"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Traditional Upma with a twist (Semolina and Vermicelli with veggies)

Continuing on with breakfast week, I would like to share the traditional Upma. Trying to coin the English name of South Indian dishes can be tricky. I remember how my Uncle Suresh (Sureshchayan, God rest his soul) used to recall Upma (based on a dialogue from a Malayalam movie) - 'Salt Mango tree'. I am sure Keralite readers would know what I mean :) .

As the Lenten weeks continue, it can be increasingly challenging to whip up new vegetarian recipes in a rushed morning getting ready for work and school as is, but it is bringing my creative juices to work.
Upma served up

Upma is made of roasted semolina. Either you can buy the packed version or roast your own and store it in an airtight container. This would help ease the morning madness:). Semolina is also known as Sooji or Rava. You can make Upma out of just semolina or there is concotion I came up with when I had lesser than required amount of Semolina for the family on one such mad morning. To make this,

You need:

  • ½ cup roasted semolina
  • ½ cup Vermecilli (as I ran out of semolina)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp toor dal (split pigeon pea)
  • ½" ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ carrot, chopped finely or grated
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2-3 cups of water
  • 1 sprig of cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped finely (*Optional but advised)
The make:

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes | Preparation Time: 10 minutes | Serves 2 adults

1. Heat the oil in a wok or a deep bottomed non-stick skillet and splutter the mustard seeds. 
2. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the cumin seeds and toor dal and slightly brown..
3. Add the curry leaves, green chilies, ginger and toss for a minute.
4. Next add the onions, carrot and salt. Allow it to fry for a minute. 
5. Add the water and when it comes to a boil, add the vermecelli and stir. Do a seasoning taste and see if more salt is required.
6. Next add the roasted semolina, a spoon at a time and keep stirring to avoid lumps as it absorbs the water.
7. Once it absorbs the water, it will start to rise and start to cook. If it dries out too much, add more water. Lower the flame and allow it to cook for 2 minutes whilst continuing to stir as it may stick to the pan.
7. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot as is or with your favourite chutney or pickle or for kids with banana, honey or sugar.

Bon Appetit!

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