’s where my two precious kids were born. In saying that, I don’t think it will ever replace my first home Egypt, no matter how many more years I spend here. As they say home is where your childhood memories belong, isn’t this so true? 

Anyway, the kids and I are SUPER DUPER excited about this trip! The bags are all packed and ready to go in the car. I honestly can’t wait to refill my heart with all the love and warmth from my family and long distant true friends, who I haven’t seen for so long. And of course I can’t wait to fill my belly too with all the delicious and comfort food Egypt has to offer. 

I will be sharing all my adventures with you on my instagram story and facebook too as soon as I get my internet sorted on my phone. So please stay tuned because I have sooo much to show you .. InshaAllah (arabic for ‘If god wills’)

If you are an Egyptian follower of my blog and currently living in Egypt, you will probably be more up to date with places to go to, or things to do in general. I would looove to hear your suggestions, so please get in touch with me through the blog by commenting below or through social media, I AM ALL EARS,  thank you in advance :))

 

Here is the recipe which was created in collaboration with Supabarn stores where all the ingredients come from. Check out their website at http://www.supabarn.com.au

 

Turmeric spiced quinoa Pilaf with sweet potatoes and a tahini yoghurt sauce
Serves 4
A turmeric spiced quinoa Pilaf with roasted sweet potatoes and a creamy tahini yoghurt sauce
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
For the roasted sweet potatoes
  1. 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in about 1.5cm wide rings, then quartered. (As shown in pic above)
  2. a pinch of fine sea salt
  3. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Pilaf
  1. 2 cups dried quinoa
  2. 4 and1/2 cups filtered water
  3. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 onions, finely diced
  5. 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  6. a thumb size piece of ginger, finely grated
  7. 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  8. 2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  9. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1/2-1 teaspoon chilli powder
  11. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  12. 1 bunch of fresh coriander leaves, to garnish (keep the roots to add an extra kick in flavour)
  13. handful of unsalted pistachios, to garnish (optional)
For the Tahini yoghurt sauce
  1. 2 tablespoons tahini paste
  2. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 4 tablespoons plain greek yoghurt
  5. fine sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius
  2. In a bowl mix the sweet potatoes ingredients together until well coated.
  3. Place the marinated sweet potatoes on a non-stick oven tray, cover with foil and bake for 20 mins or until cooked all the way through.( could take a few more mins)
  4. Meanwhile, soak the quinoa in plenty of water, leave aside.
  5. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and diced onions and stir continuously for 5 mins over medium to high heat until the onions soften and change to a golden colour.
  6. Add garlic, ginger and stir for 1 min then add the spices except for the salt. ( will add it later with quinoa)
  7. Stir spices for a another min until fragrant, then add 1/2 cup of filtered water and stir on medium heat until all water is absorbed.
  8. Drain the quinoa and rinse under cold water, drain excess water.
  9. Add quinoa to your pan, add the rest of water and salt, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and cover to cook for 15-18 mins or until all water is absorbed.
  10. Meanwhile prepare your sauce, add tahini paste and lemon juice and whisk till combined, then add salt cumin and yoghurt and whisk again until the sauce becomes thick and creamy.
  11. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and leave aside.
  12. when quinoa is ready, uncover
  13. Chop the fresh coriander roots finely then add to quinoa and fluff with a fork to mix.
  14. Add the sweet potatoes to pan and mix gently.
  15. divide the pilaf onto 4-6 plates. Top with the tahini yoghurt sauce and garnish with fresh coriander
  16. * you can add your favourite nuts on top if you like. I added some pistachios.
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