Crema de Quinoa

BM# 102 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Cuisines from South America

For the first day under the theme, this is a creamy quinoa chowder from Ecuador. The recipe is from Jose Garces’s book The Latin Road Home. It’s his take on the local crema de quinoa, which is a rich diary based broth with potatoes, white corn and avocados. I didn’t have the achiote paste, which is the main flavor inducing ingredient here. The paste has quite an unique taste, so I will definitely be looking for it the next time I go shopping. But for today, I had to follow the substitute mentioned in this link. I also substituted the white sweet corn with yellow corns.

The quinoa absorbs the liquid as it sits, so it’s a good idea to serve this as soon as it’s prepared. Else remember to check the seasoning again if you add more stock/ water to adjust the consistency.

Read on for the recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 small potato, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup sweet white corn
  • 1 tablespoon Achiote Paste or substitute
  • 2.5 cups stock or water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • Sliced Avocados for serving


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in an omelette pan and fry the matchstick potatoes. Set aside.
  2. Heat butter and olive oil in a pan. Sauté onions and garlic until it turns pink. Stir in the achiote paste, if the paste is not available, add the substitute spices mentioned in the link.
  3. Add the quinoa and corn and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the stock/water and cream. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat, add salt and simmer the chowder uncovered until the quinoa is completely cooked and the liquid is reduced to 3/4th it’s original size. Take off the heat.
  5. To serve, add the chopped parsley, fried potatoes. Garnish with sliced avocados.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.


2 thoughts on “Crema de Quinoa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s