beetroot quinoa stir fry salad south India style

Beetroot quinoa salad south India style, because I have no better way to describe this light salad that can be eaten either warm or cold.

While there is nothing much South Indian about this salad, I will still say it has flavours of the Upma and the lemon rice type dishes I have grown up eating as South Indian food. Now that I have eaten and relished the Bisi Bele Bhath and the several types of sambars, kootu and Palya type dishes belonging to different southern states, I feel the simplified southern accents into my rice and Upma works well when I have to experiment with ingredients. I am a sucker for clean flavours, simpler cooking techniques and convenience in general. 

To make this dish simpler, I get the beets grated a day ahead, usually done by my kitchen help, this dish comes together in 10 minutes once the beets are grated. The flavours are great when eaten warm or cold, so it makes a great lunch box meal as well. 

(2 meal servings with boiled eggs) 
Quinoa 1/3 cup or 60 gm 
Grated beet root 1.5 cup (2 medium sized beets)
5 springs of curry leaves chopped 
4-5 red chilies broken 
A generous pinch of asafoetida 
Salt and pepper to taste 
1 tbsp lime juice or 1 tsp amchoor powder 
1 tbsp Sesame oil 


Rinse the quinoa and cook in plenty of water for 8-10 minutes or till completely cooked, drain the water with the help of a sieve. See how to cook quinoa and stock some cooked quinoa for instant recipes. 

You can cook the quinoa on one side of the stove and prepare the beetroot on the other side while the quinoa cooks.

Heat the oil in a shallow pan, tip in the asafoetida and let it get aromatic. Add the broken chilies and stir till they crackle and change colour for a couple of seconds. Now add the chopped curry leaves and stir, wait till they infuse the oil nicely.

Add the grated beets, salt and pepper and stir quickly till the grated beetroot wilts within a couple of minutes. 
Add the cooked quinoa and mix well. Add the lime juice or amchoor powder and adjust seasoning. 

Sometimes I add a little sambar powder to this salad while cooking the beets and that gives it a deeper flavour. Otherwise it is a light salad that can be served as a meal or as a replacement of rice in everyday Indian meals, along with some raita, kachumber and may be some grilled paneer or chickpeas Sundal on the side. 

This beetroot quinoa salad makes a balanced meal in whatever way you serve it. I recommend a glass of spiced buttermilk with it to round off the flavours and to boost the antioxidant content of the meal.