Quinoa....what is that ??

What is Quinoa!! went thru my mind when i saw it in whole foods a couple of years back. I did not pick it up but was definately intrigued..i then heard about it.... in vegan and vegetarian forums and thought that perhaps i would try it out. The first time i bought it .. i peered in, it looked really like fat mustard seeds but creamy in color, i put the packet in a canistor and forgot about it. I think more than forget, i was too lazy to experiment.. what if i don't like this! i have to make something else!! or nope.. no veggies at home..yeah right ;). But, you get the point, it was one excuse after another and then it happened.. i got bored of eating indian,mexican,chinese,sushi and yes.. it was then i said what the hell.. just make it and i love it and it is quite regular at my home.

The texture as nutty and delicious, but i also feel it is very light to eat, so it great for dinner.. as i will not feel guilty when i walk to baskin and robbins for desert.. yep! they are that close to my home he he he

This quinoa dish is a mix of both indian and italian flavors.. no parm cheese tho :(


Quinoa - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Carrots - 1/2 cup (diced small)
Peas - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1/2 cup (diced small)
Garlic- 1 clove (crushed)
Green Chilly - 1 (finely diced)
Rosemary - a few stalks (chopped finely)
Pine Nuts - 2 tbls (toasted)
Raisins - 2 tbls
Olive Oil - 1 tbls
Salt - as needed


1. Wash the quinoa a couple of times using a fine mesh strainer and cook it in a pot adding 2 cups of water. Boil the quinoa and water, then let it simmer to cook well.
When cooked, take out from heat and let this cool, the grains will be quite sepetate by now.

2. In a pan, add the oil, then add the chopped rosemary,garlic,green chilly,onions and carrots and cook in medium heat till soft.

3. Add the peas,raisins and salt and cook in medium heat till all the veggies are cooked.

4. Now add the pine-nuts and the cooled quinoa and stir this gently.

5. Take out from heat and serve warm.


1. Do not add more than 2 cups of water to cook the quinoa. Maintain the 1:2 ratio.

2. Toast the pine-nuts in a seperate saucepan before you add to the quinoa.

3. Make sure you do not burn the veggies.. i know u guys will not.. but the quinoa is delicate and all the flavors show.

4. The 1 cup makes tons...i mean it, so plenty of left-overs :)

Now guys, i want you people to try it out.. no you do not have to follow my recipe.. but i think it is fun when we try something new.. you know, they all taste great :)

To know more about quinoa read here


Sreelu said...

Rajitha, quino looks so delicious, thanks for inspiration I hardly experiment with new foods and cusines until I have eaten some where.
Good one

Madhu said...

Hi Rajitha,
Never heard of it before, looks like sabudana/tapioca pearls. If is come across Quinoa , i surely will grab one and follow your recipe. Thanks.

Richa said...

hey, that looks so good, light n fluffy!
sometimes i too like raisins in my savory upma ;)

Kajal said...

WOW..........looks very colorful......nice combination with carrot, peas and also you add pine nuts....great.:)

Shankari said...

hmm interesting. BTW ribbon pakoda also looks very good, same recipe as my moms ;)

Laavanya said...

That looks really nice - almost like sabudhana upma. Will look out for Quinoa during my next grocery trip.

Manasi said...

That looks YUM! Blogging has opened my eyes to sooooooo many things! Infact I can kinda compare these to sago pearls we have!
I will try this soon. Thanx!

Latha said...

Hey Rajitha,
This is my first time here. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. You have a lovely blog! Very unique recipes.
The ribbon pakodam looks good! even the picture is great!
And the oolan looks very delicious.
Quinoa is one of our favorites too. I usually make a salad out of it. Nver tried upma - though i make upma with couscous often. Will try u're recipe sometime.

archana said...

Quino is looking like pearls. Looks tasty :)

Nags said...

looks crunchy and yummy! havent heard of it before though :) awesome close up shot :)

Suganya said...

Quinoa is a must in my pantry. My version here.

Apple said...

Looks so yummmy...I first thought it was something like kichidi with Sago seeds...Good innovation...Btw which part of the stores can we find it?

Taste of Mysore said...

