Curried Quinoa with Mixed Veggies

This Indian recipe with quinoa is perfect for those who want to venture into making Indian food, but feel intimidated. It’s not fancy, doesn’t require thousands of ingredients, and is mildly spiced.

I created this recipe because I needed an idea for a meatless Monday dinner. But because we are a meat eating family, my kids don’t really love vegetarian or vegan dishes.

But I continue to make them because I enjoy eating them, and vegetarian dishes are often easier for me to make than meat ones.

Also, it’s important for my kids to know that I need to prioritize myself as well. And if that means less time in the kitchen for mom, then that’s a good thing!

Overtime, my kids have come to “tolerate” my vegetarian meals, even this one, though they were definitely not fans at first!

Originally from South America, quinoa is not traditionally used in Indian cooking, but I like to mix up our grains once in a while. If you’re not a fan of quinoa, feel free to use rice or couscous instead.

Then serve with some popular Indian condiments like yogurt, pickle, or chutney.

My husband and I eat it with my dad’s homemade lemon or mango pickle while I add butter or ghee to the kids’ plates for extra flavor and fat!

Joby's Test Kitchen plate of curried quinoa with yogurt and pickle.

How to Make Indian Quinoa

Start with 1 cup dry quinoa. Cook it according to the package, using 1 cup water or broth, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

If using an Instant Pot, sauté the quinoa for 5 minutes before adding the liquid. Then set to 1 minute “High Pressure” and allow 20 minutes “Natural Release.”

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 teaspoon each of minced ginger and garlic and sauté for 30-60 seconds.

Though optional, you can also add in 1/2 small onion (sliced or minced) 1-2 small green chili peppers (sliced or minced), and 1 tablespoon tomato paste or some diced tomatoes.

Sauté everything until cooked down, about 5-8 minutes.

Next, add 1 teaspoon each of coriander, turmeric, and chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 cup raw cashews. Sauté until aromatic, 1-2 minutes.

Finally, add 2-3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup raisins, stirring well until all the ingredients are combined. Raisins may seem like a strange addition, but they offer a nice sweet flavor to the dish.

Add about 1/2 cup water to the pan and simmer 10-12 minutes until the veggies are tender. Add more water if needed.

After 12 minutes, there should be no more water in the pan. Turn off heat and stir in the cooked quinoa. Taste for salt.

Serve with yogurt, Indian pickle, and papadum.

Joby's Test Kitchen pan of curried quinoa.

What My Kids Say:
9 year-old: “I like the crunchy vegetables and the salty and sweet flavors.”
7 year-old: “I like the cashews, the corn, and the raisins.”

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India quinoa with multi vegetables, yogurt, and mango pickle.

Curried Quinoa with Mixed Veggies

Joby’s Test Kitchen
A flavorful dish of whole grains and mixed vegetables infused with Indian spices.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 53 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 336 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot optional
  • Skillet

Ingredients
  

For the Quinoa:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken broth, water, or a combination of both
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the Vegetables:

  • 2-3 tsps (10-15ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ inch piece of ginger, grated or minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1-2 small garlic cloves, crushed or minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder, (use cayenne or paprika for less heat)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (30g) raw cashews
  • 2-3 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, etc)
  • ¼ cup (40g) raisins
  • ¾ tsp salt

Optional Ingredients:

  • ½ small onion, sliced or minced
  • 1-2 small green chili peppers, sliced or minced
  • 1 tbsp (15g) tomato paste
  • ½-⅔ cups diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup fresh curry leaves

Optional (yet highly recommended) Condiments:

  • Indian style pickle (lemon, lime, mango, etc)
  • plain yogurt
  • papadam

Instructions
 

  • Cook quinoa according to package, using 1 cup liquid and ¼ teaspoon of salt. If using an Instant Pot: Saute 5 minutes, then set to 1 minute "High Pressure", and allow 20 minutes "Natural Release."
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add ginger and garlic and sauté for 30-60 seconds. If using onions, chili pepper, and/or tomatoes/paste, add them now and sauté until they're cooked down, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add spices and cashews and sauté until aromatic, 1-2 minutes.
  • Finally, add the vegetables, salt, and raisins, stirring well until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Add about ½ cup water to pan and simmer 10-12 minutes until the veggies are tender. Add more water if needed.
  • After 12 minutes, there should be no more water in the pan. Turn off heat and stir in the quinoa. Taste for salt. Serve with yogurt and condiments.

Notes

1. Make it More ”Indian”: Sauté onions, curry leaves, and chili pepper along with the ginger and garlic. Tomato paste would also be a nice addition.
2. Variations: Instead of quinoa, try it with whole wheat couscous or cooked rice.
Keyword Indian, quinoa, vegetables, vegetarian

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