Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quinoa Upma

I made this as an entry for a Breakfast items contest in my orkut community.
The only thing that differentiates this from a normal upma / uppittu recipe is the grain used.
Quinoa (pronounced as "keenwa" ) is a grain like seed of the plant.
It is a complete protein with very less fat. ( This is very good news for vegetarians ! )
Its high in fiber and provides a good source of iron and magnesium.
Its very easy to digest, making it a good choice for kids too.
Its a good substitute for rice / rice products like rava )

Quinoa is available in whole food stores and at Sprouts.
For every 1 cup of quinoa, add 1.5 times water and pressure cook for one whistle.
Alternatively , it can also be cooked over the stove top.

The recipe is as follows :

Ingredients :
1/2 C quinoa, washed , rinsed , drained.
1/2 onion , chopped / sliced thin
1/4 C diced bell pepper (of your choice, for more colour, use all 3 ! )
1/2 C mixed frozen veggies
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp jeera powder
1 tsp dhania powder
1 tsp garam masala powder ( optional)
1 pinch ( black pepper powder)
1 - 2 tsp salt ( or to taste)

Seasoning :
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 - 3 red chillies
2 -3 curry leaves
1 pinch hing
2 - 3 tsp peanuts (optional)

1. Cook the quinoa either in the pressure cooker or on the stove stop.
2. Fluff the grains with a fork. Set aside.
3. Prepare seasoning in the pan in which you plan to make the upma.
4. Heat oil on medium flame. Add peanuts, urad dal, jeera , mustard seeds.
When the mustard starts spluttering, add hing, red chillies, curry leaves and fry for a few more seconds.
5. Add the onion and the ginger and fry until onion is slightly cooked.
6. Then add the bell pepper and the mixed veggies and cook until the bell pepper is slightly soft ( you dont want mushy vegetables).
7. Add the jeera , dhania, garam masala , black pepper powders. Also add the salt.
8. Mix thoroughly.
9. Now add the cooked quinoa and mix well with a gentle hand.
10.Taste for flavour and adjust accordingly.
11.You can add lemon juice and coconut for more flavour.
12.Garnish with coriander leaves and serve !

This can be paired up with a nice milkshake and served as brunch !
Try it and let me know !

Hearty apologies for the bad pictures, these come from my cell phone !


  1. Welcome back Chhaya ... a long break but came back with a wonderful healthy dish :)Congrats on winning dk competition :)Keep blogging ......

  2. Dear Chayya,

    Hi! Loved ur blog....u r excellent writer....continue writing....

    Loved ur unusual receipe of "Quinoa Upma"
    One u get this in India?If what name ?

    Best Wishes for ur blog.....

  3. A wonderful new recipe.Looks quite good.Will try it soon and let u know. :)

  4. @Preeti : Thanks dear, I know its been a long time since I posted...I have to make more time for blogging !!

    @Rujuta : Thanks so much for stopping by my blog...I am glad you liked the site. I am not really sure if this is available as yet in India ...It might be near the pasta aisle in stores...maybe you could check there ..If I do come to know, I will definitely update my post.

    @Mazhalai , Springbird : Thanks gals, do try it and tell me if you like it :)

  5. Hey Chhaya,

    Glad you discovered Quinoa (and that I discovered your entry only a month later!) It is awesome, isn't it? I mainly eat it at a friend's place who has made this her specialty. She makes it like a vegetable pulao as well. I'll start cooking it when I don't have willing friends to cook it for me :-)


Share your thoughts!