Cumin-Scented Quinoa and Black Rice

Happy Monday! I came across this recipe while flipping through the most recent issue of Bon Appetit magazine.  I was draw to this recipe for two reasons: 1) the title, which was appetizing enough to catch my attention and 2) the picture, which was downright striking. Upon thorough review of the recipe for technique (level of difficulty) and ingredients (accessibility), I realized that this was in fact something I can attempt to replicate.

This past Saturday, stuck indoors in the midst of an October blizzard (can you can global warming?), I decided to do just that and give this recipe a shot. The outcome was delicious. I’m also proud to say that I’ve discovered yet another savory vegetarian meal (although my vegetarian diet has long ended).  In the spirit of “clooking“, I also attempted to recreate my own image of this recipe. Not quite as remarkable as the original but one that I think stands on its own and will forever remind me how great this meal tastes.

In other news, I’m in the process of adding a new feature to in an effort to simplify the cooking process (that includes recipe inspiration, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning). Each recipe post now highlights perishable ingredients that need to be purchased close to use like fish, meat, fruits, herbs, veggies etc. . This in contrast to items like flour, salt, dried beans, tomato sauce, and spices which are good in your pantry for months. Ideally, you’ll have your pantry stocked with these essentials, making grocery shopping that much easier on a busy weeknight. For this recipe, for example, all you really need to buy fresh is an avocado, lemon, cilantro and parsley. No need to waste extra time at the supermarket. This recipe, specifically, is a little more challenging because you probably don’t have black rice and red quinoa in your pantry. However, once you do, the next time you make this recipe will be cake.


Serving Size (4 people)

Estimated time: 40 minutes


  • 1/2 cup short-grain black rice (available at Whole Foods or a healthy foods stores)
  • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed well  (available at Whole Foods or a healthy foods stores)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (available on Amazon or
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons 1″ pieces chives (I subbed with smaller pieces of green onion)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
*green highlight denotes ingredients you will likely need to buy fresh while black text includes ingredients you should either have stocked in your pantry or ingredients that have a lengthy shelf life.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 medium pots
  • 1 small or medium frying pan
  • 1 medium mesh strainer


  1. combine rice with 1 cup water in a pot. bring to boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. meanwhile, prepare quinoa. most packages will require rinsing it first. put quinoa in a small bowl and soak it in water. grains will expand slightly and stick to one another. you can now transfer to a strainer and rinse quinoa under water.
  3. combine quinoa with 2 cups water, salt and bay leaf in a separate pot. bring to boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. as rice and quinoa cook, it’s time to cook the onion. pour 2 tablespoons oil into a frying pan and sauté onion (stirring occasionally) for around 8 minutes on medium heat until cooked. add garlic and cumin seeds and stir for another 2 minutes.
  5. once quinoa is cooked, drain excess water and transfer quinoa to a bowl. and rice and onion/garlic/cumin to the same bowl.
  6. add other 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, parsley, cilantro and chives into the bowl and stir well to combine all ingredients.
  7. season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. serve with avocado and lemon wedges.
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2 Comments on “Cumin-Scented Quinoa and Black Rice”

  1. Was that storm ridiculous or what? I really need to give red quinoa another chance. I love regular quinoa but I forgot to rise off the red quinoa before cooking it and it had an iron-like taste to it. But this looks like a great recipe!

  2. gentry says:

    This looks great and a slight diversion from the crazy quinoa salad craze currently happening!

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