Friday, June 10, 2011

Quinoa Papaya Salad with a Curry Vinaigrette

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) the proclaimed super grain of the future, in reality has been around since the Inca civilization. Not only is it high in protein with essential amino acids and gluten free but an excellent replacement for our favourite carbs, like rice and pasta. Light and easy to digest, it works beautifully in a salad as a main dish for those lazy hazy days of summer.

The classic Waldorf salad inspired my earlier recipe, whereas this time around I wanted to pay homage to all my blogger friends across the ocean and as well as those close by whose cuisine has given us so many wonderful curry dishes. My offering is a fusion of flavours, which I think compliment the papaya and curry dressing. Some of my favourite ingredients that I couldn't resist adding were raisins, pecans and apples.

Suggestion: Although my husband loved the results, I suggest using less dressing for the salad. No worries about the left over portion, the vinaigrette will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup light olive oil

In a small bowl add the curry powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the vinegar. Continue whisking while pouring in the olive oil in a steady stream.

1 1/2 cup organic quinoa (will double in size once cooked)
2 cups papaya peeled and cut into 1/2" to 1" pieces
1 apple peeled and cut into small pieces
1 cup cucumber, seeded and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup Thompson raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans ( for better flavour roast at 350ºf  for about 3-5 minutes)

Rinse the quinoa. Add the quinoa to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes. The quinoa is cooked when the grains become translucent and the white germ is visible. May also be cooked in a rice cooker.
Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool before tossing in  the remaining ingredients.
Pour in the desired amount of prepared vinaigrette and toss.
Makes 7 cups


  1. It's been a while since I've cooked with quinoa. Your salad is delightful!

  2. Love the look of your papaya salad! I would try this the next time I find a good papaya. :)

  3. Anna, this salad sounds delightful. Exactly the type of thing we'd make at home. Thanks for sharing. It's a good reminder to add a little papaya to our lives!

  4. What a delightful salad using the wondergrain! Loved the flavorful curry vinaigrette - Yum!
    US Masala

  5. That looks soo refreshing:-) Never tried a quinoa salad..

  6. I love quinoa, and this looks really good!

    Have a wonderful Weekend...ciao!

  7. Nisrine, I guess I will be cooking quinoa for awhile as I picked up quite a large bag and a little goes a long way. No complaints on the home front as we really enjoy it.

    Hi Tina, the papaya was a last minute thought as I had some in the fridge. Glad I used it in the salad, everyone really enjoyed it.

    Thanks for dropping by France. The trick is to incorporate it in recipes. I've been meaning to do a curry dish using it. Good way to get more in our diet.

    Aipi, Thank you..glad you enjoyed the recipe. I didn't overdo it with the curry as to not mask the delicate flavours of the other ingredients. It worked out well.

    Ramya, it's really worth giving it a try. It's just as easy as cooking rice and using it in a similar way. It's quite a versatile ingredient.

    Fabiana, Thanks for the visit. Happy that you enjoyed the recipe. We are also big fans of it. It's a great replacement for rice or pasta. Healthy and easy to digest.