Quinoa Upma

Upma, the traditional Indian dish is made with semolina and veggies.

However, if you want to serve your family something more wholesome, try this Quinoa Upma made with quinoa. Tastes great with my favorite ginger cardamom chai!

quinoa upma

I always strive to make wholesome meals for my family, sure there’s an indulgent slice of cheesecake in between but more or less I try to keep it simple and wholesome for our daily meals.

I grew up eating a lot of lentils, beans and those are a part of my everyday diet. However quinoa has been a recent addition to that list. I didn’t grew up eating it, but ever since I tried it for the first time some 5 years back, I never looked back.

I often notice that people associate quinoa with salads, my husband is like that. He always says that “oh quinoa is only for salads” but the fact is that it is just as good in anything and everything.

You can swap a lot of grains with quinoa in your favorite dishes to make them more wholesome. One of my favorite ways to do is by using quinoa in place of semolina in Upma.

I am sure all Indians know about this dish, but for my non-Indian readers who don’t know – upma is a traditional Indian dish which is made of roasted semolina and veggies cooked together. These days I am hooked to the quinoa version of it!

This Quinoa Upma is

✓ wholesome and good for you

✓ one-pot meal which is easy to put together

✓ vegan and gluten-free

How to Make Quinoa Upma

To make this quinoa upma is ridiculously simple using. It’s a one pot meal and doesn’t require much prep time or ingredients.

I like my upma simple so I have only added green peas and onion here. But you may add any vegetable you like here like carrot and cauliflower would work well.

TIP: If you use cauliflower just chop it fine to make sure it cooks along with everything else.

I remember making this quinoa upma last week and my dad loved it so much that he just kept saying that it’s like best quinoa dish he has ever eaten!  I think he’s biased like any father would be ? but this stuff is good and you can trust me on that.

We all enjoyed this upma with hot masala chai. I love family time like this where we all sit back and eat a hearty meal and share a few laughs and of course chai!

So give this traditional Indian recipe a new spin with quinoa and let me know how you guys liked it.

 

Method

Rinse the quinoa several times. Drain and set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Add hing (asafoetida) and stir.

Add chopped ginger, green chili, cashews and peanuts. Saute for a minute or two or till the ginger, cashews and peanuts turn light golden brown in color.

Add onions and curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes till onions are soft and translucent.

Add frozen green peas and cook for another 30 seconds.

Then add the rinsed quinoa and cook the quinoa with all the veggies and spices for 2 minutes.

Add water, salt, red chili powder and mix.

Increase the heat to high and bring it all to a boil.

Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat to minimum (lowest) setting, cover the pan and let it cook for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove pan from heat and let it sit covered for another 5 minutes. Open the pan, fluff the quinoa with a fork. 

Add cilantro, lemon juice and serve quinoa upma hot with chai!

 

Quinoa Upma

Traditional Indian Upma made wholesome with quinoa! This Quinoa Upma is filling, delicious and a great way to start your day. [Vegan]
quinoa upma
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Keyword quinoa upma
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 306 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 1 vote
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Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • generous pinch of hing, also known as asafoetida
  • 1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon raw peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon broken cashews
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1/3 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • cilantro, to garnish
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse the quinoa several times. Drain and set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Add hing (asafeotida) and stir.
  2. Add chopped ginger, green chili, cashews and peanuts. Saute for a minute or two or till the ginger, cashews and peanuts turn light golden brown in color.
  3. Add onions and curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes till onions are soft and translucent.
  4. Add frozen green peas and cook for another 30 seconds.
  5. Then add the rinsed quinoa and cook the quinoa with all the veggies and spices for 2 minutes.
  6. Add water, salt, red chili powder and mix.
  7. Increase the heat to high and bring it all to a boil.
  8. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat to minimum (lowest) setting, cover the pan and let it cook for 15 minutes.
  9. After 15 minutes, remove pan from heat and let it sit covered for another 5 minutes. Open the pan, fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  10. Add cilantro, lemon juice and serve quinoa upma hot with chai!

Recipe Notes

  1. You may use other veggies in your upma like carrots and cauliflower.
  2. Make sure that the hing/asafoetida you use in this recipe is gluten-free if you wish to keep this upma GF!
Nutrition Facts
Quinoa Upma
Amount Per Serving
Calories 306 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Sodium 841mg 35%
Potassium 458mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 45g 15%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 3g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 5%
Vitamin C 79.5%
Calcium 5.9%
Iron 18.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Quinoa Upma

5 thoughts on “Quinoa Upma

  1. What an easy recipe, Manali! I hear ya about trying to make sure to serve balanced meals to the family, and quinoa is a great option for tasty side dishes! I’m thinking I could go for a big bowl of this for lunch today. 🙂


  2. Hands down this was the best Quinoa recipe i have ever tried!
    The nuts and veggies makes it very filling which is great for breakfast.

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