Wednesday, August 20, 2008
THE SIMPLE UBIQUITOUS VENGAYA RAVA UPMA (or FLAVOURED SEMOLINA with ONION ?!)
'Upma' stems from 'uppu' or salt and 'maav' meaning flour. In most South Indian languages upma stems from 'salt & flour' -- 'Uppu-maavu', 'Uppu-Pindi', 'Uppu-hittu'. One of the easiest and quick breakfasts to make, rava or semolina upma is very healthy and rich in iron content. Homes and restaurants are ever ready to serve this simple delicious dish at any time of the day. There are hoards of variations to this simple recipe by changing the vegetables and spices – add tomatoes, carrots and peas; use Bisibele masala, or Sambar powder; emphasize any spice; include some grated coconut …the possibilities are endless.
Upma traditionally made with semolina, is now being made with a number of other cereals. It’s quite common these days to see upma made with broken wheat, rice flakes, oats, and even bread. My children overseas use Cous Cous, Polenta, Quinoa and a variety of Pastas as well to make upma. With some imagination you can come out with many more.
A copious amount of good quality ghee added to upma is key to making it really tasty, although not a healthy option. Given below is a very simple and basic upma recipe, without ghee.
SIMPLE VENGAYA RAVA UPMA
Semolina – 1 cup
Onion – 1
Green chilly -1
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Curry leaves – a few
Salt -1 tsp
Cooking oil – 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Black gram dal -1 tsp
Bengal gram dal – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Lime – 1
Coriander leaves – a few
1. Chop onion, ginger and green chilly finely and keep aside.
2. Set 3 cups of water along with salt to boil on one flame.
3. Meanwhile heat oil in a wok and add mustard seeds.
4. When it splutters add black gram dal and Bengal gram dal and roast till they are golden in colour.
5. Add green chilly, ginger and curry leaves and sauté.
6. Add chopped onion and sauté till it is pink in colour.
7. Add the turmeric powder and the semolina and roast till it gives out a pleasant aroma.
8. Now pour the boiling water into the rava mixture, stirring continuously, and blend well. Note: If you do not stir, you will end up with a lumpy texture, and sometimes the rava inside the lumps will not even be cooked.
9. Cook on low flame until all the water is absorbed and the upma starts leaving the sides of the wok.
10. Squeeze out the lime juice into the upma, while it is still hot and pliable and blend well.
11. Switch off the flame and leave it covered for a few minutes.
If you don’t mind adding ghee, then you can add it in Step 2, and boil along with the water, or add it in step 8 while stirring the upma.
Decorate with coriander leaves and enjoy with chutney or a cup of curd.