Quinoa upma

 

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. 

Quinoa upma

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 upma
Quinoa - the healthy seed/ grain gets a vegan, Indian twist. This one pot meal with quinoa and veggies can be easily served as the main course or side dish. It can also be a nice Sunday brunch just by itself!
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Ingredients
  1. Quinoa - white, pre-rinsed variety, 2 cups
  2. 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.
  3. Green chillies - 2-3, chopped finely
  4. Vegetable broth - 2 cups
  5. Water - 2 cups
  6. Mustard seeds and cumin - 1 tsp each
  7. Asafetida - 1 pinch
  8. Split and polished black beans - urad daal dhuli - 3 tsp
  9. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  10. Oil - 2-3 tsp
  11. Chopped cilantro for garnishing
Instructions
  1. In a fine mesh strainer, take quinoa and rinse it nicely. Set it aside to drain.
  2. Chop all the veggies.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida and dhuli urad daal to it. Let these ingredients splutter.
  4. Add onion and saute well.
  5. Add rest of the veggies, green chillies, quinoa, turmeric, and salt. Mix well.
  6. Add vegetable broth and water.
  7. Cook for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally, till all the liquid gets absorbed.
  8. When done, fluff it up with a fork.
  9. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.
Notes
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Varada Sharma http://varadasharma.com/

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.

Enjoy!
~Varada

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