Take the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well in running water. Drain the water and set aside.
Heat the oil in a pan. Keep the heat to a low. Add mustard seeds.
Once the mustard seeds begin crackling, then add cumin seeds, urad dal and moong dal or chana dal.
Stir often and fry on a low heat until the urad dal and moong dal turn golden.
Then add finely chopped ginger, chopped green chilies, dry red chili and a pinch of asafoetida (optional). Fry on low heat for about half a minute.
Next add finely chopped onions and curry leaves.
Stir and sauté on a low to medium heat till the onions become translucent and soften.
Then add finely chopped carrots, finely chopped french beans and frozen green peas. Mix well.
Sauté on a low heat for two minutes.
Then add the quinoa and mix very well again.
Sauté for a minute or two on low heat.
Add water and mix again.
Add salt as per taste. Check the taste of the water and add more salt if needed.
Cover the pan with its lid and simmer on a low heat till the quinoa seeds are cooked, softened, look translucent and fluffy.
Once or twice you can stir the quinoa while the seeds are being cooked.
When all the water has been absorbed and the grains appear translucent and cooked well, remove the lid and switch off the heat.
Add the chopped coriander leaves.
Give a quick stir and serve vegetable quinoa upma hot or warm with a few lemon wedges or coconut chutney or lime pickle.
Quinoa to water ratio: For one measure of quinoa, I add double the amount of water. I always cook quinoa covered in a pan and this proportion works very well for me.
Rinsing quinoa: Always rinse quinoa seeds whether they are pre-rinsed or the regular variety. Rinsing helps in removing the bitterness that comes from saponin present on the seeds. Agitate or rub the seeds while rinsing.
Veggie variations: Feel free to add vegetables like chopped broccoli, shredded cabbage, finely chopped or shredded carrots, green peas, chopped snap peas, frozen corn, grated beets or chopped bell peppers.
Gluten-free variation: To make a gluten-free recipe, either skip adding asafoetida or use gluten-free asafoetida.
Scale: Easily scale up the recipe to make a serving of four.