The lowly uppuma frequently gets a bad rap. Despite it having been a winning recipe on a TV chef competition, many of us harbor a little bit of disdain for this dish. This is reflected in phrases like 'just uppuma'.
My daughter and I love uppuma. It is nutritous and capable of infinite variety and can adapt to the use of the popular grain of the decade; be it quinoa or bulger, steel cut oats or lapsi. Easy to make and filling, it can be eaten off the stove or at room temperature and will travel well. I often carry some on flights to avoid the over salted pretzels that is dropped in my lap. Try this recipe and make up your own.
I often make and serve upppuma with accompaniments to my guests. It’s quite perfect for a special dinner if you dress it up with a few interesting vegetables and some broken cashew nuts. Try pine nuts or macadamia for a change. Your guests will cluck with pleasure. What I have provided here is a basic recipe and you should feel free to use the vegetable you have available. Include at least two or three different ones.
Uppuma with kale, cilantro and lime
Coarse Semolina (rawa) – 2 cups
Vegetable oil – 4 tsp
Ghee – 4 tsps
Black mustard seed – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) – 1/2 tsp
Split urad dal – 1 tsp
Peanuts or cashew pieces – 1/4 cup
Chili Flakes – 1/4 tsp
Fresh green chilies – 2-4
Minced Curry leaves – 4-6
Chopped Kale – 1 cup
Chopped Onions – 1/2 cup
Cherry or grape tomatoes – 10-12
Sliced carrots – 1/4 cup
Sliced zucchini – 1/4 cup
Chopped cilantro – 1/2 cup
Fresh lime juice – 2 tsp
Pan roast 2 cups of coarse semolina (rava) with 2 tsp of oil or ghee until it just starts to brown and set aside
In a deep sauté pan, temper mustard seeds, cumin and urad in a blend of vegetable oil and ghee (optional)
Add your choice of cashew nuts, pine nuts, peanuts of macadamia nuts
Add onions and chilies, turmeric powder, chili flakes and asafoetida
Add chopped kale and cilantro and sliced carrots and zucchini and cherry tomatoes
When vegetables are sautéed add 3.5 cups of water and bring to a boil
Add 1/2 cup of peas and salt and bring heat down to simmer
Add the roasted semolina while stirring briskly to avoid lumping
Cover and cook over low heat till the water is absorbed
Add juice of one fresh lime
Serve with lime pickles, or chutney and some salad and or plain or greek yogurt.