Quinoa South Indian style (Quinoa Upma)

Quinoa Upma (Quinoa South Indian style)
Quinoa Upma (Quinoa South Indian style)

Quinoa, pronounced as ‘kin wah’ is not a true grain but is high in protein and is also gluten-free. Hence it has become sort of the new rage because it provides a great option for folks who are on gluten free diets. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. For more info, check this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa

Quinoa is easy to cook and is great in salads. I have just recently started experimenting with it.  Here’s something quick and easy – I tried to make quinoa upma. Upma is a traditional ‘South Indian’ dish which is made using semolina.  So I tried to do the same here with some variations using Quinoa.  I added sun-dried tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes to give it a slight tangy flavor.  Also added sliced coconuts and peanuts. Real simple and delicious!  I also grilled some veggies – some broccoli and spinach to have on the side.

This recipe will make 1 serving

3/4 cup quinoa
1 and 1/2 cups water
1 tsp coconut oil (melted)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 pinch of red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
2-3 fresh curry leaves
1 tbsp thinly sliced coconut pieces or unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp roasted peanuts
1/4 tsp or pinch of salt

For the grilled veggies:
1 tsp melted coconut oil
1 cup chopped veggies- broccoli, spinach or any other vegetable
1/4 tsp garlic sea salt


Take a medium size cooking pot and heat it on the stove. Add the oil and when hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, immediately lower the flame and add the sun-dried tomatoes, the red chilli powder and the curry leaves. Stir for about 30 seconds and then add the quinoa and the salt.IMG_2580

Then add the water and stir to mix well and heat on medium until the water starts boiling. immediately lower flame to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until all the water has evaporated checking in between to avoid burning.  Place the cooked quinoa on a plate and garnish with roasted peanuts and the sliced coconuts.

For grilling the veggies, heat a skillet or a medium size pan and add the oil.  When hot, add the veggies and the garlic sea salt.  Stir uncovered for 1 minute and then cover with a lid and cook for about 2 minutes or so until the veggies are cooked.

Serve the quinoa with grilled veggies on the side.


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  1. This really looks great. Very attractive array of colours flecked through it.

    Sorry I’m popping over later than usual from #recipeoftheweek – Linky Tools went down! Thanks for linking up. I’ve Pinned and Tweeted this post and a fresh linky is open over on the blog x

  2. This sounds delicious! I cook with quinoa a fair bit and am always on the look-out for different ways to cook and eat it so this recipe would definitely be one for me to try!

    • Yes Upma is a traditional south indian breakfast food made with semolina. Yes its really a simple recipe but the coconut oil and coconut is what makes it so delicious.! Do let me know how you make out. thanks for visiting!

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