Quinoa upma is a great and healthy breakfast option that features quinoa, vegetables, and flavorful seasonings cooked in one pot, so I recommend trying it out the next time you are in a breakfast rut!

 

Nothing completes my day more than a healthy bowl of breakfast. And nothing beats “Quinoa” which is a great, healthy option for breakfast. It is pretty versatile, so it can be your breakfast of choice and can be a healthy start to the day.

With summer around, I wanted to make something light, yet fulfilling and spicy. So I tried this Quinoa Upma last Sunday and it turned out great! I must say this is going to be one of my favorite recipes!

Quinoa Upma is an easy-to-make, easy-to-digest, and wholesome dish that’s high on nutrition. With the right proportion of quinoa, spices, vegetables, and coconut, this makes for a filling breakfast option. Quinoa Upma can be served as a nice accompaniment to your morning;;;;;;;;;;;;

As always, I suggest you read the complete article for useful information. However, you can find the detailed recipe with exact ingredients and step-by-step instructions below.

Quinoa upma on white plate

What Is Meant By Upma?

Upma, uppittu, or uppumavu is a breakfast dish from the Indian subcontinent that is especially popular in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Tamil communities in Sri Lanka. It is made with thick porridge made from dry-roasted semolina or coarse rice flour.

About Quinoa Upma…

Quinoa is an ancient ‘grain’ that is protein-rich and simple to prepare. It is actually the seed of a plant species known as goosefoot and not a true grain. There are many varieties of quinoa and the seeds are in many colors, even though white is the most popular here in the USA, you can also find black and red seeds.

Quinoa is the perfect alternative to starchy potato and pasta and it is also gluten-free. Each serving of quinoa has an abundance of protein, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. As a result, it is a widely used ingredient in vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Before cooking, the seeds are tough. However, after cooking, quinoa gets softer while retaining a tender, nearly crunchy, and chewy texture. This grain’s texture and flavor make it a suitable replacement for semolina, rice, oats, etc.

Upma, a popular South Indian breakfast dish, is usually made with wheat semolina or broken wheat. However, since quinoa has similar properties and a different flavor, I thought it would make a wonderful replacement. Ultimately, the final product came out to taste just as good as the typical semolina-based version.

So to increase the healthfulness and satiety of this popular dish, try this simple quinoa upma recipe.

Recipe Appealing Features!

  • A new twist on an Indian upma recipe using quinoa.
  • This recipe is full of flavor and can be eaten any day of the week, for breakfast, brunch, or dinner.
  • It’s easy to prepare.
  • It is a one-pot meal.
  • It is gluten-free and dairy-free upma.
  • You don’t need to buy any special ingredients for this upma. All you need is probably already available in your pantry.
  • It takes very less time to prepare, hence making it a great option for those who are short of time every morning.
  • I love how filling it is. It contains vegetables like carrots, French beans, peas, corn, peanuts, and powerful spices to provide a filling meal in one bowl.
  • It is loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
  • This recipe will definitely help you lose weight by giving you healthy goodness.
  • It’s great for kids because it’s so easy to eat, but also adults will enjoy it too!
  • It’s also a great option when you want to make something easy but also impressive at the same time!
  • The best part about this upma is that it can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 days or even more if refrigerated properly.

ingredients for quinoa upma

What You’ll Require To Make Quinoa Upma?

  • Quinoa – An amazing source of protein, gluten-free, fiber-rich food, helps with cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Healthiest alternative to semolina in an upma! 
  • Mixed vegetables – Carrots, French beans, peas, corn. You may add whatever vegetables you like including mushrooms, and zucchini. I used my can of mixed veggies as it was easily available and saves a lot of time.
  • Onion – Some yellow onion for the extra flavor.
  • Curry leaves – There’s nothing like fresh curry leaves in south Indian food, but unfortunately I couldn’t find one, so I used the dried ones. 
  • Peanuts – Optional, you may add cashews or almonds, or any nut of your choice; it brings a nice crunch and texture to the dish.
  • Desiccated coconut – You may use fresh or desiccated one, all of your choice. 
  • Cilantro – Adds a fresh element to the dish. 
  • Green chilies – Optional, but I like the kick they add to the upma. I used cayenne pepper.
  • Salt – According to one’s taste. 
  • Oil – Use any plant-based oil, olive, coconut, or mustard of your choice. 

Step by step process shot of quinoa upma recipe

How To Make Quinoa Upma?

