Quinoa Indian Style

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Quinoa Indian Style
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Adding fragrant, Indian spices to quinoa gives it a sweet and spicy zing! Make extra for left-overs - great warm or cold.

Yields: Serves 4-6


For the Quinoa

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

2 cups water

1/4 tsp salt

For Tempering

1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds

1 T urad dal (optional)

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

pinch of asafoetida (optional)

1/4 cup raw Spanish peanuts

1/4 cup raw cashew pieces

1/2 -1 tsp crushed chili flakes

8 curry leaves (optional)

1/4 red or yellow onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 - 1 serrano pepper, minced

1 1/2 tsp minced ginger

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup cranberries

Salt to taste (1/2 - 1 tsp)

1/8 -1/4 tsp Indian red chili powder or cayenne pepper (optional, if you like it very spicy then add it)

1 T minced cilantro

juice of 1/2 lemon


For the quinoa:

Pour the 2 cups of water, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 cup quinoa into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Let it stand another 5 minutes before opening the lid.

For Tempering:

Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the mustard seeds and when they begin to pop add the optional urad dal and stir to brown the seeds. Add the cumin seeds and asafoetida and then quickly add the peanuts and brown them for a few minutes. Add cashews and roast for another minute or so. Once the nuts look nice and roasted add the chili flakes, serrano pepper, curry leaves and onion. Sweat the onion by stirring it every once in a while over medium low heat. Now add the ginger and cook another minute.

Add the raisins and the cranberries and sauté to slightly toast them. Add the salt and red chili powder and stir well. Add the cooked quinoa and cilantro stir to combine. Sprinkle in the lemon juice and stir. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Additional Tips

Urad Dal, Asafoetida and Curry Leaves are available in most Indian stores. These ingredients add a very distinct Indian flavor to this recipe - but if you can’t find them or don’t have them on hand you can still make this recipe.

You may want to remove the curry leaves before serving - some people like to eat them, some don't!

Recipe by
Sapna Von Reich