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Wheat Upma (Uppuma or South Indian Kichidi)
To describe Uppuma,
it can be compared to an equivalent of the African couscous. It is authentic to
South India and has been consumed for thousands of years as a staple breakfast
food. South Indians typically consume much of rice based foods, but this is one
of the delicious and often eaten wheat based food, cooked to a texture similar
to that of couscous.
Samba Indian Rava: 1
cup (coarse ground wheat from India. American wheat is too hard for this recipe)
½ large, julienne sliced
1 chopped fine
Ginger: ½ inch
piece (fresh or frozen, de-skinned)
Dried Red chilies:
2~3 (or 1 green chilli sliced into two)
Cumin seeds (Jeera):
Mustard seeds: ¼
Oil: 4 teaspoon
Salt to taste (1 ~
Cilantro leaves: ¼
powder (Dhania powder): 1 teaspoon
Sambar powder: ½
teaspoon (or curry powder)
Curry leaves: 4~5
Heat oil in a wide pan and when hot add the dry cumin seeds, mustard
seeds, dry red chilies. If available, add the curry leaves as well. Do not yet
add any powdered ingredients as it tends to dry up the oil
Saute for a minute and when roasted (slightly browned), add the onions and
continue to sauté for another 5 minutes.
When the onions turn golden brown, add the chopped tomatoes. Cover with a
lid and let sit for 2~3 minutes.
Remove the lid, and add the coriander powder, sambar or curry powder and
sauté slightly for another minute.
Now add 2 ½ cups of warm/hot water (cold water is fine as well, but tends
to cool down the sauté and needs additional heating) and increase the heat to
Smash gently and add the ginger piece to the mixture. Add required amount
of salt and mix gently. Use caution, as the heating water may cause burns.
When the water is hot or boiling, “reduce” the heat to low. This step
is important. Once you reduce heat, while the water is still hot, slowly and
carefully add the wheat rava in small batches, and stir “continuously” with
a spatula to avoid forming uncooked lumps.
Note: Do not add the entire rava in shot, but only
little by little and mixing continuously.
Once all the rava has been added and stirred and mixed well, cover with a
lid and let it cook for 10~15 minutes in low heat. Then open the lid, take a
teaspoon of the cooked uppuma to check if it is well cooked, if not cover again
and let it cook for a few more minutes.
Finally sprinkle the cooked uppuma with chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
This is an excellent, energetic breakfast food balanced with carbohydrates, proteins, little bit of fat and lots of dietary fiber and other nutrients.