• ▢½ cup quinoa

  • ▢1.5 tablespoon oil – any neutral tasting oil

  • ▢⅓ cup finely chopped onions or 1 small to medium-sized

  • ▢½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger or ½ inch ginger

  • ▢1 teaspoon chopped green chilies or 1 to 2 green chilies – chopped

  • ▢1 dry red chili – stem and seeds removed, optional

  • ▢1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional

  • ▢7 to 8 curry leaves

  • ▢½ teaspoon mustard seeds

  • ▢½ teaspoon cumin seeds

  • ▢½ teaspoon urad dal (husked and split black gram)

  • ▢½ teaspoon moong dal (yellow mung lentils)

  • ▢⅓ cup finely chopped carrots or 1 small carrot

  • ▢¼ cup finely chopped french beans 5 to 6 french beans

  • ▢⅓ cup green peas – frozen

  • ▢1 cup water

  • ▢salt as required

  • ▢2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)


  • Take the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well in running water. Drain the water and set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a pan. Keep the heat to a low. Add mustard seeds.

  • Once the mustard seeds begin crackling, then add cumin seeds, urad dal and moong dal or chana dal.

  • Stir often and fry on a low heat until the urad dal and moong dal turn golden.

  • Then add finely chopped ginger, chopped green chilies, dry red chili and a pinch of asafoetida (optional). Fry on low heat for about half a minute.

  • Next add finely chopped onions and curry leaves.

  • Stir and sauté on a low to medium heat till the onions become translucent and soften.

  • Then add finely chopped carrots, finely chopped french beans and frozen green peas. Mix well.

  • Sauté on a low heat for two minutes.

  • Then add the quinoa and mix very well again.

  • Sauté for a minute or two on low heat.

  • Add water and mix again.

  • Add salt as per taste. Check the taste of the water and add more salt if needed.

  • Cover the pan with its lid and simmer on a low heat till the quinoa seeds are cooked, softened, look translucent and fluffy.

  • Once or twice you can stir the quinoa while the seeds are being cooked.

  • When all the water has been absorbed and the grains appear translucent and cooked well, remove the lid and switch off the heat.

  • Add the chopped coriander leaves.

  • Give a quick stir and serve vegetable quinoa upma hot or warm with a few lemon wedges or coconut chutney or lime pickle


  • Quinoa to water ratio: For one measure of quinoa, I add double the amount of water. I always cook quinoa covered in a pan and this proportion works very well for me.

  • Rinsing quinoa: Always rinse quinoa seeds whether they are pre-rinsed or the regular variety. Rinsing helps in removing the bitterness that comes from saponin present on the seeds. Agitate or rub the seeds while rinsing.

  • Veggie variations: Feel free to add vegetables like chopped broccoli, shredded cabbage, finely chopped or shredded carrots, green peas, chopped snap peas, frozen corn, grated beets or chopped bell peppers.

  • Gluten-free variation: To make a gluten-free recipe, either skip adding asafoetida or use gluten-free asafoetida.

  • Scale: Easily scale up the recipe to make a serving of four.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *