Recipe courtesy of Mira Manek

Quinoa & popcorn bhel in crisp lettuce

Quinoa & popcorn bhel in crisp lettuce

This is quite a simple quinoa recipe with avocado, onions, peppers and cashews, and it is the drizzles of tamarind chutney, red chilli chutney and sweet yoghurt that really make it into a bhel. Instead of the crispy mamra or fried bits, I've added the fresh crunch of popcorn, which must be added right at the end so the popcorn stays crisp. Add to that that crisp butter lettuce and you have a real contrast of textures, flavours and colours.

Makes 5-8 lettuce wraps

1 pack butter lettuce

150g cooked quinoa, red or white

½ teaspoon coconut oil or any oil

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

¼ red onion, chopped

½ red pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons cashews or peanuts, whole or broken

1 small avocado, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

handful coriander

juice of ¼ lime or lemon

Sweet and spice yoghurt dip

3 tablespoons yoghurt

¼ teaspoon salt

drizzle of honey

pinch red chilli powder


red pepper and chilli chutney, around 5 tablespoons

tamarind and date chutney, around 5 tablespoons


handful popcorn

sesame seeds

Heat the coconut oil and mustard seeds in a medium pan and once the mustard seeds start to pop, add the onions and stir for a couple of minutes on low to medium heat until golden brown. Now add the cashews (or peanuts) and red pepper and stir for another minute before adding the quinoa, salt, lime and coriander. Stir and mix well, then leave aside to cool. Mix together all the ingredients for the yoghurt dip and place in the avocado skin or in a small bowl. Arrange the lettuce on the serving plate or plates, fill each lettuce with some of the quinoa mix just before serving (the quinoa mix can be slightly warm or cold). Drizzle with the tamarind and red chutney, garnish with popcorn and sesame seeds and serve with the yoghurt dip.

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