Curried Quinoa Salad with Lentils and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Inspired by Valerie of City Life Eats who was one the winners of the August No Croutons Required Challenge featuring lentils, I adapted this recipe based on her Curried Quinoa Salad with Lentils. I just couldn't wait to try it as it contains some of my favorite ingredients and I never can resist the goodness and nutty flavor of quinoa. Known to the ancient Incans as the "mother of all grains," quinoa is not really a cereal grass but is used just like a grain, with the important difference that is contains a food value that no grain can match. With an almost perfect balance of essential amino acids, quinoa is an unusually complete source of proteins in the plant kingdom, and is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins and vitamin E.

curry quinoa and lentil salad

This tantalizing salad is perfect for a summer meal. I served it to my family along with a leafy green salad. A crowd pleaser for sure. An interesting range of textures and flavors all in one dish, the crunch of the vegetables, the nutty fluffiness of the quinoa combined with lentils, the flavors all come together with the spices and cashew dressing. Refreshing, perfectly balanced, making this dish an excellent choice for vegetarians.

Instead of the curry powder and other spices, you can use 2 teaspoons of garam masala and 2 teaspoons of a fresh curry blend made up of the following: a dash of asafoetida, a 1/2 teaspoon of ground mustard, a 1/2 teaspoon of ground fennel seeds, 1 - 2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped, a 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, a 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom, a pinch of saffron, fresh cracked black pepper to taste, and 3 tablespoons of dried crumbled fenugreek leaves.

Feel free to reduce the recipe for a smaller serving and do increase the spices if you like it hot like I do. I was a bit more modest with the spicing than usual as I was serving it to my family who are not used to the heat like I am.

Curried Quinoa Salad with Lentils and Sun-Dried TomatoesCurried Quinoa Salad with Lentils and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Recipe by
Adapted from City Life Eats
Published on October 12, 2011

Packed with flavor and nutrition, this quinoa and lentil salad is perfect for summer meals

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  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, broken into pieces
  • juice from two lemons
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • dash of mustard powder
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 large red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 - 3 jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup of scallions, both green parts and white parts, finely chopped
  • Rinse the quinoa under cold running water and soak overnight in 2 cups of water. Bring the quinoa to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

  • Rinse the lentils, transfer to a medium pot, and cover with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain off any excess water. Combine the cooked quinoa and lentils in a large bowl, and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 minutes, then drain and chop finely. Dry roast the cashew pieces over medium-low heat until golden brown, and set aside.

  • To make the dressing, blend the roasted cashews, mustard powder, black pepper, spices, salt, water and honey in a blender or food processor until creamy. Add some of the dressing to the quinoa and lentils and toss. Now add the red pepper, jalapeños, scallions and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the rest of the dressing and stir well to combine.

  • Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Makes 6 - 8 servings
Other quinoa dishes you are sure to enjoy:
Spicy Lentil Quinoa Nut Loaf
Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Breakfast Quinoa Porridge
Quinoa Soup with Corn


Priya Suresh said...

Very tempting and healthy salad..

Unknown said...

Wow, that looks wonderful !!!

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Just like upma...nice

thebuddinggourmet said...

really nice. thanks for sharing.