This South Indian Quinoa with Tamarind and Pumpkin is a quick and easy side dish or main that is flavored with tamarind, mustard seeds, pumpkin, peppers, and peas. It is the perfect one-pot, gluten free, and vegan recipe for a healthy and delicious weeknight dinner.
Another year gone and a new year already here. The date finally registered yesterday and I was reminded of how much work is left for the book! There needs to be a cookbook writing tips for newbies. The number 1 tip on that, do not bother to estimate the time and then be stressed by the estimation or each step. It inevitably takes double or triple the amount.
Any who, most of last year the Indian and Indian inspired recipes were heading to the book, so the blog recipes took a turn towards other cuisines and a lot of dessert. I missed posting Indian food on the blog and I cannot wait to share more :). I learnt a lot the past year about recipe development, writing, taming the creative spells, and more. Hope I continue to learn and apply this year as well.
South Indian Flavor Infused Quinoa Salad
This South Indian quinoa is infused with coriander, black peppercorns, split peas, black gram, mustard seeds, and curry leaves, which are often used in similar grain based dishes of several southern states. This
Where to Buy South Indian Quinoa Salad Ingredients
You can find most of these online or in an Indian store. Curry leaves, in particular, have a distinct flavor and can be tricky to find, but are available on amazon.com or an Indian store. Fresh curry leaves work best to really infuse this gluten free South Indian quinoa salad. And they will never go to waste! Fresh curry leaves can be kept frozen for up to one year. If you can’t find the fresh variety, dried curry leaves are also available and make a suitable substitute.
Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Urad Dal are also known as split black grams or black lentils. If you can’t find them, substitute an equal amount of mung dal, or split red lentils(masoor dal).
- Toor Dal are split pigeon peas, but you can substitute an equal amount of any split pea.
- If you can’t find fresh curry leaves, dried curry leaves are also available online or an Indian store, which make a suitable substitute. For 12 fresh curry leaves, you will need about 15 dried curry leaves, gently broken with your hands, as the dried curry leaves are not as flavorful as fresh.
- Don’t like pumpkin? Simply replace it with an equal amount of butternut squash or any of your favorite winter squash variety!
- Want to add a nutty and crunchy texture? Add 2 Tablespoons peanuts or cashews with the potatoes.
- Looking for a sweeter, buttery texture? Add 2-3 Tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut with the potatoes.
I don’t make any resolutions and plans. The unpredictable health situation always throws a kink when I am not expecting it. So if there are no big plans or deadlines, then it is easier to get through the kink. Live like my puffball chewie. In the present. The only concern he has at the moment is to stare me down so he gets some of the tortilla that I am making a wrap with.
Make this delicious one pot South Indian quinoa salad and enjoy throughout the week! WordPress wants to keep correcting my quinoa to Joaquin. Hmm…
More South Indian Recipes
Easy Instant Dosa Crepes with Coconut chutney and Masala potatoes
The traditional 2 day Dosa crepes.
More quinoa recipes from the blog
South Indian Quinoa with Tamarind & Pumpkin
- 1 tsp Oil
- 1/2 cup (85 g) Uncooked Quinoa
- 1 cup (250 ml) Water
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) Salt
- Generous Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
To Dry Roast
- 1 Tbsp Urad Dal Split Black Gram, or use mung dal (petite yellow lentils)
- 1 Tbsp Toor Dal Split Pigeon Pea, or use any split pea
- 2 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) Black Peppercorns
For The Flavouring
- 1 tsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) Urad Dal Black Gram, or use mung dal (petite yellow lentils)
- 12 Curry Leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (1) Potato, cubed, 3/4 inch pieces 1 medium potato
- 1/2 cup (58 g) Cubed Pumpkin, loaded, 3/4 inch pieces Butternut, or other squash
- 1/2 cup (72.5 g) Peas Fresh or Frozen, thawed
- 1/2 cup (74.5 g) chopped Red Bell Pepper, 1/2 inch 1/2 medium pepper
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
- 1-2 tsp (1 to 2 tsp) Tamarind Paste
- 1 Tbsp Water
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) Turmeric
- 3/4 tsp (0.75 tsp) Salt
- 1-2 tsp (1 to 2 tsp) Lemon Juice, for garnish
- 2 Tbsp Cilantro, for garnish
- Cook the quinoa: Wash and drain quinoa. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa and roast for a minute. Add the water, salt, and cayenne. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 15 minutes.
- Dry roast the dals, coriander, and pepper corns for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, or until the dals change color. Cool and blend/grind to a powder.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil. When the oil is hot, about 2 minutes, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, and curry leaves. Cook for half a minute, or until the seeds start to pop and the dal changes color.
- Add potato and pumpkin. Mix, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir once or twice in between. Add a few tsp of water to deglaze if the potatoes start to stick.
- Add the peas, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, and mix well. Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Mix the tamarind paste in 1 Tbsp water (or blend with the ground spices in the blender) and add to the pan. Add the ground spices, turmeric, and salt. Mix well to coat.
- Add the cooked quinoa and mix well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes for the flavors to infuse. Fluff, taste, and adjust salt and spice.
- Add a good dash of lemon juice and cilantro, mix in, and serve.
- Add 2 Tbsp peanuts or cashews with the potatoes.
- Add 2-3 Tbsp unsweetened, shredded coconut with the potatoes.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
This is dinner tonight, so I’ll let you know how it goes! In UK, Tamarind paste is usually easily available in most supermarkets, in small own brand jars, as well as Barts Spices and Natco, who are one of the biggest distributors of Indian Spices, pastes and pickles in the country. Thankfully, living in London, Indian and Thai spices are usually pretty easy to find.
This looks delicious! Do you have any recommendations regarding a good tamarind paste that can be purchased online? I have been unable to find it locally, and those on Amazon only have warm reviews. Thanks for your great recipes. I have tried many of them with great results, and I am looking forward to your new book. I have already preordered it!
you can find tamicon brand paste in Indian stores. or see on amazon https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=tamicon
i think most problems are with the shipment or the merchant offering it. order from amazon fulfillment or merchants with good rating.
Thank you for pre-ordering the cookbook!!
Wow, I have never made anything like this before! When you say to add cubed winter squash, do you mean raw or already cooked before adding it? If it’s raw, what do you think the best way to cut it is? I’ve only roasted squash until it’s really soft and not really cube-able, but I know that raw winter squash can be tricky to cut into.
its raw. the squash cooks up with the potatoes. you can also use roasted and add it after the potato is cooked at step 5 with the tamarind, so it will just heat up ad pick up some flavor in the 5 odd minutes of leftover cook time. i’ll add a note to the recipe.
Looks delicious! How do you store fresh curry leaves in the freezer? Mine would darken quickly in the fridge.
Btw, I discovered your blog searching for GF gulab jamuns (I miss those =/..). Enjoy the New Year, & embrace your creative spells ! =)
I store them in a ziplock. they might darken slightly over time, as in after a bunch of months.
oh i have a better gf gulab jamuns recipe in the cookbook!
Thanks for letting me know! Will check it out =)