Jeera Quinoa is one of my more recent recipes. To tell you the truth I used to dislike quinoa. I was not comfortable with the smell or the texture. I also wasn’t sure what I could pair it with. I realized however that I had to step out of my comfort zone and try this seed-grain because of all its health benefits. Otherwise I would stay forever in my white rice world.

This Recipe

One of my all time favorites is Jeera Rice. I like it because its so simple to cook, minimal ingredients, and pairs very well with almost any curry or dal. I decided that if I should bring quinoa on board, this should be the first recipe I should substitute it with. By this time I had tried cooking quinoa enough times that I had an idea of the water to grain ratio and the amount of time it needed to cook. Here’s the trick- for half a cup of quinoa add 3/4th cup of water. If you’re cooking it in a rice cooker, add one and a half cups of water in the main rice cooker container and set the dish with quinoa in it. Once you turn it on it cooks and automatically turns to ‘keep warm’ mode. The idea is to ensure that there’s no residual water left in the dish once its cooked (just as it is with rice).

If you’re cooking in an Instant Pot, you can cook this straight in the main pot adding 3/4th cup of water to half a cup of Quinoa and turning the cooker on to ‘rice’ mode (with the lid on, low pressure). I like it when quinoa is not too mushy and that’s the reason I add less water. If you’re the type that likes your quinoa softer, you can add double the quantity of water (1/2 cup quinoa- 1 cup water).


Why is this Healthy?

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat and contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains- it is also gluten free and packs a host of other vitamins. This dish takes very little oil and is mostly steamed- it is overall a wholesome and delicious recipe that is low in calories and high in protein and fiber.

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Jeera Quinoa

Jeera Quinoa is a substitute of the simple, staple North Indian dish that is traditionally made with the flavorful Basmati rice. This version is far healthier than the traditional Jeera Rice.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 People
Calories 181kcal


  • 1/2 Cup Quinoa White or tri-colored
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds Whole
  • 1/2 Chili Dry Red Chili Small
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Fine Cut
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt To taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil Extra Virgin


  • Place quinoa in a mesh strainer and run cold water through it, while rubbing the seeds with your fingers. This will help remove the bitter saponin coating on its outer hull. Set all other ingredients aside in separate bowls
  • To a heavy-bottom vessel, add coconut oil and heat on medium. Splutter cumin seeds, add onions and red chili and saute until onions turn translucent.
  • Add washed/rinsed quinoa and salt and stir to mix well. Gently stir the quinoa for 3-4 minutes until very mildly roasted.
  • Transfer the contents to a bowl . For 1/2 cup quinoa add 3/4th cup of water. Set the bowl in a rice cooker (add 1.5 cups of water to the rice cooker before you set the bowl in it) and set to cook position. Once it is cooked the rice cooker automatically turns to 'keep warm'mode .
  • If you have been cooking in an Instant Pot pan, just add water straight to the pan (same proportion of 3/4th cup water for 1/2 cup quinoa) . Set to 'rice' mode (which is a 12 minute cook cycle), out the lid on and set to low pressure.
  • Once it's cooked , fluff it with a fork and serve.


Goes great with Dal Makhni, Chana Masala, Baked Spicy Chicken Curry and a host of other dishes.
*Use organic ingredients wherever possible


Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 263mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2.5mg

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