Lamb and Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf with Eggplant

Quinoa pilaf is often on our menu, but I never used eggplant and wanted to taste how it goes with lamb and regular vegetables I use: carrots, onion and red capsicum.

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Ingredients: 4 servings

  • 2 lamb backstraps (200g), cut in cubes
  • 1 cup white quinoa (140g)
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced in long strips
  • 1 eggplant, cut in cubes
  • 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • pinch of dry crushed chili
  • 4 cloves
  • pinch of fennel seeds
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 2 tea spoon of gluten free Moroccan seasoning
  • 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 cup of boiling water (200ml)

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Preparation:

  • wash and rinse quinoa 3 times
  • heat olive oil in a non-stick casserole pan
  • add fennel, dry chili, garlic
  • add sliced onion and chopped carrot, season with salt and black pepper
  • add diced lamb, stir and cook on medium heat for 5-7 min
  • add quartered tomatoes, red capsicum strips and diced eggplant
  • add cloves and Moroccan seasoning, stir
  • add boiling water
  • cover with lid and cook on low heat for 30-40min
  • add quinoa, mix it with lamb and vegetables, add seasoning if necessary
  • cover with lid and continue to cook for 15min
  • take casserole dish from the cooktop, stir the contents, cover the dish with clean towel, put the lid over it and let pilaf rest for 10-15min
  • I add chopped fresh dill, stirred  it in and served pilaf with fermented carrots

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During resting time quinoa absorbed the residual liquid left in a pan, and pilaf final consistency was similar to that of a wet risotto. Quinoa still had some bite to it and was not completely mushy. Overall is was nice pilaf we enjoyed. Eggplant added extra moisture to pilaf and made it juicy without being over saturated with liquid. The taste was quite intense, but mild. It might have had more chili to my taste.

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I liked the ratio of quinoa to lamb and vegetables. In my previous quinoa dishes, there was not enough of the grain, and vegetables on its own, or together with meat, overshadowed it. Eggplant, added to other vegetables resulted in better tasting quinoa and lamb pilaf, compared to zucchini, I used on other occasions.

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