Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins
This is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish, savory and very good with a cup of good coffee. This is the way it was made at home all through my childhood and the way I make it now. Edited 5/8/09 - I'm changing a couple of things to make this a bit healthier. Reduced oil from 2 tsp to 1, eliminated 1 tsp ghee to fry semolina, put coconut and cashews under optional additions and changed the servings from 2 to 4. I'm also going to try substituting quinoa for the semolina one of these days (soak, rinse, toast quinoa)
- 1 cup semolina (sooji or rava)
- 2 cups water
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (olive oil ok)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cumin seed
- 3 -4 large curry leaves
- 2 green chilies (split)
- 1⁄4 inch ginger (finely minced)
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 1⁄2 medium tomatoes (diced)
- 2 teaspoons cilantro (chopped)
- Heat a wok or kadai, spray with butter flavored cooking spray and add semolina. You can also use 1 tsp ghee instead of cooking spray for a more fragrant (albeit higher fat) version.
- Roast, stirring occasionally until fragrant (about 7-8 minutes).
- Take out semolina and keep aside.
- After wiping off the hot pan to remove leftover semolina grains, add the oil.
- When oil is hot, add the tempering ingredients - mustard seeds, cumin seeds. If you wish you may also add spilt urad dal.
- When mustard seeds sputter, stir in chopped onions, ginger, curry leaves and green chilies. Note that you can deseed the chilies if you don't want any heat.
- In the meantime, bring the 2 cups of water to boil and add salt to it.
- Back to your wok, stir regularly and when the onions are transparent add diced tomatoes and let cook for a couple of minutes.
- When tomatoes are cooked, add the roasted semolina you kept aside earlier and mix well.
- Pour boiling salted water over this mixture, give a quick stir and cover with lid.
- Let it cook for 3 minutes on low flame. Then take off lid and add chopped cilantro, cashews and 1 Tbsp grated coconut. Mix well.
- Take off heat, and serve hot garnished with the remaining tablespoon of grated coconut and a sprig of fresh cilantro.
- NOTE 1: Don't over-roast the semolina or it won't cook well.
- NOTE 2: Possible additions - grated carrots, fresh green peas, roasted peanuts. You could also add 2 tablespoons cashews (roasted pieces) and/or 2 tablespoons coconut (grated fresh) along with the cilantro.
- NOTE 3: If you try to add salt after you take the upma off heat, it won't incorporate very well. So I suggest tasting the upma just before you add cilantro etc. and add more salt if you wish. Make a note of how much salt your family prefers, and next time add the entire amount to the water.
This has become one of my favorite breakfasts! I make it with polenta or millet to make it gluten free, which requires some more water, and I have to omit the tomato, but that's the lovely thing about it: It's so versatile! As I'm always freezing, I love something hot and spicy in the morning :) Thanks for posting this!
Tastes great. Add a little less water, though and cook the semolina for only about 5 minutes if you use an electric range. The peas make a nice addition. I did not add coconut. It contains a lot of the saturated fat you see listed (more than what the ghee has because coconut is more dense).