Watermelon Pizza Salad with Curried Quinoa

Serves  8

Watermelon pizza salad with curried quinoa
Watermelon pizza salad with curried quinoa
Come, get a slice of this pizza!
Come, get a slice of this pizza!

Which camp do you belong to when it comes to fruit sprinkled with salt and spices? When my children were little, they scrunched up their noses at the very thought of it. I grew up eating fresh, ripe guavas sprinkled with salt and red chili powder …..hmmm… my mouth waters even as I write this.

But when my friends offered watermelon and bananas sprinkled with salt and black pepper, I remember being a little reluctant to try it. Bananas, I am still not sure 🙂 but love chaat masala or other spice mixes on some of the fruit, including watermelon. I love how the spices bring out the sweetness of the fruit. When a Mexican American friend introduced me to Tajin, which is a fruit and snack seasoning, I was hooked! It has salt, red chili pepper and the tanginess of limes too.

Curried, fluffy quinoa is quickly becoming our favorite, which is huge because we were not fans of quinoa, when we first tasted it. The extra minutes taken to rinse and roast the quinoa are well worth it when you see and taste the difference. The combination of this curried quinoa goes amazingly well with the baby kale, diced red onion, grated carrots and feta cheese.

And did I tell you about my new dressing? Balsamic vinegar reduction laced with curry powder and ghee. Honestly, I was making it up as I went along but it tasted even better than I imagined it and it passed the taste test in my home…with flying colors, I may add! It is a huge deal to me as they are brutally honest 🙂

The watermelon pizza base, with the curried quinoa salad and the balsamic curry dressing drizzled on top, is an explosion of flavors in your mouth. It tickles all the taste buds with its spicy, salty, bitter, sweet and tangy flavors!


For the curried quinoa

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon ghee
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida/ hing powder
  • 2 slices of fresh green chili pepper. I used serrano pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • ½ cup hot water
  • Sea salt to taste
Salad ingredients lining up!
Salad ingredients lining up!

For the salad

  • 2 cups baby kale leaves, sliced thin
  • ½ small red onion diced( about ¼ cup diced onion)
  • 2 medium sized carrots grated (about 1 cup grated carrots)
  • ¼ cup feta cheese

For the dressing-

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ghee
  • Sea salt to taste

For the base-

  • Watermelon slices
  • tajin seasoning to sprinkle, as per taste

To make the salad-

  1. Heat the oil and ghee over medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they start to splutter, add the asafetida and chili pepper.
  2. Lower the heat, add the turmeric powder and the washed and drained quinoa. Roast the quinoa well with the spices for about 2 minutes. It will start to make a crackling sound.
  3. Add the half cup of hot water and sea salt to taste. Stir and let the quinoa cook, covered, on low heat, until cooked, about 25 minutes.
  4. Let it cool. Remove the green chili pepper slices and discard. Fluff with a fork and add the kale, onion, carrots and feta cheese.
  5. In a saucepan, reduce the balsamic vinegar for about 2 minutes on low heat. Add the brown sugar, curry powder, ghee and the sea salt and whisk to combine. Remove from heat.
  6. Sprinkle the tajin seasoning over the watermelon slice base. Top with the quinoa salad and drizzle the dressing over the top!
  • Note- The salad can be made in advance and refrigerated.

Enjoy this extraordinary pizza!




20 thoughts on “Watermelon Pizza Salad with Curried Quinoa

Add yours

  1. This is definitely art on a plate Sandhya! My word, it looks absolutely gorgeous! What a clever idea too, incorporating sweet, sour and salty on a watermelon slice. Did you ever submit that recipe to Food52 like Suzanne suggested? I’ll bet it would have won first prize. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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