Vegetarian recipe for fragrant spiced Baked Quinoa and Vegetables served with fried pieces of paneer cheese


2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
small handful of dried curry leaves, crumbled
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, to taste
400 mL can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup hot water
400 g paneer cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
handful of fresh coriander, trimmed and finely chopped

How to
Lightly grease a large casserole dish with oil. Set aside.

In a medium-large pot, Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and stir for 5 minutes to soften. Add the ginger, garlic, carrot, celery, jalapeños and curry leaves, and stir for another few minutes.

Now add the spices and quinoa, and stir for another few minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and hot water, and let simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake in a preheated 190C oven for 30 minutes. If the quinoa seems too dry, add a bit of extra water near the end of the cooking time.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Toss in the paneer cubes and cook for 5 minutes, turning often, until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel if there is any excess oil.

When the quinoa has cooked, fold in the salt and fresh cilantro. Serve hot scattered with paneer cheese cubes.

If there are leftovers, the dish will thicken as it sits, so just stir in more water and reheat in the oven or in a frying pan.

Lisa’s Vegetarian Kitchen (Lisa’s Vegetarian Kitchen) / CC BY 2.5

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