Quinoa Upma
Quinoa Upma

Quinoa Upma

Upma is a traditional South Indian breakfast: a thick, savoury porridge usually made from toasted semolina or rice, bursting with vegetables and spices. Now, imagine a quinoa twist on this tasty dish, offering a satisfying and nutritious alternative to rice. This dish will elevate your Indian brunch spread with this wholesome dish, providing the perfect balance of health and taste.

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Total Time
30 Minutes
340g/2 cups of quinoa, try using mixed varieties of red and white for colour
1 whole dried red chilli
1tbsp of good-quality oil for frying, such as avocado oil or culinary/unflavoured coconut oil
20 fresh or dried curry leaves
1tsp of mustard seeds
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1cm thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 tsp), or use 1 heaped tsp ginger paste
1/4 teaspoon of chilli/chili powder
1 green chilli, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp of date syrup, or use pure maple syrup or unrefined coconut sugar
1/2 a lemon, freshly squeezed juice
1/2-1tsp of salt, to taste
8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved handful of freshly torn basil (Thai is preferable, but Italian or Greek basil, or fresh coriander/cilantro, also work well), to serve
Step 1

Prepare the quinoa by rinsing well in a sieve, then add to a small pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Drain in a sieve/strainer and set aside.

Step 2

Place a wok or deep frying pan over high heat and tear the dried chilli into large pieces straight into the pan (that way you won’t lose any seeds). Toast the dried chilli in the hot pan until just starting to colour, then add the oil, curry leaves and mustard seeds. As the seeds start to pop, add the onion and sauté over low heat for 10-12 minutes until the onion is translucent and soft.

Step 3

Add the ginger, chilli powder and green chilli, mixing well, and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Step 4

Add the cooked quinoa to the pan, along with the date syrup, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Step 5

Combine everything well and add more salt to taste, if needed. Return the mixture to a medium-high heat and add the tomatoes. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the torn basil. Mix well and serve immediately.

Healthy Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney. Published by Ryland Peters & Small (£16.42, was £20)

Photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily