Quinoa Upma, a savory quinoa casserole

A woman sitting in the lotus position with her legs crossed.

Serves 2 for dinner or 4 for breakfast


1 cup of organic tri color quinoa

1 1/4 cup of water

¾ cup organic broccoli

1 small organic sweet potato

1 medium white onion

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped coriander leaves

Tempering: (See tip)

1 tablespoon of grass fed Ghee

¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds

¼ teaspoon urad dal (black gram, split)

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

Pinch of Asafoetida (See tip)

3-4 dry red chilies, deseeded

8-10 curry leaves (See tip)

¼ cup of organic cashew nuts broken in bite size


3 tablespoons of freshly grated coconut (see tip)

1 tablespoon of freshly chopped coriander leaves

1 teaspoon of coconut sugar (optional)

Here is the cooking process:

  1. Wash and soak quinoa for 30 minutes, rinse and cook in 1 ¼ cup of water till nice and fluffy.
  2. Heat the cast iron pan, turn the heat to medium low and add Ghee
  3. Add the tempering ingredients starting with black gram, mustard seeds and cover till the mustard seeds start to pop.
  4. Add the dry chilies, asafoedita, turmeric, curry leaves and cashew nuts and give it a quick stir.
  5. Add onion and pinch of sea salt, cook till translucent, add sweet potato, stir and cover (5-7 minutes)
  6. Add broccoli, stir and give it a quick steam
  7. Add quinoa and gently mix till nicely coated with the spices and vegetable. Cover for 2-3 minutes
  8. Season with sea salt, cilantro and stir.
  9. Plate it on a choice of your dish and garnish with freshly grated coconut and coriander leaves and a pinch of coconut sugar (optional) and a wedge of lime.
  10. Enjoy


Tempering is a term used in Indian cooking, in which whole or ground spices are heated in hot oil or ghee to release the aroma of the spices.

Asafoedita is a kind of spice, which is used traditionally in cooking. According to Ayurveda, it is also known to balance the air element in the body. Its has a fetid smell but once assimilated in dish, it delivers a flavor similar to leeks. This spice can be easily found in Indian grocery stores or  replaced with garlic.

Curry Leaves (I have my own curry leaf plant): A commonly used leaf in curries, which has delicious nutty aroma, it is a staple of south Indian cooking. Besides the aroma, it has many healing properties a well. There is no other replacement for the ‘aroma’ curry leaves provide but can be omitted if unavailable

Freshly grated coconut can be replace with unsweetened dried coconut or coconut cream.

Coconut sugar is optional and is best avoided by people suffering with insulin resistance. Pinch of sugar is a bonus for children to take away the pungent flavor of this dish.