Indian Quinoa Salad



    • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed well (a high-protein grain, available in health food stores and many standard grocery stores as well)
    • 4 cups water
    • 2 teaspoons garam masala (a basic blend of spices common in Indian food; it is available in specialty and gourmet shops, as well as many standard grocery stores in the spice aisle)
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 cup currants
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
    • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
    • 5 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
    • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted


    1. Heat a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the quinoa and stir constantly for 10 minutes, or until the moisture evaporates and the quinoa is fragrant, dry and golden.
    2. Combine 3 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, and the salt in a heavy large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat.
    3. Add the toasted quinoa and return the water to a boil.
    4. 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. Fluff the grains with a fork.
    5. Meanwhile, bring the remaining 1 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan.
    6. Remove from the heat. Add the currants and soak for 20 minutes, or until plump.
    7. Drain well.
    8. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, bell pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon garam masala. Sauté for 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
    9. Add the green onions and sauté 1 minute longer, or until just wilted.
    10. Add the celery mixture, currants, and almonds to the quinoa and fluff with a fork to mix.
    11. Serve the salad at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate until the salad is cold.

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    Ann Gentry, host of Naturally Delicious, has spent the past 20 years raising the standard of vegetarian cooking. As a chef, restaurateur, food educator and visionary, she has succeeded in combining macrobiotic food preparation with the richness of her southern upbringing to create a gourmet vegetarian cuisine even meat lovers covet.As the executive chef of Vegetarian Times magazine, Ann creates original vegetarian recipes and contributes articles on healthy eating and living. Ann also writes her own bimonthly column about food and children for the British magazine Junior: The World’s Finest Parenting Magazine.Ann is the creator, founder and operating owner of Real Food Daily, the only restaurant in the Los Angeles area that serves a 100 percent vegetarian menu using foods grown exclusively with organic farming methods. Bon Appetit magazine wrote that “Ann Gentry, the creator of Real Food Daily, has taken two different California trends — vegetarian foods, and the organic seasonal cooking popularized by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse — and come up with a cuisine that is as interesting and delicious as it is healthful.” With two California locations, in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, Real Food Daily has “developed a loyal following.” Its patrons range from the someday to the everyday vegetarian, to celebrities, to trendsetting young eaters with sophisticated palates or the mature diner seeking gourmet, health-supportive cuisine. Ann’s first cookbook, “The Real Food Daily Cookbook,” published by Ten Speed Press, is available for purchase on her website and at bookstores. As the spokesperson for SOYJOY, an all-natural nutrition bar made with whole soy, Ann has appeared on many radio and television shows as well as various food lifestyle shows promoting a healthy lifestyle. She has also been a guest chef at Canyon Ranch, Pritikin Longevity Center, Robert Mondavi Wine Center, L.A. Times Festival of Books, the Environmental Media Awards, North American Vegetarian Society and Central Market. In the spring of 2008, Ann will be a featured guest chef on a Caribbean cruise ship, in the program “A Taste of Health” on Holistic Holiday at Sea. Ann lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Robert Jacobs, and their two vegetarian children, Halle and Walker.