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I realized that for most people apart from the taste of food and appearance of food, the texture of food is very important. Quinoa has a ...

Thair Quinoa / Quinoa in Yogurt Sauce

I realized that for most people apart from the taste of food and appearance of food, the texture of food is very important. Quinoa has a nutty taste, has a texture of a crunchy grain but smells a little to me like poppy seeds or kasa kasa. When most rice eaters try it, they will not consider it as an alternative to rice.They might have great resistance to it because the distinct smell is kind of strong.Though I have known and used quinoa a lot, I still did not use it as a perfect substitute for rice.

 But all that changed when my sister served me quinoa with onion sambar and potato curry. I was sold. All the smell disappeared and the texture was similar to rice and actually tasted good. Thanks to Indian cooking that has a great smell killer Asafoetida. It is so over powering that it takes away any mild or subtle smell. I have been using quinoa as a substitute for rice and I love it. I have made payasam, puliodharai, lemon and yogurt quinoa, had it with rasam, kozhambu and sambar. I am so glad that it cooks like rice in a rice cooker and tastes great. A very healthy alternative to rice especially for those who have blood sugar issues. 

Today I made Thair/Yogurt Quinoa for dinner and we loved it. Cannot ask for more on a very hot day.The yogurt, onion and cucumber will totally cool your system. A perfect alternative to regular yogurt rice. Next time you have people over for lunch or dinner give this one a try.


Pan with lid
Rice Cooker
Cutting Board
Measuring Cups and Spoons


For Making Quinoa:
Organic Quinoa (from Costco) - 1 cup
Water - 3 cups plus 1 1/2 cups for rice cooker

For Yogurt Sauce:
Yogurt - 2 1/2 cups 
Milk- 1/2 cup
Oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Cashew Nut - 8 (optional)
Green Chillies- 1 (deseed to reduce spice)
Asafoetida powder - 1/8th tsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Cilantro - 2 tbsp chopped
Persian Cucumber - 2 diced into small cubes
Ginger - 1/2 tsp grated
Onion - 1 diced into small cubes


1.  In a rice cooker add 1 1/2 cups water. Plug it in and allow the water to warm up.
2. In a bowl add quinoa and wash it well. Add 3 cups of water to the quinoa and place this bowl in the rice cooker and allow the quinoa to cook.

3. In a pan, add oil and when it warms up add asafoetida, and mustard seeds. The mustard seeds will pop so cover it with a lid. When it is done popping add cashew nuts, greens chillies, curry leaves, onions, ginger and salt. Cover and allow it to cook on low heat for a few minutes. The onions will turn translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4. When the quinoa is done remove the bowl and spread it out in a plate and allow to cool.
5. Add the cooled quinoa to a bigger bowl, add milk, yogurt, cucumber, cilantro and mix well. Add the onion mix and mix well. Taste and add salt if required. Serve it cold or at room temperature with pickles, grapes or cooked veggies. 


  1. Wow !!! Looks wonderful Srimathi :). You are tempting me to try quinoa. I loved the green spread under that bowl :). Beautiful pictures.

  2. That's a gud recipe for summer...looks nice

  3. Simple and wonderful. Do visit my blog when time permits.http://shanthisthaligai.blogspot.com/

  4. Wat a beautiful dish, feel like having some..fabulous dish to beat the heat..

  5. Yum! wat a delicious thair Quinoa, Very impressive clicks dear.

  6. I make this too! yumm..i add pomegranates too!

  7. Sounds interesting and healthy too...
    Thx. for sharing dear :-)

  8. Another interesting way to eat Quinoa.........

  9. Perfect yogurt quinoa.Love the look and taste of it.My favorite dish.

  10. I use quinoa extensively too Srimathi but I never used it as a rice substitute. Quinoa with yogurt looks refreshing and perfect, great for these hot summery days :-)

  11. Feel like grabbing that spoon and have it.. Yummy

  12. Srimathi, that look so delicious and chilling one. I will surely try it.

  13. simple and healthy dish... yummy...

  14. Nice idea ...simple dish but very healthy..

  15. Wonderful recipe, very refreshing healthy dish.

  16. Wow! It looks wonderful to me. I love yogurt. This is the best to beat the heat. It would be great if you participate in our Sizzling Summer Contest. You could win one of our $50 prize. Check it out.

  17. Thats something different, nice and healthy dish!

  18. Although I am very curious to try this grain. It unfortunately isn't sold here. I am seeing it on so many blogs now.

  19. Thankyou, Srimathi for dropping by! :)..
    I have never Quinoa.Dish look delicious!..Hope we 'Southies' like it!:)

  20. i do want to try this sometime..a healthy and a good substitute for rice..

  21. Quinoa is a staple in our kitchen! We substitute it for rice twice a week to bump up protein intake, I make upma and salad with cucumbers, pom seeds. I had never tried with yogurt.Thanks!

  22. I made this and it is really good. Thanks for sharing this recipie.


  23. I made this for lunch today as I accidentally cooked up 6 cups of quinoa and was looking for ways to use it all up....turned out YUMMM!!! Thank you for posting this recipe :)