Quinoa pidi kozhakattai- steamed dumplings

It is back to the festival time in India. Starting with Onam (which we did not celebrate this year due to floods and destruction) we went through Rakshabandan and Gokulashtami. 
With some major festivals that line up close to each other, Krishna Jayanthi, the Ganesha Chaturthi, Navrathri and Deepawali the addition of sweets and carb-rich eating rate goes up very fast, not to mention the candy overflow for Halloween and Christmas bakes. I am a bit sceptical about the number of sweet stuff that going to flow back into the house during these seasons of festivals. The fact is, we have pretty much eliminated a large number of decadent sweets and white sugar off for a while now, I don’t wish it would filter back in. So, this year you are in for desserts and treats which will not make you buy white sugar anymore. Hope that sounds good!!
Let’s still keep the happiness button on and see how far we push it this time.

Ganesha Chaturthi memes

It was a few years back when I came back from work and I saw that my husband and children have prepared for Ganesha Chaturthi with a beautiful store-bought cake. The logic was simple-if we celebrate our birthdays with a cake why not for god!! My dear mother in law played along to the scene and we all had a fun one with mothakams and a cake offered side by side. Somehow, this did not digest well with my dad and he expressed his displeasure at this as we were messing with some traditions. Well, we did not go to object but just realised we created a tiny family tradition for ourselves. 😇
Lord Ganesha may have accepted our ways. For the total foodie he is, this must have been a good change from the routine mostly dessert ladoos, sundals and the modaks. Each year after that,  we make a little healthy something for him to tuck in. This year we tried Quinoa pidi kozhakattai. 

This quinoa pidi kozhakattai.

The current recipe is one with a  very healthy twist. As there are enough modakam recipes (sweet dumplings made typically for this festival) floating around online, we felt he (Lord Ganesha)may prefer something savoury. We also wanted to keep it healthy which is our main goal for the season.
Quinoa pidi kozhakattai is a steamed dumpling made with cooked quinoa which is infused with a spicy tempering.

Why Quinoa?

Quinoa is a seed that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Cooked and eaten like a grain, Indian quinoa recipes are relatively low. Popularised as high protein food, quinoa still has about 39 grams of carb per 1 cup of cooked quinoa. These carbs are complex and hence considered in higher value. The complex carbs also reduce the sugar spike which therefore lowers the glycemic index. The advantage is the higher protein and complex carb combination keeps you full for a longer time.
There are many varieties of quinoa. For this recipe, I have chosen the regular white quinoa and cooked it down a little longer to make it a bit mushy so it holds shape better.

Quinoa pidi kozhakattai

Indian Quinoa recipe for a steamed dumpling similar to the one made during ganesha chaturthi.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Breakfast, Main Dish, Traditional
Cuisine diabetic friendly, Fusion, gluten free, Indian, Kids choice, South indian, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 4 people
Calories 254 kcal


For quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa White or red
  • 3 cups drinking water

for the Dal

  • 3 tbsp Moong dal
  • 1 cup drinking water

For the tempering

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil swap for any neutral oil with a good smoking point
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal
  • 1 small dry red chilli broken into bits
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 small green chilli chopped ( optional)
  • 1/4 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • salt to taste

for steaming

  • 3 cups drinking water


  • Wash drain and keep the quinoa aside.
  • Bring the three cups of water to a boil and add the quinoa. Cover and cook till the quinoa is done.
  • In a seperate cooking pot add moong dal and water and cook it till it is soft but stays as seperate grains.
  • Drain and set aside
  • In a pan heat the oil and add the mustard seeds.
  • As they splutter add the urad dal, followed by the curry leaves and red chillies.
  • Roast till the urad dal turns golden and then add the ginger, chilli and mix well.
  • Add the coconut and let it roast for a couple of minutes.
  • Now add the drained cooked moong dal and the quinoa.
  • Remove from heat and mix well till the cocout tempering mixture is incorporated well.
  • Allow this to cool for 5 minutes or till you can manage to make balls out of it with your hands.
  • Take lime sized portions and make oblong balls out of the mixture.
  • Set a steamer with water and into the steamer basket ( or the plates of the idly cooker), place the balls you have made
  • Steam for about 10 minutes.
  • Allow it to remain in the steamer till you are ready to eat.
  • Serve with chutney or crushed jagerry


The mixture can be made ahead for a busy day. I go all the way till making little balls and then place them in the refrigerator to steam in the morning.
You can add grated carrots, zucchini to the mixture, just saute it along with the coconut in the tempering.


