Tamarind Quinoa with Curry Leaves, Cabbage, Tofu and Peanuts

I've always loved this particular Indian rice dish with curry leaves and peanuts, but honestly, I don't even know exactly what it is called. Being the sleuth that I am, I googled some of the ingredients and I'm pretty positive it is a traditional South Indian preparation called "tamarind rice." After comparing a few recipes, I concluded that the ingredients lists and instructions seemed way too complicated and time intensive for a weekday meal, so I made up my own version using quinoa (instead of rice) and threw in some tofu and shredded cabbage to make it a meal. Holy cow pie! It turned out so awesome. I will definitely add this to my weekly repertoire. The only real specialty ingredients you will need are tamarind paste and curry leaves. Both are available at any Indian grocer.

Curry leaves have a nice nutty flavor and is a must for this dish! Try to find them; you'll be glad you did!

Tamarind Quinoa with Curry Leaves, Cabbage, Tofu and Peanuts Recipe (vegan)
serves 2


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 7 ounces firm tofu (I used sprouted tofu from Trader Joe's.)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • sea salt
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 3-4 cups shredded cabbage
  • coconut oil
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp hing (If you don't have hing, use garlic or onion powder.)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp corriander
  • 1 tsp mustard powder (or curry powder)
  • the leaves from one sprig of curry leaves, ripped (You can find these at Indian grocers.)
  • sea salt
  • peanuts for garnish


  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Chop tofu into tiny cubes. Pat dry. In a frying pan, add a bit of oil and add the first set of turmeric and cumin, fry for a second in oil and add tofu. Stir frequently. Once the tofu is browned, add salt to taste. Remove from heat.
  3. When the quinoa is done, stir in tamarind and a dash of sea salt.
  4. In a large frying pan over medium heat, add about 1/2 TB of oil, and the remaining spices. Saute until fragrant and then add curry leaves. Fry one more minute. Add shredded cabbage and saute until cabbage begins to wilt but is still a bit of crunchy. Add quinoa to frying pan and stir fry until ingredients are well combined.
  5. To serve, divide into bowls and garnish with salted peanuts.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty shot of the curry leaf! This sounds amazing. Tamarind makes anything great.


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