  1. Dry roast the quinoa in a pan, until it’s a little golden and fragrant! This adds a wonderful nutty flavor. 
  2. After dry roasting, the quinoa, take a separate pan and add curry leaves, and peanuts. 
  3. After the dry ingredients are tempered, add in your onions and green chilies. 
  4. Fry until onions are translucent. 
  5. After the onions are done, add mixed veggies along with salt
  6. Let the veggies cook a bit and add roasted quinoa. 
  7. Mix them well and add water, let it simmer on medium-high heat.
  8. When the water starts evaporating, close the lid and let it cook until quinoa is done, this would roughly take 15-18 minutes depending upon the quantity. 
  9. After it’s done, take off the lid and add cilantro and desiccated coconut. 
  10. Give it a good mix and it’s ready to be served. 

step by step quinoa upma recipe

Chef’s Notes

  • The ratio of quinoa to water: For each measure of quinoa, add twice as much water. I find that a ratio of one part quinoa seeds to two parts water yields the best results for me. Always make sure the quinoa seeds are covered while they cook in a skillet.
  • Rinsing quinoa: I always recommend rinsing quinoa seeds. Even if you’re using quinoa that has already been rinsed, you should rinse it twice. The bitterness caused by saponin on the seeds is removed by rinsing with water. Rub or massage the seeds through a sieve with a fine mesh when rinsing.
  • Additionally, I have found that Upma tastes best when served warm, but it also makes for a great packed lunch the next day.
  • You can also make this quinoa in an instant pot. Check out my post on Instant Pot Quinoa.

Variations

  • Feel free to add any other spices you desire, and feel free to play around with the proportions of veggies and quinoa.
  • Feel free to add chopped broccoli, cabbage, mushroom, zucchini, green peas, capsicum, or grated beets.
  • You can also use whatever kind of quinoa you prefer. You can use red quinoa for a lighter-colored Upma, or black quinoa for a darker one. Either is appropriate for this dish.
  • Vermicelli, millet, or couscous can all be used in place of the quinoa.
  • I have omitted tomato from this recipe; feel free to include it.
  • You can add urad dal or chana dal.

More Quinoa Recipes To Try:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Meaning Of Upma Rava?

Semolina is called “rava” in South India and upma is typically made with semolina hence it is also termed rava upma. Although traditionally made with coarse ground rice or wheat, it is now made with oats, quinoa, vermicelli, poha, bread, and other ingredients.

Is Upma Healthy Food?

Upma has a variety of nutrients including proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates that make it a healthy choice for people of all ages.  Upma keeps your stomach fuller for longer. The nutrients in upma maintain and improve the condition of your kidneys, heart, bones, and immune system.

Is Upma Good For Weight Loss?

Nutritionists and other health practitioners commonly advocate quinoa as a weight-loss alternative to high-carb grains because it digests slowly and makes you feel full.  With all of the vitamins and minerals it contains, it’s a nutrient-dense meal. Thus, upma is a good meal choice for weight loss.

What Is The Best Combination For Upma?

An upma snack is ideally served with some fresh coconut chutney and hot South Indian coffee to go with it. However, it can also be eaten with other chutneys, yogurt, pickles, idli podi, and even sambar on occasion.

What Other Vegetables Can Be Added To This Quinoa Upma Dish?

I like adding corn, carrots, and peas to this recipe. You may also use green peas, mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, chopped snap peas, or any other fresh vegetables you want.

How Long Does Leftover Quinoa Upma Last?

The homemade quinoa upma can be refrigerated for up to four days. Before serving, reheat leftovers in a microwave or on the stovetop.

Can I Freeze Quinoa Upma?

Although I don’t recommend freezing quinoa upma and highly suggest making it fresh every time you want because it is very easy and simple to make. However, cooked quinoa can be frozen for a month if stored properly in an air-tight container.

Where To Buy Quinoa?

Quinoa can be purchased at any local health food store or most local supermarkets. It can also be purchased online on Amazon.

upma quinoa recipe

 

Try this recipe for a delicious vegan breakfast or brunch that will give you amazing energy throughout the day.

 

And as always, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave any feedback or share your own experience with us in the comments section below.

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Quinoa Upma

Quinoa Upma

Quinoa upma is a great and healthy breakfast option that features quinoa, vegetables, and flavorful seasonings cooked in one pot, so I recommend trying it out the next time you are in a breakfast rut!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Quinoa Upma
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 297kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 chili or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dessicated coconut

Instructions

  • Dry roast the quinoa in a pan, until it’s a little golden and fragrant! This adds a wonderful nutty flavor.
  • After dry roasting, the quinoa, take a separate pan and add curry leaves, and peanuts.
  • After the dry ingredients are tempered, add in your onions and green chilies.
  • Fry until onions are translucent.
  • After the onions are done, add mixed veggies along with salt
  • Let the veggies cook a bit and add roasted quinoa.
  • Mix them well and add water, let it simmer on medium-high heat.
  • When the water starts evaporating, close the lid and let it cook until quinoa is done, this would roughly take 15-18 minutes depending upon the quantity.
  • After it’s done, take off the lid and add cilantro and desiccated coconut.
  • Give it a good mix and it’s ready to be served.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2513IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 3mg