Did you read this article the other day, about children’s breakfast around the world? The differences are so fascinating. Here is a recipe for upma, a typical South Indian breakfast dish. It’s savoury and simple but has a lot of unexpected flavor. It’s based on this traditional preparation. For variation, you could add vegetables such as peas, tomatoes or even spinach during the cooking process (after the onions, before the semolina). But even in its plainest form, upma is delicious.
Ingredients (for about three portions):
One cup (160 grams) of semolina
Three teaspoons of cooking oil (or ghee)
One teaspoon of mustard seeds
Half a teaspoon of cumin seeds
A few whole cashews
Two teaspoons of red lentils
One thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely diced
One medium or two small onions, finely diced
One green chili, finely diced
Lemon juice to taste
First, roast the semolina: put a pan on medium heat, add the semolina and stir until the semolina starts browning. Set aside. In a saucepan, heat the oil or ghee. Add the mustard seeds and fry them until they start to sputter and brown. Add the cumin seeds, then the cashews and the lentils. Stir for a minute or so until the cashews have browned a little on the sides. Then add ginger, onion and chili and fry everything until the onions are translucent. Now add two cups of water and let it come to a boil. Season with salt. Then slowly add the semolina, stirring all the time so it doesn’t form any lumps. If the mix gets too thick, add some water. Let the semolina thicken and cook for two to three minutes. Serve with lemon juice. Enjoy!