Tomato Quinoa (Nasi Tomato)
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 2-4
"This recipe is inspired by the popular Malaysian rice dish, nasi tomato. This is one of those dishes that has benefitted from the many cultures that call Malaysia home, with each culture having their own variation on the recipe. I thought I'd give it my own spin, and make it with quinoa instead. I highly suggest using fresh tomatoes over store-bought tomato paste or ketchup. It can be served as a side dish with meat and vegetables, but it's so packed with flavors that it's just as good on its own!" -- Christine
  • 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes
  • ½ inch ginger, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, sliced into
  • thin pieces
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • Water
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  1. In a food processor, blend the cherry tomatoes, ginger, cumin powder, coconut palm sugar, and salt until you have a puree. Pour into a measuring cup and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-low heat, and saute the garlic and yellow onion, followed by the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and clove, until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the spices. Add bell pepper and saute for another minute or two, until it turns slightly soft.
  3. Add the tomato puree and water. You will need 2 cups of liquid to cook 1 cup of quinoa, and that amount should come from the tomato puree and water combined. For example, if the puree measures ½ cup, add 1½ cups water to make 2 cups of liquid. Add quinoa and stir to combine all ingredients.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat on low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes (or according to package instructions). Quinoa is cooked when the grain is translucent with a ring around it. Turn off heat and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Fluff quinoa with fork, and remove the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and whole clove. Garnish with fresh cilantro on top or stir in chopped cilantro for added flavor.
This recipe is super flavorful, and would be a great side to any meal. When I was done photographing the quinoa on it's own, I quickly sauteed some shrimp (tofu would be good, too) with a little bit of sriracha, to go with. Served with a salad, this became a delicious and healthy dinner for The Husband and I. The recipe makes 4 side-dish sized servings, or 2 bigger portions, so if you're wanting to make a meal out of it I suggest doubling the recipe. (Or double it anyway, because the leftovers are delicious, too!)
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at