January 13, 2013

Quinoa Upma

Upma is a South Indian Breakfast dish that is immensely popular also in the Northern parts of the country. It was also one of my Dad's favorite snacks, and my mom would make it at tea time. It is traditionally made from roasted refined semolina. Depending upon regional preferences, it may be made as a thick porridge or as a dry crumbly dish. In either case, spices and a lot of veggies are added to make it wholesome and nutritious. Some regional variations include vermicelli, pearl sago (similar to tapioca) and whole-wheat semolina. Nuts (peanuts, cashews) and coconut are often added as garnishes. 

Quinoa Upma
Prep Time: 20 min

Ingredients (Serves 2):
  1. 1/2 cup Quinoa, rinsed and drained
  2. 1/3 cup Corn
  3. 1/3 cup Peas
  4. 1 Roma Tomato 
  5. 2 tbsp Minced Onions
  6. 1 tsp Garlic powder
  7. 1 tsp Cumin powder
  8. 1 tsp Mustard seeds (whole)
  9. 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  10. 1/2 tsp Deggi Chili Powder
  11. Salt and Pepper, to taste
  12. 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin powder (optional)
  13. 1-2 Green Chili peppers, sliced lenghwise (optional)
  14. 1 tsp Cilantro leaves (fresh or dried)
  15. 2 tbsp Peanuts/Cashews (optional)
  16. Water or Vegetable Broth, as needed
In a small sauce pan, add 1 cup of water to quinoa and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a slow simmer until quinoa is done, and then drain and set aside. Meanwhile, line a skillet with water or home-made vegetable broth and add minced onions, garlic, cumin, mustard seeds, turmeric and deggi chili powder. Mix well and allow to simmer for a minute or so. Add peas and corn and mix well. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until the spices are well incorporated and any extra water is evaporated. If using nuts, add them at the same time as the peas and corn. If you like carrots, you can slice some in at this stage as well. I didn't have any at home today. They make a really pretty picture when added in :) !!! Taste test the veggies at this time and add any additional spices, to your taste. Add drained quinoa and mix well, adding a splash of water or broth, as needed, to prevent sticking and burning. Once well mixed, add cilantro leaves and a sprinkle of roasted cumin powder, if you have any. All it does is add a wonderful aroma and cuminy flavor. Serve warm with or without hot sauce, or green chili peppers. I served it without any hot sauce as it tasted perfect without the added heat. I used a plump read chili pepper as a garnish for my pics :)

Quinoa Upma ... umm umm good!
Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)*: Calories 234
Total Fat 3.8 g; Cholesterol 0 g; Carbohydrates 42.8 g; Fiber 6.8 g; Sugars 5.6 g; Protein 9.8 g

* Nutrition facts are provided for the water option as vegetable broth calorie content can vary tremendously.

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