Quinoa Upma – A guest post for Krithi’s Kitchen

I think it has been mentioned so many times in both of our blogs, that it is redundant to mention that Krithi and I are college best friends and have been friends for 13 years now. We also share a love for food and cooking and often times find ourselves chatting about food or topics related to food. Thanks to Krithi for having invited me to do a guest post for her blog and a first one at that.

I have recently switched to a more healthy diet and this dish is a perfect way to meld a healthy meal to comforting Indian food.

A healthy dish – is always determined by the ratio of carbs to protein and the amount of fat in the recipe. Being vegetarian or vegan it is always difficult to get the right amount of protein in your diet. A great solution is ‘Quinoa’ – which is the only grain that has a complete protein – something that is realized easily by people who eat meat, but very difficult in the vegetarian diet. It is an ancient grain, rich in manganese and folate and due to its nutritional value, it is highly recommended for people who have migraine headaches, diabetes and even pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Here, I have increased the flavor of the quinoa by toasting it first, which not only adds a nice nutty flavor, but also quickens the cooking process. Here is the recipe..

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 cup diced vegetables – carrots, beans and peas
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 green chillies slit
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal
a sprig of curry leaves/cilantro
salt to taste
2 cups water

In a dry pan, add the quinoa and roast it over medium high heat until you get a nutty aroma and the quinoa is slightly golden brown and toasted. Remove the quinoa onto a plate and put the pan back on the stove. Heat the oil and add mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal. Let it splutter and add the green chillies and the curry leaves. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the diced vegetables and saute until partly cooked. Add 2 cups water and salt to taste. Let the water come to a boil. Slowly add the still warm quinoa and cook stirring. Let the quinoa cook until all the water is absorbed. Switch off stove. Pop a lid on the pan and let rest for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro (I didn’t have any, but it makes it awesome) and fluff with a fork. Serve as is, or with any chutney as an accompaniment.
Note: Alternately you could also cook quinoa first and then temper with the said ingredients like pulao/fried rice. It tastes fabulous either way.

Verdict: This is a quick and easy recipe, with the nutrition from quinoa and the added veggies. I always substitute rava with quinoa in my upma, and my family hardly notices the difference. You can also substitute quinoa for rice in mixed rice recipes. It tastes really good. I have tried vaangi baath and lemon quinoa and both came out very well.

Sending this to the following events:
1. Bon Vivant Moments #2 – Savory
2. Comfort Food
3. Culinary Concepts – Vegan/Plant Based
4. Healthy Morsels – Pregnancy

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  1. Arpana

    I made this today. Came out really well. I just had to add a little more water. May be it varies from brand to brand.

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