The humble upma is a wholesome breakfast and ‘tiffin’ dish from South India. Upma is something South Indian maamis(Tamil for maternal aunt, also used for other older women when addressed by a child) fall back on when they need to whip up something fast or when unexpected guests arrive.I remember, growing up, when mom made the upma, I would ask, “Upma again?” even if she had made it after many days but would wolf it down happily with some sugar sprinkled on top! The upma is often disregarded in South Indian restaurant menus but looks like it made a mark recently when an Indian born chef competing in a recent Top Chef contest won the contest – his clincher – the humble upma which he made for the ‘something from home/childhood’ part of the contest.
The upma recipe here is made using semolina. It can also be made using various other items – vermicilli, broken wheat, couscous, broken rice and varied by adding different combinations of the basic recipe and vegetables.
Savor the Simple Upma:
- 2 cups roasted upma rava (semolina)
- 4 cups water
- salt to taste
- 3 tsps oil
- 3 tsps ghee
- 2 to 3 green chillies (or to taste) – chopped fine
- 1 inch ginger – chopped fine
- 1/2 onion – chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp chana dal
- 1/2 tsp urad dal
- 2 tsps cashews (optional)
- few curry leaves
- 2 pinches hing(asafoetida)
- I use roasted upma rava as it saves me the hassle of roasting it (if you have unroasted rava, add 1 tsp ghee to a pan and add the rava to it. Roast on low flame until golden brown)
- Heat the oil and 2 tsps of the ghee
- Add the mustard seeds, chana dal and urad dal
- When the mustard seeds pop, add the hing, curry leaves, cashews, green chillies, ginger and onions. Fry well until the onions get translucent.
- While the onions are frying, boil the water.
- Add the boiling water to the pan and add salt to it. Stir well.
- Now add the roasted rava, stir gently and reduce the flame. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in between a couple of times.
- Upma is ready to serve
Note: I normally add 1 cup of mixed vegetables to the upma – you can add peas, finely chopped carrots, potato, and beans.
Salad on the side:
- 2 carrots – peeled and chopped
- 1 cucumber – peeled and chopped
- 1 tomato – chopped
- juice of 1 lemon salt to taste
- tadka – few curry leaves, 1/2 tsp mustard,2 pinches hing, 2 red chillies(or to taste)
- 1 tsp oil
- Heat the oil and add the ingredients in the tadka list. Take away from heat once the mustard seeds pop.
- Mix all ingredients together and add the tadka.
Top Ten Tuesday: This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the Broke and the Bookish – unread books that have been languishing on my shelf forever. Here they are:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – yup! have to admit it – this is on my list. I have read almost all the other books by her except this one, still cannot answer the question,”Why?” So there she lies on my bookshelf (has been doing that on various bookshelves she lived in for so many years)
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts – My cousin gave it to me on my previous trip to India (that was two years ago) as I left for the US and highly recommended it as well. I began it on the journey back, but with the kids in tow, could not go past the first chapter. I meant to continue it when I got back, but library books which needed to be returned soon got in the way!
Letters from a Nut Ted L. Nancy (Author), Jerry Seinfeld (Introduction) – I got this a birthday gift for my DH years ago as he is a big Seinfeld fan and planned to read it myself as well but…
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald – My parents got this book for me from a book exhibition we went to (knowing my love for books) during their first visit here (in 2000) – I loved the cover, I loved the blurb and there it lies ….
The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Kumar Sen – During a visit to India, I went to my favorite book store – a hole in the wall shop where books are stacked everywhere you turn (on the shelves, in towering piles on the ground, on the little chairs that were meant for sitting and perusing the books) and the owners know exactly where to find the book you are looking for. The owners also read many of the books they sell and this was their recommendation to me.
The World as I see it by Albert Einsten – A friend gifted it to me as a great read. I have to yet read it to find out for myself since I got it a few years ago.
The House With a Clock in it’s Walls by John Bellairs – My gift to myself after falling in love with the cover and yet to read.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly – This was a surprise in the mail for me! I received it prior to its publication in early 2009 – not sure how or why – but after the initial excitement at receiving it, I found myself busy with other things. Now I need to read it soon.
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens – I love Charles Dickens and this is one of the very few books I had not read so I picked it up for myself and never got around to it.
MizB of Should Be Reading hosts Teaser Tuesdays. Anyone can play along. Just do the following:
*Grab your current read.*Open to a random page.
*Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
*Share the title and author too, so other TT participants can add it to their TBR lists if they like your teaser.
“It was when Liesel came down, however, that Max found himself most interested in life again. Initially, he tried to resist, but it was harder every day that the girl appeared, each time with a new weather report, either of pure blue sky, cardboard clouds, or a sun that had broken through like God sitting down after he’d eaten too much for his dinner. “
Zusak, Markus (2007-12-18). The Book Thief (p. 250). Knopf Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.