Upma, pronounced Oop-ma, is usually had for breakfast in southern India. Made from semolina flour, it is a hearty dish with great nutritional value. I make mine with sautéed onions, tomatoes and some veggies (typically peas and chopped carrots but you can add other vegetables like green or red peppers (capsicum), french beans and even tiny florets of broccoli. We usually have Upma for breakfast on weekends. I use coarse semolina flour, available at most Indian grocery stores in the US.
- 1-2 tsps Oil
- ¼ tsp Black Mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp Urad Dal/lentils (optional)
- ¼ tsp Chana Dal/lentils (optional)
- ¼ Onion chopped fine
- 1" Ginger chopped or grated
- 1/2 Medium size tomato
- 2-4 Green Chili (more of less depending on your spice intake)
- 1 Medium size Carrot quarted and chopped fine
- ½ cup Peas
- 1 ½ cups Coarse Semolina flour (roasted)
- 2 cups Water
- 1-2 tsps Ghee (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Few sprigs of Curry leaves
- Few sprigs of Coriander chopped fine
Heat the oil in a pot, add the mustard seeds, when it pops add the 2 dals, if using. When the dal sizzles add the chopped onions and chilies and let it sauté till the onions turn translucent (few minutes), add the chopped ginger and a few seconds later add the tomatoes. Let the tomatoes sauté for a bit.
Now, add the chopped carrots and peas. Give it a few minutes, add the curry leaves and chopped coriander. Add the water and salt, cover and let the water boil. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, lower the flame and add the roasted* semolina flour, keep stirring mixing the flour continuously till all the flour has absorbed the water. Turn off the flame and add ghee, if using at this point cover and let sit for a few minutes. Serve hot with Indian pickle or the way I like it, with a dash of lemon juice.
* It is advisable to dry roast the semolina before you add it to the water. To dry roast the semolina, simply put the semolina in a pan and let it warm through without discoloring the semolina.
You could use other grains like quinoa or lapsi (cracked wheat) instead of semolina but you will need to cook them before adding it to the veggies.