Upma or Uppitu is a simple breakfast which can be made in a jiffy. It is a classic example of South Indian food, which is healthy, uses few simple ingredients to make a delicate, scrumptious dish. It is usually eaten for breakfast but can be eaten at any time of the day. When we lived abroad, it was our staple Sunday breakfast which my husband made and is quite an expert at making it.
There are different variations to the simple upma.You may add vegetables if you please; I usually do, as it makes it more healthy and complete.
1 cup bansi rava (semolina/cream of wheat – look for the coarser variety)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds, urad dal
1 tsp curry leaves (optional)
1 big onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
½ inch ginger, finely chopped (optional)
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
½ cup chopped vegetables (carrot, beans, green peas, capsicum- you could use one or all. If you do not want vegetables, leave it out)
2 cups water
salt to taste
coriander leaves (cilantro) – to garnish
6-8 cashew nuts – to garnish
2 tsp ghee (optional) or oil
In a saucepan, heat 2 tsp ghee or oil. Fry the cashew nuts and keep them aside. If you want to go healthy, toast the cashew nuts and keep aside.
In the same pan, add the rest of the oil and add mustard seeds, urad dal. When they splutter, add the curry leaves, onions, chillies and ginger. Fry till golden brown – keep mixing.
Then add the vegetables and cook till they are 50% cooked.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes on medium heat.
While the vegetables are cooking, heat water. (I usually have water in a kettle ready).
Add the boiling water and salt.
The next step is the tricky part. Just like when you make sauces, you need to whisk it well to avoid lumps, you have to mix continuously to avoid uncooked lumps of rava.
On low heat, slowly add the rava to the mixture and mix briskly to avoid lumps. Once well mixed, cover and let it cook for a few minutes.
Garnish with coriander, cashew nuts and ghee. Serve piping hot with pickle, chutney or plain yogurt.