Upma is a south Indian breakfast dish made from semolina or cream of wheat similar to grits or polenta. Upma can be served just plain with any variety of chutney (sweet or spicy) or for a truly international breakfast serve it with roasted garlic potatoes and spice scrambled eggs.
There are different versions of Upma, depending on the region it is made in. Some use vegetables, while others are just plain tempered with whole spices.
Here is a quick recipe to make plain Upma.
Semolina and other spices mentioned here can be purchased at any Indian grocery store. Semolina can be substituted with cream of wheat.
1 cup slightly roasted semolina (cream of wheat)
1 medium sized onion, sliced
1 green pepper, split lengthwise (Serrano or Jalapeno)
1 tbsp split channa dal
½ tbsp split urad dal
½ inch ginger grated or chopped finely
3 cups water
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 sprig of curry leaves
2 tbsp oil or clarified butter (ghee)
Salt to taste
In a pan, heat oil or ghee. Add mustard seeds. Let the seeds crackle for a few seconds. Now add cumin seeds along with channa dal and urad dal. Fry till they just start to change color. This takes less than a minute.
Next add cashews and by the time, the cashews are toasted in the oil, the dals should be a golden brown color too.
Add the green pepper, chopped ginger, curry leaves. Next add onions and fry till they become translucent. About 3 minutes.
Next add water and salt to this mixture and let it come to a boil.
When the water comes to a vigorous boil, simmer the flame and add the roasted cream of wheat to it.
Keep stirring while adding the semolina (cream of wheat), little by little, to keep the mixture from forming lumps.
Once all the cream of wheat has been added, give it a final stir. Cover the lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
Garnish upma with coriander/cilantro leaves.