White Quinoa Pilaf

This pilaf is inspired by the beloved South Indian morning hash uppma, which is usually made with semolina. White quinoa is an energizing way to start the morning, especially during long fasting periods. It can be eaten warm or at room temperature.

makes 4 servings


4 Tbsp ghee

1 Tbsp mustard seeds

1/4 cup onion, minced

1/2 cup chopped cauliflower (1-inch pieces)

1 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric

2 Tbsp grated unpeeled ginger

1 serrano pepper, minced

1 cup yogurt

1 cup white quinoa

1/2 cup green peas

2 Tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds

1 Tbsp raisins

1 Tbsp toasted cashews

1 Tbsp chopped cilantro



  1. In a medium stockpot, heat ghee until just shy of smoking and add mustard seeds. Within a few seconds, add the onion, cauliflower, black pepper, salt and turmeric. Cook on medium to high heat until they have a little color, approximately 5-7 minutes.

  2. Add ginger and serrano and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and yogurt, and on medium heat bring to a boil. As soon as the water has started boiling, lower the heat and gently add the quinoa in a steady stream, stirring continuously.

  3. Cover the stockpot and lower the heat. Let pilaf cook for 8-10 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.

  4. Gently stir in peas, seeds, raisins, toasted cashews and cilantro and let the pilaf rest 10-15 minutes before serving.