Upma: A South Indian Comfort Food

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As a South Indian, I grew up eating lots and lots of upma – a dry, often savory, porridge-like preparation made using rava (semolina.) It’s a common breakfast food – very versatile and filling! I guess you could call it South Indian comfort food!

I like eating it any time of the day, though. Today, I made it for dinner, with some salmon curry and dal. And of course, a meal like this deserves a sweet finish! So for dessert, fresh sweet mango with non-dairy coconut ice-cream!

BASIC UPMA RECIPE:
This is the basic recipe, to which you can add your choice of veggies, nuts, coconut, dried fruit etc. Anything goes! If you like it, add it!

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup rava (semolina)
2 cups water
1 onion
1 green chili
1 red chili
3 or 4 tsp ghee (or vegetable oil if vegan)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
3 or 4 curry leaves

METHOD:
1. Dry roast the rava until it is hot and set aside
2. Heat the ghee and add the dal, chilis, and curry leaves. Sauté until the dal has turned golden brown.
3. Add the chopped onions and ginger and continue sautéing until the onions turn transparent.
4. Add the water and slowly add the rava, while stirring. Once all the water is absorbed, cover and cook on low for 7-8 minutes – stirring periodically.

And that’s it, guys! Simple and yummy!!

You can serve it on its own or with veggies, dal, or curry. You can also leave out the savory elements (chilis and onions etc) and make a sweeter dish. I’ve had it served to me for breakfast with sugar and a banana that you mash into the upma. Also very yummy!!