Calories: 254kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 8gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 378mgPotassium: 51mgFiber: 4gSugar: 1g
Keyword Quinoa recipes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

There are a few more quinoa recipes that are here on the blog.

Quinoa lemon rice – An Indian quinoa recipe that is perfect as a main with the tangy flavours from lemon and the spiced tempering.
Pegan Quinoa salad– Planning a salad bowl? try is miso dressed quinoa salad with colourful rainbow veggies and chickpeas.
Oats , quinoa idly– Yet another Indian quinoa recipe that is light, zero oil and fermented making it one of the healthiest breakfasts.
Chipotle quinoa and beans– TRy the smoky flavours of chipotle spice with a handy mix of black beans and quinoa. Add it to your wrap or as a bed for some kebabs, they are spectacular.
Toasted quinoa ladoos– Reach into this energy ball jar anytime for a satiating quick snack. Check out the post to know how to remove the saponins from quinoa.
Quinoa Thayir Saadam– A cooling soothing South Indian quinoa recipe with yogurt and cooked quinoa is the perfect end to a south Indian meal.

If you are looking for more naivedyams for Ganesha Chaturthi, try these

Upma kozhakattai – The savory traditional recipe that was the inspiration for this quinoa pidi kozhakattai.
Sweet Aval kozhukattai – There is no way you can send Ganesha without some sweets. Try this zero oil, jaggery sweetened, beaten rice recipe.
No-cook apricot almond modak – Modaks are key to Ganesha Chaturthinaivedyams. Here is a no-cook healthy version that at other times you can keep as an energy ball.
Kozhkattai maav deepam – Light up the pooja area with these rice-flour lamps. Make them edible or as decorations. 
Chickpea sundal – South Indian Ganesha Chaturthi’s are not complete without sundal. Here is an easy spiced chickpea sundal.
Paal payasam – the bamboo rice paal payasam is not only exotic is a delightful treat to make during this season.
Easy Peanut Ladoo- Peanut ladoos are the easiest to make and keep as prasadam during the festival season. 
I will catch up with you later this week with something yummy for the festive season. Till then enjoy the posts, Tweet, Pin on all our social media handles too. 


This recipe is added to the #161 Foodie Monday Blog hop as an addition to the collection of Ganesha Chathurthi recipes.
See you at the next post!
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Poonam Bachhav
5 years ago

Savory mung dal and quinoa steamed balls sound very interesting and healthy recipe Seema ! I am sure Ganesha would love this offering ..awesome share for the theme .

The Girl Next Door
5 years ago

I love the pidi kozhukattai we make with rice, and am pretty sure I would love this healthy twist to them too.   Beautiful picture too!

Mayuri Patel
5 years ago

Quite a different recipe for me, am sure Ganesha welcomed the savory offering. I love quinoa so will be trying out this recipe. Healthy and filling and can be made anytime of the year.

Shobha Keshwani
1 year ago
Rating :

What a lovely variation of kozhakattai. Quinoa is a super healthy grain and can be used in many ways. I will definitely make these soon.

1 year ago
Rating :

These steam dumplings make a healthy breakfast or a main dish. These are nutrients dense. Would love to try them . Nice post!

Mayuri Patel
1 year ago
Rating :

Seema, gave a trial run of this recipe and it was so tasty. Best part is that it is so healthy. Going to make this quinoa pidi kozhakattai again for Ganesh Chaturthi. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

1 year ago
Rating :

Wow! I love the quinoa kozhakatti! In fact, this year we will make some for Ganesh. Steamed foods are something we prefer now and so one dish for the Ganesh Platter has settled thanks to you.

Jayashree T.Rao
1 year ago
Rating :

I often make pidi kozhukottai at home as it liked by all. This is a good twist using quinoa, bookmarking this recipe to make it soon Seema.

1 year ago
Rating :

we prefer savoury kozukattai anyday, and this one with quinoa looks fab! I agree tht the carb (and esp sugar overload) during festivals is hard to contain, but this is a great recipe I must try, Seema

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