• Kris

Curried quinoa tabbouleh

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

Using quinoa instead of bulgur and jazzing it up with curry flavors makes this Mediterranean grain salad uniquely singular. Vegan, gluten free, oil free.

I like the fact that people, by the day, are getting more and more interested in the Mediterranean cuisine. You’ll see nutritionists everywhere giving this category of food a “health- hero” badge. Full of fresh veggies, whole grains and omega 3 rich components, Mediterranean food does a lot of good to your health, for sure! On top of that, it tastes really refreshing. And light. And exotic. So, what not to like about it?

If you go to any Mediterranean restaurant or market, you’ll definitely find ‘tabbouleh’ in their menu. Tabbouleh (or you can pronounce it as Tabuli, your call!) was actually originated in Lebanon and Syria. It’s a grain salad, usually made with bulgur, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. It also contains tomato, cucumber and lots of parsley. Okay, I’ll admit, it’s supposed to be a ‘veggies and herb salad’ with a little bit of grain in it, but our carb-addict culture has modified it into a ‘grain salad’!

In the restaurants, they usually serve it as a side for the main protein entrée. But I thought, hey, why not try and make it the main dish? On busy days we all look for one pot meals, right? So, I added pinto beans and peas in the salad as my protein source.

But, does the story end there? Um…no! Listen, I am one of those kooks who are always beaten by the crazy bug and twist their recipes to a degree that will make you awed! I mean, c’mon, I have to make the food “mine”, right? Why else would I make it at home and not go buy from the store?

So, to make my tabbouleh unique, I changed the flavor profile to ‘curry’. I also had to make it gluten free, so using bulgur was not an option. Therefore, I used quinoa. That also adds more protein to the dish. To tweak it more, I used mint instead of the typical parsley. I also added toasted nuts and dry fruits to embellish it up even more. And as you know, most of my recipes are oil free, I’ve also let go of the olive oil. Don’t worry bud, no compromise on the flavor, I promise!

Here’s the recipe. Give it a go and you’ll see why deviating away from the original recipe sometimes is totally worth it!

About the dish :

Course – Entrée

Servings – 4

Difficulty level – Easy

Recipe type – Vegan, gluten free, oil free

Does it keep – Refrigerate in air-tight container for up to 4 days.

What you need :

2 Persian cucumbers

1 medium bell pepper

½ medium onion

2 medium carrots

1 medium tomato

Juice of 1 large lime (about 1.5 tablespoons)

1.5 cups (or 1 can) cooked pinto beans (see here how to cook beans from scratch)

1 cup peas (frozen, can or fresh)

1.5 tablespoons curry powder

2 cups cooked quinoa (as per package instruction)

2 teaspoons dried mint

½ teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup cashews (or walnuts), toasted and chopped

1/3 cup dry cranberries (or golden raisins)

Salt to taste

What you do :

1. Chop the cucumbers, bell pepper and onion into small pieces. Peel and coarsely grate the carrots. Cut the tomato in half. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon and chop into small pieces.

2. Take all these vegetables in a mixing bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Add lime juice and toss. Set aside.

3. In a skillet, add a little water (or oil if you use oil) and add the peas.

4. Add curry powder and cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Now add the pinto beans. Mix and cook for another minute or two.

6. Now add cooked quinoa to it. Season with salt.

7. Add black pepper and dried mint. Stir well and turn the heat off.

8. Add the vegetables, dried fruits and nuts. Mix really well.

9. Check for seasoning and adjust.

10. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Nutritional info per serving :

Calories – 479 Cal

Carbohydrate – 85 g

Protein – 16 g

Fat – 10 g

Saturated fat – 1 g

Sugar – 15 g

Sodium – 79 mg

Dietary fiber – 15 g

Modifications you can make :

  • Instead of pinto beans, use red kidney beans or chickpeas.

  • Use cooked bulgur, couscous, farro, or rice instead of quinoa.

  • Replace cranberries or raisins with any dry fruits. Currants or chopped dry apricots work pretty good.

  • Sub lemon juice for lime juice.

If you like this recipe, you might also wanna look at these :

Red beans and rice

Mushrooms and beyond meat sausage quinoa bowl

Black beans and healthy grains Mexican bowl

Black beans and root veggies Buddha bowl with salsa roja

There you go! You have made an exclusive tabbouleh and earned yourself a “healthilicious cook" badge! Don’t forget to pin it to your apron (or chef’s hat, depending on your choice) when your friends come beg for the recipe!

Light, peace and avocados; from my heart to yours!

Do you have any questions? Any feedback after you’ve made it? I’d surely like to hear from you! Feel free to comment below.

Comments :

JS.C says

8/26/2020, at 8.52 AM


Kris says

8/26/2020, at 10.58 AM

Thank you so much!


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