Rajitha, the dish looks like sabudana khichdi.....I love sabudana khicdi. Will try to search for Quinoa in a supermarket. Looks delicious.

bee said...

we made it once and it was all mushy. we probably added too much water. will try it again. thanks for the recipe.

Asha said...

For Nupur's A to Z cooking for Q, I tried to buy this but couldn't get it anywhere. Dish looks delicious:)

Shyam said...

Sort reminds me of Sago pearls or sabudana :)

Happy cook said...

It is the first time i hear about quino.
It looks good. See one learns every day new things

Padma said...

Rajitha, Quinoa looks like sabudana for me, and that indian-italian version is really inviting...

Coffee said...

This is new to me as well!!! Can easily pass it off as sago!! Lovely pic! :)

Rajitha said...

sreelu- me too.. i like to stick with what i know..but i was bored to eat the same!!

madhu - i think you may get this in the international or grain aisle of local gocers.. u will get this in health stores

richa - i always have loved the sweet and spicy or savoury combo..glad to know i found a fellow raisin lover in upma ;)

kajal - thanks :) i like to make a dish colorful.. we eat with our eyes too

shankari - thanks :)

laavanya - do try it will like it..they look like sabudhana in the photo but not so much when you look at it..

manasi - u r right about expanding our culinary knowledge.. i have heard of combos,customs and dishes i never knew about!

Sirisha Kilambi said...

Rajitha...It looks very delicious dear.....At a first glance it looked like sabudana :-)
will give a try dear :-)

Rajitha said...

latha- salad you say... hmm i should try that out! thanks for dropping in

archana- thanks :)

nags- it is light and fluffy.. unfortunately i do not hink it is available in india.. truely sucks as i want my sis to try this one out :(

suganya - ur version looks so good.. i will try that out next time!

apple - you may get it in the rice or international section in regular stores.. but you will get this in health stores.. try whole foods if you have near your house, it is there for sure :)

Rajitha said...

taste of mysore - do try this.. but it tastes nothing like sabudhana..just a heads-up :)

bee- i guess that would be it.. you may think it needs more water..but the 1:2 is perfect...

asha - thanks!

shaym - looks like it in the photo.. but does not when you look at it in ur bowl :)

happy cook - :) happens to me all the time too..

padma - i had plenty of pine-nuts so thought why not ;)

TBC said...

hmmm... I'm going to call it quinoq upma:-) Never tried it before. Will do so one of these days.

Kribha said...

Lovely dish.It's totally new to me. Nice color. Will look for this soon. Thanks for sharing.

Jeena said...

Hey Rajitha, I was going to make a quinoa dish today myself! I love the taste of quinoa it is very healthy for you also. I love this recipe with all those veggies sounds great! Lovely picture makes me just want to dig right in. :)

Rajitha said...

coffee- i know.. in the photo there is a resemblance.. but nothing close in taste...

sirisha- do try this out....

tbc- sure.. i did not know what to call it anyway ;)

kribha - i like to make it my eyes draw me to eat anything....vegetarian of course ;)

jeena- aha! great minds think alike ;) looking fwd to ur version :)

Roopa(KitchenAromas) said...

Believe it or not, I have a bag of quinoa sitting around in my pantry! I have to try this!

Latha Narasimhan said...

Looks like sabudana. your recipe is simple. may be I can try with sabudana. so many variety of ingredients!

Namratha said...

Quinoa..? That's something I'm hearing for the first time..looks like sabakki..frog's eyes as we used to call them when I was in school...hehe..I think I should try it since you say Italian..hmmm!

Rajitha said...

roopa-let me know how it comes.. if u have a diff recipe. post it, so that i can get to try a new one :)

latha-am not so sure to be honest..the quinoa tastes and feels a lot diferent, but if you ..let me know, usually any sabudana left is made javvarshi vadam kuzhu by me and eaten ;)

namratha- that was horrible.. yuck! frog's eyes..what are you doing to me.. want me to hate the dish!! he he

Bharathy said...

rajitha,this Quinoa looks like our chavvarito me too!
The dish looks colourful healthy and yummy..:)

Rajitha said...

it is healthy and yummy...i know i'm a truely shameless..
tom-tomming about what i made