Curried Quinoa Salad

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I am working my way through so many interesting cookbooks! The Real Food Daily Cookbook, by Ann Gentry, is a fascinating collection of vegan recipes from a Los Angeles restaurateur. I was immediately drawn to the recipe for Indian Quinoa Salad because it sounded more or less like my favorite curried couscous salad recipe.

I liked the salad very much, although I would like to try substituting curry powder for the garam masala next time. I added lemon juice to the salad because I felt it needed just a little something to liven it up a bit. I loved the toasted sesame oil in the salad, which might be nice with the couscous salad, too. The recipe is very clever in dividing the spice up and boiling half with the quinoa and sauteing half with the vegetables. Very subtle.

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Indian Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Ann Gentry’s The Real Food Daily Cookbook

Combine and set aside to soak for 20 minutes:
1 cup boiling water
1 cup currants or raisins

Now prepare the spiced cooking water. In a large saucepan, heat until boiling:
3 cups of water
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt

While the spiced cooking water is coming to a boil, rinse and drain well the quinoa:
2 cups quinoa

Put the drained quinoa in a skillet (I used a lage saucepan) and heat the quinoa, stirring constantly, until the grains are dry and smell toasted.

Add the toasted quinoa to the spiced boiling water. Cover the pot and simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender.

Saute until crisp-tender  in a large skillet:
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon garam masala

Add and saute a minute more:
5 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Add the sauteed vegetables to the cooked quinoa. Drain the raisins and toss them in.

Toss in:
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (I used pignoli nuts, and I toasted them in the skillet used for sauteeing the vegetables)
2 Tablespoons or more of lemon juice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon or more of black pepper (optional)

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