As some of you know, both my husband and I are vegetarians. And thankfully, neither of us are picky eaters, so it's not uncommon to see a meal of just grilled vegetables with a simple side. (Yes, I realize how blessed I am to have a husband who will happily sit down to a plate of grilled mushrooms and asparagus with a side of quinoa). We do like to get our protein in, which is why quinoa makes a frequent appearance at meals in our house. And if you have a rice cooker, it couldn't be easier to make.
This dish has a nice layered depth of flavor, given some key ingredients. I added coconut milk to the boiling water for the quinoa, which makes it super creamy and flavorful. There's some curry powder and garam masala, to keep things interesting. And then we splashed some lime juice and sesame seed oil in there - you know - just for fun. Cilantro is probably one of my favorite herbs, and seriously, it does wonders in this dish. The final ingredient, and please - hear me out on this one - golden raisins. Listen, even if you don't like raisins, you should try this. One of the Indian restaurants I love puts them in their curries and I died the first time I discovered them. It provides this wonderful texture and just a hint of sweetness that pairs wonderfully with the curry and acidity of this salad.
One of the things I like about this salad is that it works perfectly as a side dish as is, or you can beef it up and make it a main dish. You can easily add sauteed vegetables, some smoked tofu, or even shredded chicken if you are so inclined. Regardless of how you make it, I'm sure you'll find this salad quite delightful.
Indian Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (I used a mix of both red and quite)
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup water
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
Cook quinoa according to directions in coconut milk and water. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, and lime juice. Pour over the quinoa and add remaining ingredients. Stir well and serve either warm or chilled.