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Vegetable Quinoa Upma in a bowl with a spoon in it
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5 from 12 votes

Vegetable Quinoa Upma

Vegetable Quinoa Upma is a tasty, low carb Indian breakfast quinoa recipe that can be made under 30 minutes! Loaded with veggies, this vegan snack is great for weight loss, easy and very delicious! 
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American, Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 268.12kcal



  • Heat avocado oil in a pan. Temper with mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Once they begin to splutter, add pine nuts, minced green chillies and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds.
  • Then add chopped onions and cilantro. Fry till the onions turn translucent.
  • Next add mixed veggies like corn, bell pepper, carrots, green peas, edamame along with salt and turmeric powder.
  • Mix and cook till the veggies are cooked. This could take 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile rinse quinoa in running water for about 2 minutes. Then add the rinsed quinoa to the pan.
  • Give it a mix and then add water.
  • Cover the pan with lid and cook this for about 15 minutes on medium flame.
  • After the set time, open the lid and lightly fluff the upma with a fork.
  • Garnish with hemp seeds and chopped cilantro and serve.



  • Rinsing removes quinoa's natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter. Although boxed quinoa is often pre-rinsed, it's still advisable to give the seeds an additional rinse at home.
  • Use any cooking oil or ghee in this recipe. I prefer using Avocado oil. Sauteing cilantro in the oil gives the dish a better flavor rather than only using it as a garnish. Substitute pine nuts with almonds, cashews or even pistachios. This just gives a nutty flavor and crunch to the dish. 
  • Add any mix of veggies as per availability and liking. You can use frozen or fresh vegetables. Keep all the vegetables, seasonings needed for the upma ready and nearby. It saves a lot of time and reduces mess. Curry leaves are available at any Indian grocery store and on Amazon. Skip adding it if not available to you. 
  • Once the water has evaporated and the grains are fluffy and not sticky, the upma is done. You can enjoy this low carb vegan snack by itself. No accompaniment needed. But if you must, serve it with some Indian pickle. 
Tips to cook Quinoa
  • Rinse quinoa until the foam disappears completely. I usually rinse it in running water for 2 minutes. This also removes any bitterness from quinoa.
  • You can even roast quinoa before cooking to enhance its taste and give a crunchy texture. Place the seeds in a frying pan and roast on medium to low heat while stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
  • Unlike other grains or rice, quinoa can be cooked in 15 minutes.
  • The ratio for quinoa and water is 1:2. For every cup of quinoa, add 2 cups of water.


Calories: 268.12kcal | Carbohydrates: 39.72g | Protein: 9.94g | Fat: 8.44g | Saturated Fat: 0.83g | Sodium: 145.04mg | Potassium: 412.38mg | Fiber: 6.78g | Sugar: 2.47g | Vitamin A: 2467.14IU | Vitamin C: 36.18mg | Calcium: 56.48mg | Iron: 3.7mg