I figured it was about time to share another one pot recipe! My last two forays into the one pot phenomenon were both pasta dishes, so this time I’m changing it up with this one pot tandoori quinoa. (Now with a recipe video!)
My one pot pasta puttanesca actually started an interesting conversation with a reader about authenticity of recipes. Is one pot pasta an insult to the art of Italian cooking? Can we really call something ‘puttanesca’ if it doesn’t have anchovies in it, and we’ve added chickpeas, which are never used in the classic dish? I say ‘yes’! It gives people an idea of what to expect from the recipe, without having to read the ingredients list in detail. It’s obvious just from the title what the inspiration and flavor profile will be. And I try to be forthcoming and honest in my blog posts when I’m introducing a recipe that strays from being authentic (which is… most of them! Exhibit A: last week’s Brussels sprout banh mi).
Which leads me to my next comment. The tandoori-ness of this one pot tandoori quinoa is disputable. 🙂 The term ‘tandoori’ actually refers to the tandoor, which is a clay oven used in Southern Asian cooking. And this recipe quite obviously doesn’t use one of those! However, the flavors of the dish do take their inspiration from tandoori masala, which is a curry paste usually comprised of garam masala, cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, and onion. Tandoori masala is often used to flavor things that are cooking in the tandoor.
If you like, this tandoori quinoa can stand alone as a meal. It’s got a whole (pseudo)grain, vegetables, beans, and satisfying full flavor. If I wanted to make it stretch farther I would probably serve it with a side of additional veggies like some sauteed greens.
It now occurs to me that I haven’t been posting nearly enough dessert recipes lately. So I got my butt in the kitchen this weekend and I will be sharing something for your sweet tooth very soon. NB: It’s really really hard to photograph chocolate things (and quinoa, for that matter…)
One Pot Tandoori Quinoa
- 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil, or other plain oil
- 1 cup diced sweet potatoes (115 grams) (a small dice is best) (equals 1 small sweet potato or 1/2 of a large one)
- 1/2 red onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno or 2 Indian green chiles seeded and minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp garam masala (see notes)
- (optional) 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed
- 1 and 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (equal to one 15 oz. can)
- about 1 and 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (equal to one 14 oz. can)
- 1 tsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh lime juice (lemon also works), for serving
- chopped fresh cilantro for serving
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and stir.
Cook the sweet potatoes, stirring frequently, for about 6-8 minutes or until softened significantly.
Add the onion and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add the garlic, chiles, and ginger, and cook for another minute until fragrant. Finally, stir in the garam masala and (optional) cayenne pepper and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the quinoa, vegetable broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, and sugar, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally.
Cook until the quinoa and sweet potatoes are cooked through, about 20 minutes. If there seems to be too much liquid, simmer uncovered for a few minutes to evaporate the excess. If the liquid runs out before the quinoa is done, add more water or broth and continue simmering. Add salt, pepper, and additional garam masala and cayenne to taste.
Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice and a generous sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
For variations, try using curry powder instead of or addition to the garam masala; or use different vegetables, adjusting the liquid and cooking time as needed.
The quantity of sweet potatoes is flexible; I have doubled it with good results.
I get a lot of questions about the correct amount of garam masala to use in this recipe and the answer is that it definitely depends on your personal taste and tolerance to spices. It can also depend on the brand and the mixture of various spices used by that brand.
I personally do prepare this recipe with 2 tablespoons of garam masala, which was the originally-listed amount. Most readers have used 2 tablespoons and enjoyed it, but if you think less spice may be appropriate for you and your family, please start with 2-3 teaspoons and mix in additional garam masala if desired at the end of cooking.
Inspired by One Pan Mexican Quinoa.
Enjoy this one pot tandoori quinoa? Try some of my other quinoa recipes: