how to make this and Deborah taught me. Lalitha grew up in Madras,
India, and this is a recipe she grew up making. It's pronounced
oop-mah. It's good and easy to make. It's really good
left over, even better the next day. I don't have specific amounts
for most ingredients. Use quantities that seem right to you. (The Wikipedia page for Upma
says There are many ways Upma is prepared; indeed, every upma cook
usually will impart a small difference in flavour.)
- cumin seeds, approx. 2 tsp.
- black mustard seeds, approx. 2 tsp.
- canola oil or olive oil, approx. 3 T.
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 cups water or vegetable broth or chicken broth
(chicken broth is not traditional in this vegetarian dish)
- chopped vegetables such as carrot, potato, cabbage, green beans,
broccoli, whatever sounds good. Note: 1 lb thawed frozen mixed vegetables works well.
- cereal such as cream of wheat or corn grits or corn meal or blue corn
meal (good!) or a mixture of these
- jalepeno or green chile or red chile, finely chopped, or red pepper flakes
(use a little or a lot, depending on how spicy you like it)
- fresh tomato, chopped (optional but highly recommended)
- yoghurt (optional)
Variations (I haven't tried these, but I bet they'd be good):
- Saute cumin seeds and black mustard seeds in oil until mustard seeds
pop -- about a minute.
- Add onion and garlic and saute till golden.
- If chile isn't already cooked, saute it with the onions.
- Add water or broth.
- Add chopped vegetables, and chile if you haven't already done so.
- Salt to taste.
- Boil till vegetables are cooked as much as you want (don't overcook).
- Stir in cereal. Don't make it too thick. Be sure there's lots of liquid
to begin with. At the time you add the cereal, the liquid to cereal ratio
should be at least 4 to 1, maybe 5 to 1 or 6 to 1.
- Cook till cereal is done. Should be about the consistency of breakfast
cream of wheat. Stir as needed so it doesn't burn.
- Add tomato towards the end.
- Serve with yoghurt.
- Use couscous for the cereal.
- Add grated ginger root when sauteing the onions.
- Serve with fresh cilantro.