- Vegetarian, vegan
- Minimal prep time
- One pot meal
- Breakfast, brunch or lunch option
If you use frozen veggies, this cuts down on the prep time and makes it an under 20 minute meal!
This quinoa upma recipe is an alternative to the traditional semolina (rava) based upma. It substitutes the upma for the healthy grain of quinoa. Growing up, my Mom made it often. We would call it “quinoa-pma” to differentiate from rava upma 😊
It is made in the same style of traditional upma with spices, veggies and a delicious crunch from urad dal and cashews.
I’ve used quinoa to make quinoa kheer and I find there are many ways to integrate this grain into Indian recipes!
Key Ingredient Notes
Quinoa: Don’t forget to give the quinoa a good rinse!
Vegetables: you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand in the same quantities. I suggest cutting the pieces small. My best tip is to use frozen carrots and peas to save you time!
Crunch: To prevent this dish from being all soft bites, don’t skip the urad dal and cashews! They taste delicious and provide the much needed texture.
Making Quinoa Upma
Pictured above, you can see this is a pretty easy recipe! At a high level, you:
- Cook the urad dal, mustard seeds, spices and ginger/onions in same oil.
- Add vegetables
- Add quinoa
- Add water, bring to simmer
- Cover and cook!
Instant Pot: This can also be made easily in an Instant Pot. I will update on this method the next time I make it!
Protein: To add protein you can also add chickpeas!
Garlic: Although traditional upma does not include garlic, I think it tastes great in the quinoa version. Since quinoa has more texture that semolina, I find it helps add the right amount of flavor with some garlic. Just an optional idea!
Try it? Leave a review, love to hear feedback! Or tag me on Instagram @some_indian_girl
Quinoa Upma Recipe
- Pot with lid
- 1 cup quinoa 185g
- ½ tbsp mustard seeds
- 1-2 tbsp urad dal
- ¼ tsp asafetida hing
- 1 medium green chilli chopped
- 8-10 sweet neem leaves/curry leaves
- ¼ onion 50g
- 1 tbsp ginger blended or finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
- ¼ cup cashews and or peanuts
- ¾ tsp salt taste and adjust
- ¼ tsp red chilli powder
- ¼ tsp cumin coriander powder blend optional
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Add oil to pan on medium and heat. Once heated, add cashews (and/or peanuts) and fry until light brown. Remove and keep aside.
- Add mustard seeds and let them begin popping. Then add urad dal. Mix and watch until they just begin to brown. Then onions and keep mixing. Add ginger and garlic. Mix well. Add green chillies and curry leaves.
- Add peas and carrots and mix.
- Add quinoa to pan and mix. Add spices.
- Add water to pan. Cover and cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes.
- Then open lid and let cook 3-4 minutes to burn out excess water. If you prefer it a bit moist, then you do not have to do this step.
- Sprinkle lemon juice over quinoa upma. Give it a mix and serve.