South Indian Quinoa Salad in a blue polka dot dish
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South Indian Quinoa Salad with Tamarind & Pumpkin

This South Indian Quinoa Salad 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.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: South Indian Quinoa Salad
Servings: 2
Calories: 381kcal
Author: Vegan Richa



  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 cup Uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4 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 Black Peppercorns

For The Flavouring

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Urad Dal Black Gram, or use mung dal (petite yellow lentils)
  • 12 Curry Leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Potato, cubed, 3/4 inch pieces 1 medium potato
  • 1/2 cup Cubed Pumpkin, loaded, 3/4 inch pieces Butternut, or other squash
  • 1/2 cup Peas Fresh or Frozen, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped Red Bell Pepper, 1/2 inch 1/2 medium pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
  • 1-2 tsp Tamarind Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1-2 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.


Nutritional values based on one serving.


Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1197mg | Potassium: 1113mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4315IU | Vitamin C: 197.6mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 7.8mg