Saturday, September 4, 2010

Iraq-ish spicy quinoa, tofu and green beans dish

Careful, it's a spicy one! The original version of this dish had about twice the spices, okra and beef in it and no quinoa. If you make it my way, you'll have to pre-prepare some of the ingredients as you'll see soon but that's just my preferences.

Iraq-ish spicy quinoa, tofu and green beans dish

800 gr green beans, frozen or fresh and chopped
1 kg tofu diced as much as possible
450 gr quinoa (I used white and black but that's because I had some black leftovers lying around)
700 gr tomato, fresh or canned or whathaveyou
1 teaspoon cumin
4 tablespoons za'atar
3 teaspoons salt
2 glasses of water
2 medium onions, diced
8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 lemon from which you take both juice and zest
1 jalapeno or chili pepper, medium sized, cleaned thoroughly of seeds and diced into the smallest pieces you can WARNING: after handling this pepper wash your hands thoroughly with something oily or balmy like hand cream or avoid eye contact. The oil factor is important as capsaicin, which makes the pepper spicy is a hydrophobic substance and will not respond to water.

Pre-preparations: To sprout the quinoa simply soak it in water for 4-6 hours and then sprout in your sprouter for up to three days before preparing the dish. Here's a nice link with instructions on how to make a sprouter, mine I got as the amazing and wonderful Budha Burger and it's made of recycled plastic boxes, which also works great.

For me, when I make anything with tofu, I'm really picky about the tastelessness of the stuff. I found that marinating the tofu in the sauce of what I'm making for about a day before I actually cook the dish helps a bit. A bit. So, I'm including the making of the sauce as part of the pre-preparation.

Take the onions and lightly fry them with a tad oil (any oil would do that isn't olive oil) until golden. While you're doing that, take the tomatoe sauce and add the spices, pepper, garlic, lemon and zest and mix well in a pot. Add the onions and bring the mix to a boil. Add the tofu and place in a container and leave it in the fridge for a day.

The next day (or right away, if you don't want to marinate)prepare the quinoa until ready, and rinse. Add the green beans and water to the sauce with the tofu and pour it all into a big pot

bring to a boil, then lower the flame and leave on the fire until the beans are ready. Add the quinoa and mix and you've got it, well done! Remember, if the dish is too hot for you, adding oil always helps calm the tang down.

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