Vivek Singh’s Quinoa Salad With Watermelon


The unusual combination of chilled watermelon, hoisin and cashew nuts makes this a delectable canapé. The cashews provide a crunchy texture to the succulent watermelon.

For something larger, add the quinoa and it makes a great light lunch

• 400g watermelon with seeds, cut into 1cm dice, (peeled weight)
• 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
• 10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
• 50g lightly salted cashew nuts
• 1/2 lime, juiced
• 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

For the quinoa salad:
• 2 teaspoons vegetable or corn oil
• 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 200g quinoa, boiled according to packet instructions
• 2cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
• 1 green chilli, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
• 1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 lemon, juiced

1 Combine the watermelon, red chilli powder, mint and salt in a medium sized bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid.
2 Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan for 1 minute, then set aside. Toast the cashew nuts in the same way, then halve or chop them and set aside.
3 Whisk the lime juice and hoisin sauce together in small bowl to blend, then stir in the toasted sesame seeds.
4 To serve as a canapé, make sure the watermelon is chilled. Sprinkle the hoisin dressing on each cube. Place on a serving tray, sprinkle over the cashew nuts and serve immediately.
5 To make the quinoa salad, heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, remove from the heat and mix them in a bowl with the quinoa.
6 Mix with the remaining ingredients and adjust the seasoning.
7 Divide the quinoa between four plates and spoon on the watermelon salad. Top each salad with hoisin dressing, sprinkle with cashew nuts and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Vivek Singh, extracted from Spice at Home 

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