Roasted semolina porridge or upma in hindi, is a savory and delicious vegetarian and vegan breakfast option that originates from the Indian subcontinent. This traditional savory dish, somewhat similar to porridge is not only flavorful but, also offers several health benefits making it a popular choice among many.
4 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SHOULD ADD IT TO YOUR LIST OF FAVORITE BREAKFASTS
- High Nutritional Value – One of the key reasons to try roasted semolina upma is its nutritional value. Semolina is high in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients like iron and B-vitamins. It provides sustained energy throughout the morning, keeping you full and satisfied until your next meal.
- Easy to Prepare – The simplicity and ease of preparation of roasted semolina upma is one of the many reasons to consider cooking it. You can make a flavorful and satisfying meal in no time with just a few basic items like semolina, vegetables, spices, and water.
- Versatile – Another benefit of roasted semolina upma is its versatility. You can customize it according to your taste preferences by adding various vegetables like carrots, peas, bell peppers, or even greens like spinach or kale. This allows you to experiment with different flavors and textures while still keeping it healthy.
- Low in Cholesterol and Sugar – Additionally, this dish is low in fat and calorie content compared to other breakfast options like fried snacks or sugary cereals. It can be an excellent choice for those who are conscious about their weight or looking for healthier alternatives.
To simply put it, multiple advantages of making roasted semolina upma are:
- It is flavorful yet healthy;
- It is a great recipe for vegetarians or vegans alike;
- It is quick and easy to prepare;
- It allows for customization, just add veggies and spices of your choice; see FOODNOTES at the bottom of the article.
- and it has authentic Indian flavor.
Why not give it a shot? Your taste buds will thank you!
VARIATIONS OF UPMA
This is the most well-known type of upma, made with whole or refined powdered durum wheat semolina. A medley of vegetables can be added and the dish may be served with a variety of beans (raw or sprouted), cashews, and peanuts. Instead of green chilies, sambar masala or garam masala, as well as red chilli powder, is used to masala upma (known as kharabath in Karnataka). This version is more popular in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and parts of Andhra Pradesh, where it is typically served at South Indian restaurants.
WHOLE WHEAT UPMA
In Tamil Nadu, upma made with Whole wheat or wheat dalia (cracked wheat) is a popular variety served for breakfast or dinner. It is primarily cooked with vegetables like peas, carrots, and beans.
Upma pesarattu is the most popular version in Andhra Pradesh, Yanam and Telangana. Pesarattu is a dish similar to crepe, made with green gram (moong dal) batter. The upma is filled inside the crepe aka the pesarattu and typically served with ginger based or peanut based or tamarind based chutney.
Rice upma is mainly popular in Tamil Nadu and southern parts of Karnataka. This upmais smeared with ghee at the end of preparation. A variation of this upma is made by substituting with small crumbs of leftover bread or idli instead of flour.
Upma made from coarse rava known as sajjige is a dish of Udupi cuisine, served along with snacks such as sautéed and spiced poha or chevdo.
Another variation, particularly as a breakfast dish, is corn upma, eaten with milk and nuts
“Chow chow bath” is a breakfast recipe from karnataka or bangalore cuisine. This bhath recipe contains an equal amount of masala bhath and kesari bhath on a plate served along with coconut chutney. For Kesari bhath – the classic ingredients used to prepare it are semolina, sugar, ghee, water, and milk. “Chow chow bath” is a scoop of each on one plate.
POHA/ AVAL UPMA/ ATUKULA UPMA
In Maharashtra, Kerala & Andhra Pradesh, upma made with flattened rice in substitution to semolina is a very popular dish. The most popular ingredients for this dish are onions, potatoes, and veggies.
You can eat this healthy vegan vermicelli dish either as breakfast or as an evening snack. Also famous as Vermicelli Upma in many regions, this one pot recipe cooks in no time, it is made with vermicelli and tomato, peas and carrot.
Savory Semolina Mix
- Cast iron pan
- 1 ½ cup semolina flour dry roasted
- 2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
- ¾ teaspoon whole black mustard seeds
- 1 1/ teaspoon split black gram Urad dal
- 1 ¼ tsp chana dal
- 1-2 dried red chili optional
- 1 ½ small onion chopped about 1/2 cup
- 2 small green chiles split lengthwise
- 10 – 12 curry leaves
- 2 Tbsps minced fresh ginger
- ½ cup diced boiled carrots
- ½ cup boiled green peas
- 10-12 Raw cashews
- 15-20 Raw peanuts
- ¼ Cup Fresh corn kernels
- 1 teaspoon red chile powder optional
- Salt per taste
- 2 ½ cups water
- Place semolina in a cast iron pan and cook over medium heat until light golden in color and toasty, for about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Return pan to medium heat and heat ghee or oil until shimmering. Add the mustard seeds and split black gram, stir until they splutter, about 30 seconds. Add the onion, fry until slightly soft, about a minute (take care not to brown). Add the slit chiles, curry leaves and stir until fragrant, about a minute longer. Add the carrots, peas, red chilli powder, and sugar, and stir until fragrant and the mixture is coated with the ghee/oil, about 1 minute.
- Add toasted semolina and stir vigorously until the mixture resembles wet sand—about a minute. Add the salt and gently pour in the water. The semolina will bubble and spurt as it absorbs the water. Reduce heat to low. Allow this mixture to cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The Upma absorbs water very quickly and tends to dry out too, so turn off the heat when the mixture is slightly runny. Serve immediately.
- Do not use light bottom pan to roast semolina as chances of over browning or burning the semolina are great.
- If you do not have a heavy bottom pan, roast on low-medium heat and constantly stir to avoid over browning of the semolina.
- Dry roasting the upma before adding other ingredients is important as the final dish will clump together instead of staying separate.
- Use vegetable oil for vegan version instead of ghee, clarified butter. Although clarified butter is a dairy item, it is free from allergic milk protein part, making it suitable for a dairy-free diet. User discretion advised.
- I suggest use of fresh vegetables instead of frozen ones as addition of water at the end to cook semolina will make the frozen vegetables very mushy.
- Steer clear of frozen veggies if you do not want the dish to taste like pureed baby food.
- The vegetables should hold their shape with a teeny tiny bite to it.
- Be careful while using whole red chilies, red chili powder and fresh green chilies. Addition of all three will make it exceptionally hot. I personally like using only fresh green chilies.
- You can add other powdered spices like freshly ground coriander powder or fresh garam masala to this recipe.
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