I have been intrigued by Quinoa, the healthy and versatile seed, which is commonly substituted for grains. I saw pinterest food boards showing so many recipes using quinoa and even health-food lovers recommending it. Supposedly, quinoa is a great source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. So this year, I really wanted to adopt quinoa into my family’s diet.
Today I decided to give it a go by making quinoa-upma for breakfast. Quinoa is available in three different varieties – white, red and black. I used the white one, because that has the least amount of bitterness in its top covering. I also used the pre-rinsed version but rinsed it again myself again just to make sure that it had no trace of bitterness what-so-ever.
It has a taste-texture just like our humble daliya back in India, so making Indian style upma with it seemed like a logical choice. I was pleased when it turned out yummy and even kids approved!
- Quinoa - white, pre-rinsed variety, 2 cups
- Assorted veggies - chopped. I used 1 small onion, 1 small tomato, 4-5 baby carrots, 1 small green bell pepper and a handful of frozen peas.
- Green chillies - 2-3, chopped finely
- Vegetable broth - 2 cups
- Water - 2 cups
- Mustard seeds and cumin - 1 tsp each
- Asafetida - 1 pinch
- Split and polished black beans - urad daal dhuli - 3 tsp
- Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
- Oil - 2-3 tsp
- Chopped cilantro for garnishing
- In a fine mesh strainer, take quinoa and rinse it nicely. Set it aside to drain.
- Chop all the veggies.
- Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida and dhuli urad daal to it. Let these ingredients splutter.
- Add onion and saute well.
- Add rest of the veggies, green chillies, quinoa, turmeric, and salt. Mix well.
- Add vegetable broth and water.
- Cook for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally, till all the liquid gets absorbed.
- When done, fluff it up with a fork.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.
- Don't skip the rinsing: The top coating of quinoa is bitter and you can remove it by thoroughly rinsing. I used pre-rinsed version, but because of my kids, I decided to not take any chances and rinse it nicely again.
- Don't skip the fluffing: when quinoa absorbs all the liquid, this will look like its going to be a sticky / mushy upma. Use a fork to separate the seeds and fluff it up.
- How to know when quinoa is cooked: When quinoa gets completely cooked, its seeds look like they have a tiny little tail on top of them. Look closely at the picture in this recipe and you'll know what I mean.
I could see that this is going to be our new weekend favorite recipe.
Do give it a try and don’t forget to let me know how it turns out.