This Moroccan Quinoa and Lentil Salad recipe is an adaptation of this fantastic salad I was served in St. Lucia. It’s heavy on turmeric, which grows in abundance over here, and it has a very Moroccan feel to it with the sweetness of the cinnamon and sliced almonds. But where the Moroccans would opt for couscous, I’ve used quinoa’s gluten-free, super-food alternative.
If you fancy making this Moroccan Quinoa and Lentil Salad recipe, please use fresh turmeric as it will provide you with such a rich, fragrant flavour, and it is also perfect for you! Also, please go ahead and use fresh coriander or cilantro for this salad. I am still hunting for the herb over here!
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 2 cups of water
- 1 heaping tablespoon of freshly grated turmeric
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
- ½ cup of dry lentils
- 2 onions
- Coconut oil
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground cumin
- Ground coriander
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 scotch bonnet chilli pepper, finely chopped
- A handful of almonds, sliced
- Fresh spinach (as much as you like)
- Boil 2 cups of water. Rinse the dry lentils, and place them in a saucepan with boiling water. Cover, and leave to cook on low heat for 35 minutes. Check them occasionally to make sure the water doesn't evaporate (add more from the tap if this happens) and stir once in a while to prevent them from sticking to the pan.
- In a new saucepan, add the quinoa and 2 cups of cold water, cook on medium to high heat until the water begins to boil. Stir in 1 heaping tablespoon of grated turmeric, ½ teaspoon of ground coriander, and salt and pepper. Bring the heat down and allow the quinoa to simmer gently, stirring regularly, for 10 to 15 minutes until it is tender but not stodgy. (Nearly all the water should have evaporated once the quinoa is cooked.)
- Unfortunately, yellow fingertips are inevitable when using turmeric, unless you fancy wearing plastic gloves! Be careful of it on your clothes as well. It stains everything.
- While the quinoa and lentils are cooking, heat a tablespoon of refined coconut oil in a large frying pan. Finely chop your onions and add to the hot oil with ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of cumin and ½ teaspoon of coriander. Stir fry until they start to soften. Mix in the garlic, chilli pepper and almonds.
- Once the onions begin to crisp up, wash the spinach and slice it into strips. Add to the pan and mix with the contents.
- While the spinach wilts, drain the lentils (so long as they're cooked) and add them and the quinoa to the frying pan. Mix everything thoroughly and keep the heat on low.
- Serve the salad hot or cold!