I share a love-hate relationship with salads. There are some that I like and some that I just can’t bear to eat. I read a bit about quinoa salad but it just sounded too… health nut-ish for me. And then I read about sprouting quinoa. Now that was something I just had to try. I experimented with sprouting a few tablespoons of it and while mine did not visibly sprout much, I liked the taste. It wasn’t too strong and did not have the raw-lentil-like flavor I stay away from.
The idea of mixing the quinoa with dressing wasn’t very appealing to me, so I used the good old south Indian tempering (dressing?). I mixed the quinoa with a bit of plain yogurt, added the tempering and it tasted really good. I mean, seriously. Who would have thought raw quinoa salad would taste so good?!
If you’re not into that kind of dressing, then by all means use a garlic-olive oil-spices mix. I would recommend staying away from bottled dressing and all the calories!
Quinoa has to be soaked for a minimum of 4 hours (preferably overnight) to sprout. The longer it soaks, the softer it becomes. You can read more about eating raw quinoa here - http://www.livestrong.com/article/354323-can-you-eat-quinoa-raw-or-uncooked/
How To Sprout Quinoa
If you don’t have a sprouter (I don’t), soak it overnight in water, drain it, tie it up loosely in a cheesecloth for a few hours (or 1 day). You can also lay it out in a colander lined with a cheesecloth to sprout. I wasn’t so patient and used the soaked quinoa, which was soft enough. It’s as simple as sprouting beans.
A simple salad recipe with soaked and sprouted raw quinoa, vegetables and a South Indian tempering. Play around with ingredients and vegetables available in your kitchen!
- Quinoa - 2 tbsp, raw, soaked overnight or at least 4 hours
- Cucumber - 1, chopped into small cubes
- Carrot - 1, grated
- Beet - 1, small, chopped finely
- Yogurt - 3 tbsp, unflavored
- Cilantro - 3 stalks, chopped finely
- Ginger - 1/4 tsp, minced, optional
- Green chilly - 1, finely chopped , or 1/2, depending on spice level
- - For the Tempering
- Oil - 1 tsp
- Urad dal - 1 tsp, split black gram dal
- Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Dried red chilly - 1, broken to pieces
- Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
- Curry leaves - 3, chopped
- Salt - to taste
- Soak the quinoa overnight or at least for 4 hours in enough water to cover it. Drain and keep aside.
- Mix quinoa along with the vegetables, yogurt, cilantro, ginger and green chilly.
- Heat oil in a small pan. When hot, add urad dal and fry until light brown. Add mustard seeds and when they start popping, add the rest of the tempering ingredients.
- Pour the tempering into the salad and mix well.
- Add salt only before serving if not the cucumber will release water and it will turn watery.