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Author Notes: I first ate this at Victory's Banner, a breakfast-and-lunch place on Chicago's North side, and loved it. I asked for recipe on Foodpickle and got a great variety of responses using semolina and an array of other ingredients. One trip to the Indian grocery yielded supplies for many batches, and what follows is a composite of suggestions. Farina was the choice of Anna Thomas in her second (I believe) cookbook, and I prefer it to semolina. Like Victory's Banner, I've been serving it with coconut chutney and yoghurt. —magdance
Upma with Coconut Chutney
- 1/4 cup chana dal (split desi beans, available at Indian groceries.)
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 4 tablespoons ghee, butter, oil or a combination
- 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds (Indian grocery)
- 1 inch ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 or more hot chiles, like serrano or jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 5-10 curry leaves chopped fine (sold fresh in Indian groceries, keeps well in fridge 10 days)
- 1/2 cup farina (wheat cereal, not precooked)
- 1/4 cup each of cooked vegetables, such as carrots, peas or cauliflower
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- Some lemon juice
- At least three hours ahead, rinse and soak the chana dal.
- Boil the chana dal two minutes or until soft but not mushy, drain and dry. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
- Melt 1/2 T. butter, oil or ghee in small, heavy saucepan and saute cashews until light brown. Set aside.
- Melt the rest of the cooking fat and saute the mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Then add curry leaves, ginger, chana dal, hot peppers and onion and cook until the onion is soft.
- Add farina and cook and stir until the grains are coated with oil and beginning to brown.
- Add boiling water and stir hard as farina thickens. Continue to add water, stirring, until the consistency of a soft, cooked cereal is reached.
- Add salt and lemon juice to taste, and top with sauteed cashews. Serve with coconut chutney and Greek-style yoghurt.
- 2-3 hot dried red peppers
- 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
- 2-3 curry leaves, chopped
- 1-2 hot peppers, like serrano or jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- Heat the cooking fat and saute the mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Add the hot red peppers and saute a few minutes until they turn dark. Then remove and discard the peppers.
- Put coconut and green peppers in food processor or blender with contents of the saute pan with a few tablespoons of water, just enough to blend. Process until uniform and a pretty green.
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