Quinoa, The Indian Way

Quinoa Pohe/Quinoa Upma

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Quinoa Pohe/Quinoa Upma








As I had mentioned in my yesterday’s post on Rösti/Latke/Potato Pancake, at times, defining a dish becomes a bit tricky. Often, there is an overlap either in terms of ingredients used or how it is cooked.

What is interesting is how this dilemma is not confined to global foods but is also evident in culture specific ones. India, with its numerous states and sub-cultures, offers a hugely diverse food experience. Each region has its own take on the ubiquitous staples.

Today’s recipe of quinoa started off as an upma but ended up as a pohe (flattened rice). The quinoa is cooked the upma way (by adding water to the grain) but the end result is fluffy, separate grains of cooked quinoa which is similar in food experience to pohe.

so, do I call this dish quinoa upma or quinoa pohe

If you try it, you decide. But try you must because it is a very quick cooking method of making quinoa which is also absolutely delicious. Quinoa is any day more nutritious than pohe and the addition of vegetables, peanuts and two types of split gram means that in terms of health benefits, this one is packed to the hilt.


1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1 Large onion

2 Tomato

1/4 Cup sweet corn kernels

1/4 French beans chopped

10-12 Curry leaves

2-3 Green chillies

Fresh ginger, the size of your thumb

1/2 Cup fresh coriander

1 Tablespoon raw peanuts

1 Tablespoon split bengal gram (chana dalia)

1 Tablespoon split, skinned black gram (urad dal)

1 Teaspoon mustard seeds

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Tablespoon freshly grated coconut (dessicated will also do)

1 Teaspoon asafoetida (optional)

Salt to taste

1-2 Teaspoons oil


  1. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  2. Wash and dice the tomato.
  3. Wash the sweet corn kernels and chopped french beans.
  4. Chop and wash the coriander.
  5. Wash and finely slice the chilli.
  6. Peel, wash and finely grate the ginger.
  7. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  8. When it is hot, lower the heat and add the mustard seeds.
  9. Once they start spluttering, add the asafoetida (if using).
  10. Add the curry leaves.
  11. Give it a stir and throw in the urad dal.
  12. Mix around for about 30 seconds till the urad dal turns a shade darker.
  13. Next, add the peanuts and chana dalia. Stir for about a minute or so.
  14. Add the chopped onion, chilli, ginger and turmeric.
  15. Mix well, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  16. Uncover, ad the tomato and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  17. Uncover and add the quinoa. Stir around for 3 to 4 minutes to toast the quinoa a little bit.
  18. Now add the sweet corn kernels, chopped french beans, grated coconut and 2 and 1/4 cups of water.
  19. Mix well and turn the heat to high. Once it starts bubbling, turn down the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  20. The quinoa should be cooked after 20 minutes (you will see its “tails”).
  21. Add the chopped coriander, mix thoroughly and serve.
  22. Enjoy hot.


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