The Incas held quinoa to be sacred. They referred to it as the “mother of all grains”, and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using “golden implements”.
2013 was the “International Year of Quinoa”. It was celebrated to recognise the ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have preserved it as food for present and future generations, through knowledge and practices of living in harmony with nature. The objective is to draw the world’s attention to the role that quinoa could play in providing food security, nutrition and poverty eradication.
Quinoa and Pumpkin Croquettes
Makes about 24 croquettes
- 1 cup Quinoa, rinsed
- 500 g butternut pumpkin, peeled, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup currants
- 2 cups water
- 4 potatoes, peeled, chopped
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 3 to 4 eggs, lightly whisked
- 150 g feta, crumbled
- 1 cup fresh coriander, chopped
- Additional four tablespoons of flour
- Grape seed oil or additional olive oil, to shallow fry
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Tomato relish, lemon wedges and salad leaves plus additional coriander leaves, to serve
- Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over low heat.
- Add the onion, garlic and cumin and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until soft.
- Ad the currants and cook for an additional minute.
- Stir in quinoa and water. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, stirring occasionally. Allow the quinoa to cool.
- Boil the potatoes and pumpkin in salted water for 20 minutes or until tender.
- Drain then return to the potatoes and pumpkin to pan and shake over low heat for until the remaining water evaporates. Mash and allow to cool.
- Place flour and breadcrumbs on separate plates. Place egg in a shallow bowl.
- Combine quinoa, pumpkin, potatoes, feta, coriander, salt, pepper and the four tablespoons of flour.
- Shape into 24, 10 cm long croquettes. Dip in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and transfer to lined tray.
- Add grape seed oil to a frying to a depth of about 2 cm and heat over low to medium heat.
- Cook croquettes in batches for 3 to 4 minutes until crisp turning as required. Drain well on paper towels.
- Serve with relish, lemon wedges, additional coriander and salad.