A throwback to the culinary delights of Peru

Creating food from the lands beyond, is a sure way to barge into the memories from your old journeys.

The thing with food is, that your food journey doesn’t necessarily end with your travel; if anything, it is only born there. I find that I take food inspiration from all our travels, whether it is adding a Creole touch to my food by taking inspiration from the cuisine in Seychelles or adding the Amok curries to my quiver, from the heady Khmer cuisine of Cambodia. Creating food from the lands beyond, is a sure way to barge into the memories from your old journeys.

Travels in Peru introduced me to the wonderful world of Quinoa. One of our most mentionable meals was at a restaurant called Pachapapa, in Cusco, highly recommended by the locals. It was a beautiful setup for lunch, with outside-seating in a courtyard, whilst a harpist played his tune along. We called for a cold Quinoa salad to begin with. It was my first time having Quinoa and I fell in love. With the fluffed up glistening pearls of goodness, the crunch provided in each bite, accompanied with the fresh creaminess of avocados and a touch of sour bite from the tomatoes.

Today, I use quinoa in many recipes, but the cold Peruvian Quinoa salad that first introduced me to the world of Quinoa is still my favourite recipe. Of course, I have added my little twist to it (well, what is life without some twists, anyway?)

Prepare your Quinoa (the rule of thumb being, boil one part quinoa with two parts water). Chop avocadoes, radishes, onions, jalapenos and oranges. I love my salads with something juicy and sour, like pineapples, sultanas, grapes and oranges. Here, tomatoes in the original recipe have been replaced with oranges, which I find lend an even fresher element to the ensemble.

Now, I love the Queso cheese (the original cheese used in this recipe) as much as the other person, but in my recipe, I wanted some more texture and there is no better cheese than Haloumi to render that. Jalapenos and chilli flakes add the quintessential South American heat to this salad.

This is a cold fresh salad and would go well on a hot summer day.

Peruvian Quinoa Salad (with a twist)
Print Recipe
A cold quinoa salad that lends its freshness from the creamy avocados and zesty oranges.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Peruvian Quinoa Salad (with a twist)
Print Recipe
A cold quinoa salad that lends its freshness from the creamy avocados and zesty oranges.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
For the Salad
For the dressing
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Unless specified, cook one part Quinoa with two parts water, in a closed vessel. Look for the curly springy white coil in Quinoa seeds to shine brightly to check for doneness. Once done, cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
  2. Chop all the Salad ingredients (except the onion) to small bite size pieces, as shown in the picture. The radishes could be either thinly sliced for garnish or could go chopped into the salad (or both). I also sometimes use red pepper in this salad.
  3. Grill or shallow fry your haloumi on a pan. Keep this aside. Also saute your chopped onions in some olive oil.
  4. In another small bowl, take aside the juice of half an orange and add olive oil to it. Add salt and chilli flakes to taste.
  5. Pour your dressing on to the cooked Quinoa. Add the chopped vegetables. Keep your Haloumi as a side or cut bite size chunks and add to the salad.
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