Grantee Blog

Our Quinoa Disaster

The SATHI team decided to introduce a new grain, quinoa at our temple event. A lot of effort went into looking for a recipe, making the recipe, tweaking the ingredients, and finally doing a nutrient analysis. After many “quinoa filled “ days, we finally were ready. “Chaat” is an equivalent of a cold salad in the North Indian cuisine. A typical blend of spices is used and this dish has many, many variations that are very popular.

A week before the event, the kitchen staff at the temple informed us that the temple has a new policy that does not allow serving any homemade recipes. We had 5 days to find a restaurant or a caterer who would be willing to make our experimented version of recipe at such short notice. The restaurant we identified only had white quinoa, so we agreed to provide them the red quinoa.

Finally, the day of the event arrives. We waited outside the temple for the delivery van. Our recipe cards ready to be distributed with portion-controlled servings of Quinoa chaat.

Much to our dismay, we found that the chef had substituted red onions instead of the green onions (chives) in the recipe. The temple did not allow serving anything that contained onion and/or garlic. Consequently, we were left with a dilemma in the parking lot. A quick decision was made and we moved forward with just distributing the recipe cards and 100 servings of quinoa chaat could not be served that day.

A new lesson learned. If we had the recipe in “Hindi” or “Gujrati,” we could perhaps have avoided this misinterpretation. We are learning everyday and hopefully people who stop by our SATHI table are also learning from us!



About the Grantee

South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI) (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)

SATHI The South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI) was established in 2007 at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School with the mission to improve health outcomes in South Asians living in the United States. SATHI serves as a platform to engage multidisciplinary professionals such as researchers, health practitioners, public health experts, community-based organizations and community members.