Here is a popular South Indian breakfast recipe. Not only is Uppuma or Uppitu, (names in Tamil and Kannada) very common in South Indian homes, but every household will have its own version, a little touch of this and that, which makes subtle changes in the basic recipe. Upma is a simple, nutritious breakfast item, served during the weekdays, as a tiffin item. When part of wedding breakfast menus, alongside popular Idli and Vadai, additional tempering and garnishing with roasted cashew nuts and colourful vegetables, changes it from the simple to the exotic!
Basic recipe uses coarse Semolina. But for variations, you may use Vermicelli, burghul or even fine broken rice, as popular in Tamil Nadu, southern India.
The story behind this recipe is: My visiting friend from Chennai (Madras) cooked this traditional South Indian breakfast for us. Isn’t it a wonderful time when friends get together, enjoy a laugh and share recipes? Thanks, Priya. The ingredient of love and goodness, turned the simple dish into a healthy meal with wholesome company.
1 medium onion
1 carrot or 3 beans or shelled peas (optional)
2 cups coarse semolina
1 inch finely chopped ginger
fistful roasted peanuts ( or cashew nuts)
Salt, green or red chilli and water – as required
3-5 tsps of ghee or clarified butter (optional)
1 tsp. mustard
3 tsp. cooking oil
2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
First lightly roast the semolina in a large pan or wok (kadhai), till lightly browned. Do not over brown it, as it will alter taste!. Keep aside in a plate to cool.
Prepare the tempering – Heat oil lightly in a thick, large wok. Add mustard seeds to crackle. Toss in peanuts, curry leaf, chilli, chopped onion, grated ginger, optional vegetables. Lightly fry these in oil. Add 2 cups water, little salt and let this mixture boil.Cover and let the vegetables cook lightly (not overcook!).
Remove lid, lower gas flame. Slowly pour the roasted semolina to the boiling water mixture, taking care not to pour all at once – else it will form into a lump. Stir the water /semolina mixture constantly. Adjust salt and water. Cover with lid and cook for 5 mins.
Stir gently once again, remove any lumps, add a generous dash of ghee, for that heavenly taste and aroma. Adjust water to cook semolina evenly, as it fluff in size.
Serve onto plate, garnish with roasted peanuts /cashew nuts /curry leaf. Or prepare mould and fill with Upma. Then invert onto plate and garnish.
Tomato chutney or coconut chutney makes a perfect combination with this. Enjoy!
‘Every recipe has a story behind it’
What is your favourite recipe? What is the story behind it?
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