Indian Quinoa Salad Recipe

I had it on a meditation retreat.  It is a simple recipe that I love! Can be served as a side or main meal.

2 cups uncooked quinoa

4 cups water

2 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. salt

1 cup currants

1 T toasted sesame oil

3 stalks celery, finely diced

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

5 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Rinse the quinoa well and drain. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the quinoa and stir constantly until the moisture evaporates and the quinoa is fragrant, dry, and golden.

Combine 3 cups of water and 1 tsp. of the garam masala and the salt in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the toasted quinoa and return to a boil. Cover and decrease the heat to medium-low. Simmer gently without stirring for 15 minutes or until the liquid evaporates and the grains are tender.

 Meanwhile, bring the remaining 1 cup of water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; add the currants and soak for 20 minutes or until plump. Drain well.

 Heat the sesame oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, bell pepper, and remaining 1 tsp of garam masala. Saute for two minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the green onions and saute one minute longer, or until just wilted.

 Gently toss the celery mixture and currants into the quinoa. Cover and refrigerate.  Put toasted almonds in separate container to be served on the side.

This salad goes well with hummus!

3 cups dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans or 4 16-oz cans

2 teaspoons salt (reduce if using salted canned beans)

4 large cloves of garlic

1 cup parsley leaves

½ cup sesame tahini paste

6 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup water

1.5 tablespoons ground cumin

½ cup olive oil


  1. Soak chickpeas overnight, rinse and cook until soft (about 1.5 hour, do not add salt while cooking). Drain cooked chickpeas.

  2. Pulse to chop the parsley, remove and reserve

  3. Process garlic until chopped finely

  4. Add chickpeas, salt, tahini, lemon juice, water and process until smooth – about 3 minutes – add olive oil during processing.

  5. Add parsley and pulse to mix everything well

Note: you may need to make this recipe in two half-batches depending on the size of your food processor.