Vegan One Pot Tandoori Quinoa


·       1 tbsp. water
·       1 c. (180g) diced sweet potatoes (a small dice is best)
·       ½ red onion, finely chopped
·       2 cloves garlic, minced
·       1 jalapeno or 2 Indian green chiles, seeded and minced
·       1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
·       2 tsp. to 2 tbsp. (I use 2 tb.; see notes) garam masala
·       (optional) ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
·       1 c. (170g) quinoa, rinsed
·       1 (240ml) and ¼ c. (60ml) vegetable broth
·       1 and ½ c. cooked chickpeas (equal to one 15 oz. can - 425g)
·       about 1 and ½ c. (400g) 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


·       Step 1
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and stir.

·       Step 2

Cook the sweet potatoes, stirring frequently, for about 6-8 minutes or until softened significantly.

·       Step 3
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.

·       Step 4
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.

·       Step 5
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.

·       Step 6
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.

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.


susan wesley