4.3/5 rating (22 votes)

Quinoa Kosumbari

Healthy Indian Quinoa Salad

  • Heat Mild
  • Serves 4
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 15 mins
Quinoa Kosumbari

Hari says

Kosambari is a traditional, south Indian vegetarian side dish. The key ingredients of any kosambari are cucumber salad split green lentils (moong dhal), fresh coriander leaves, grated coconut, a few chilies and a refreshing squeeze of lemon juice. This recipe is a bit of a take on that traditional salad as I have substituted the lentils for the super grain that is quinoa. 

Quinoa (keenwa) is known as the 'mother grain' (even though it's actually a seed). It's a full protein source containing essential amino acids, it's high in magnesium, iron and fibre. It can be used in the same way as you would any grain as a side dish or in salads. I think with the addition of a few Indian flavours it really makes for a deliciously healthy lunch dish that's simple to throw together.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups of water (to cook in)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp butter (optional)
  • half a cucumber
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts
  • 1 green chilli
  • handful of coconut, grated
  • handful of coriander, chopped


  1. Wash the quinoa in three changes of water to get rid of the bitter coating. Leave it to soak in water for 10 minutes.
  2. Bring the water (2 parts to 1 part Quinoa) to the boil and add the quinoa, salt and a knob of butter to it.
  3. When it starts to boil reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.
  4. Peel the cucumber and scoop out the seeds with a spoon - chop into a fine dice and set to one side.
  5. In a small pan heat the oil and add the asafoetida, mustard seeds, cashew nuts and green chillis.
  6. Once toasted (few seconds) pour this into the cooked quinoa and fork it through.
  7. Add the cucumber, grated coconut and lemon juice and mix it all through.
  8. Sprinkle in the fresh chopped coriander and serve. 

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