Quinoa Upma

This is my kind of food. Loaded with spices and veggies, this makes a healthy meal option. We love pairing it with home-made green coriander and mint chutney and masala chai. Upma is usually a common dish in Indian households which is usually made with semolina. However, for a gluten free option, I chose quinoa today. This is perfect for people with gluten intolerance. 

To make this, refer to the recipes with measurements and detailed process in the recipe card below.

In a nutshell, temper the spices and lentils in clarified butter, cook the onions and other veggies, add washed quinoa, water and salt and some more dry spices and cook until done. You can also use cooked quinoa or millet and mix in the cooked and spiced veggies. Add a wedge of lemon and dress it with a chutney. This makes a wonderful breakfast or any other meal. You can use oil instead of ghee for a vegan option too and rest of the ingredients and measurement remains the same.

I hope you enjoy this quinoa Upma recipe and I would love to hear from you if you try it. Tell me in the comments below. You can also connect with me on my Instagram and Facebook handles.

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Quinoa Upma

Quinoa Upma

Arpita Darooka
Healthy, guilt-free, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 People


  • 1/2 Cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ghee swap this with oil for vegan option
  • 1 Tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 Tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 Tsp Carom seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp Urad dal (black gram lentils)
  • 1 Tsp Chana dal (baby chickpea lentils)
  • 3 Pcs Green chillies
  • 6-7 Pcs Curry leaves
  • 1 Tsp Ginger finely chopped
  • 1 Pc Large onion Chopped
  • 1 Cup Mixed vegetables carrot, peas, green beans
  • To taste salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 Tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1.5 Cups Water
  • 1 Tsp Lime juice


  • Coriander leaves chopped
  • Lemon wedge optional
  • Crushed roasted peanuts optional


  • Wash quinoa in a fine mesh sieve, thouroughly under running water.
  • In a pan, heat oil and ghee and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds, sesame seeds, urad dal and chana dal. Sauté them until they turn light brown.
  • Add green chillies, curry leaves and ginger. Sauté for a minute.
  • Add onions. Sauté until they turn translucent.
  • Add the veggies. Sauté all for a couple minutes.
  • Add salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. Let it all cook for 5 mins on low flame.
  • Add the washed quinoa, sauté on medium high for 2-3 mins and then add water.
  • Add lime juice, cover and cook for approx 15 mins on low flame. Stir it a couple times in between.
  • Remove lid and cook them for another 5 mins or until the quinoa turns translucent and fluffy.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, lemon wedge and roasted crushed peanuts.


Replace ghee with oil for vegan option.
Keyword quinoa upma, quinoa recipe, quinoa

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