Upma…ahh…the very thought of it reminds me of a train journey, especially Rajdhani, in India. It is a common breakfast menu in most of the southern Indian trains and I simply adore it. I have been trying to make the perfect upma from quite some time, like the way we used to enjoy on our train journey, and now finally I have!! Take a look at the very simple recipe…
Some Facts - No matter where you go in India, Upma is a hot favorite breakfast food! Originally from South India, this tasty dish is made from Semolina and can be eaten for breakfast, brunch or as a snack. It is so wholesome you can even make a meal of it!
A huge number of variations of Upma are made with whole or refined ground wheat and rice of varied grain size, vermicelli, Durum wheat semolina or pearl sago. A wide range of vegetables may be added, and may be garnished with a variety of beans (raw or sprouted), cashew and peanuts. For a variation called masala upma(known as 'Kharabath' in Karnataka), sambar masala or garam masala is added along with red chilli powder, instead of green chillies.
The Rice Upma, which is mainly popular in the southern parts of Karnataka is referred to as Akki Tari Uppittu (Rice coarse flour uppittu). Another variant of upma is prepared with grated coconuts instead of onions, especially on holy days, when onion is avoided. This type of upma is generally smeared with ghee at the end of preparation. Dishes similar to upma can be made by substituting small crumbs of leftover bread or Idli instead of flour. Upma made from coarse semolina, known as Sajjige, is a dish of Udupi cuisine. It is sometimes served along with snacks such as sauted and spiced poha or Chevdo.
Another variation is Corn Upma which serves as a healthy breakfast due to the ingredients like corn, milk & nuts, Curry Leaves are added for flavour.
1 cup semolina (serves 2)
1 Onion (finely chopped)
1 small cup green peas (optional)
Few curry leaves
Finely chopped ginger
3 tablespoon vegetable oil/ghee
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
Few cumin seeds
½ teaspoon chana daal
1-2 green chillies/or whole dry Red chilli (each halved into two)
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Chopped Cilantro/Coriander leaves
2 cups boiled water
1. Take a pan and add two tablespoon oil/ghee into it ( I prefer to use ghee for upma for it tastes very good). Once the oil gets heated, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, green chilli/whole dry red chilli, chopped ginger, curry leaves, chana daal and stir fry for 30 seconds.
2. Now add your chopped onion and stir fry for about a minute or two until light golden. Then add fresh green peas (optional) and stir for another minute.
3. Add turmeric powder to the onion and peas and stir again.
4. Now add your semolina and mix them all together nicely. On medium heat roast the semolina for another 2 minutes. Add salt according to taste and mix well.
5. Now add your boiled water and mix well to make sure there are no lumps. Stir nicely until the water dries out.
6. Cover the lid and keep aside for 2-3 minutes.
7. Garnish fresh coriander on top and serve hot.