Recipe for Quinoa, Pumpkin, Potato and Peas tossed together with classic south Indian tamarind, coconut and spices
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons skinned urad dal, rinsed
2 tablespoons toor dal, rinsed
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 to 6 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and finely chopped
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp, soaked in 1/3 cup hot water for 40 minutes
2 tablespoons coconut or other oil
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
small handful of dried curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
1 large potato, cubed
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
2/3 cup fresh or frozen and defrosted peas
2 to 3 green or red chilies, seeded and minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
Rinse the quinoa and soak in the water for 8 hours or overnight. Add the salt and turmeric and bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed — about 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Set aside.
Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 30 to 40 minutes, then drain and chop and set aside. At the same time, soak the tamarind pulp in 1/3 cup hot water for 30 to 40 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water and squeezing out as much liquid from the pulp as possible. Set aside.
To prepare the spice blend, dry roast the dals, coriander seeds and peppercorns in an unoiled pan over medium heat until they darken a a few shades — about 3 minutes. Let cool and then grind to a powder with a spice blender or in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Fry, stirring often, until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Toss in the asafetida, stir once, and then add the potatoes, stirring well to combine. Cover and cook, stirring often and adding a few tablespoons of water as necessary if the potatoes stick, for roughly 12 minutes or until the potatoes begin to soften.
Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, pumpkin purée, peas, chilies, red pepper, coconut, tamarind liquid, cayenne and spice blend until well combined. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, adding more water as necessary, until the vegetables are tender — about 10 minutes.
Stir in the salt, lemon juice, and quinoa. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover and heat for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand for 5 minutes, fluff, and serve. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro if desired.