Got a good, trustworthy recipe for the Indian semolina porridge called uppama or upma?

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Sadassa_Ulna
Sadassa_Ulna February 9, 2011

I found a recipe for upama in an Indian cookbook (one I use for many other recipes) although I have never upama. I calls for chana dal, cashews, curry leaves, etc. If you'd like I can email it to you.

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Sadassa_Ulna
Sadassa_Ulna February 9, 2011

(Accidentally cut myself off), the recipe is mostly semolina...

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nithyadas (hungrydesi)
nithyadas (hungrydesi) February 9, 2011

Here's my basic recipe: Put 2 cups of semolina in a hot wide skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until the semolina is warm being careful not to burn it. Remove to a separate bowl. Add a tablespoon of oil in a skillet and pop a teaspoon of mustard seeds then add a tablespoon of chana dal, 3-4 curry leaves and a fistful of cashews. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the chana dal is golden. Add 1 diced red onion, 1 diced green chili and 1/2 inch diced ginger and cook until the onions are glassy. Add 1/2 cup peas and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and let the peas cook. Add salt. Then quickly stir in the semolina and reduce the heat. Stir quickly to avoid clumps.

I sometimes add more water if the upma seems too dry. Also, a cup of buttermilk or whipped yogurt gives a nice creamy flavor.

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RobertaJ
RobertaJ February 10, 2011

Been using this one for years and years (back before time was invented, lol....). It was published in the LA Times food section probably about 15 or 20 years ago. To me, it tastes most like what the Indian women I used to work with made....

Upma
1/2C cream of wheat
1/3C corn oil
2 Tblsp. butter
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. split urad dal (I leave this out, since I haven't found a source for it)
2 Tblsp. cashews, broken or chopped into pieces
1 med onion chopped
4 serrano chiles, cute into small pieces.
1 (1-inch) piece of ginger root, chopped into small pieces
1/2C chopped mixed vegetables, such as pease, cauliflower, carrots, green beans (I usually use frozen that I've thawed under running water)
1-1&1/2C water
1/2 tsp. salt

In a saucepan over med. heat, dry-roast the cream of wheat 2-3 minutes. Set cream of wheat aside on plate.

Add oil and butter to same saucepan and heat. Add mustard seeds and urad dal. When seeds start sputtering, add cashews and fry until light golden brown. Add onion, chiles and ginger and cook 3-4 min. Add mixed veggies and cook 5-7 minutes. Add 1C water and salt. When water comes to boil, add reserved cream of what, and mix well. Cook until thick, then reduce heat to low and cook 2-3 minutes.

If cream of wheat is too thick, thin to desired consistency with some or all of the remaining water, heated to boiling. Makes 4 servings.

Julie Sahni also has a recipe in her "Introduction to Indian Cooking" cookbook, but I like the above recipe better.

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pauljoseph
pauljoseph February 10, 2011

upama my favorite will post more picture with recipe tomorrow

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Panfusine
Panfusine February 10, 2011

The simplest variation w/o embellishments: (every one of these ingredients is available in the local Indian store)

1 cup sooji ( a fine semolina) toasted golden
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp split urad dal (from an Indian grocery)
1/2 jalapeno finely diced
1/2 inch fresh ginger root minced
a pinch of asafetida
1 sprig curry leaves torn to bits
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ghee (or salted butter) for finishing.
2 cups hot water
Cilantro for garnishing (optional)

In a skillet, heat the olive oil when it begins to smoke, add the mustard seeds & urad dal. stir till the mustard sputters & the dal turns a golden brown. Add the jalapeno, ginger curry leaves, salt & asafetida & give it a stir.

add the hot water to the skillet, when it comes to a boil, gradually add in the the semolina, stirring all the while to avoid lumps. (@ this point, the mixture will be bubbling like a Yellowstone mud pot!), lower the heat, cover partially ( to avoid getting scalded) and cook till the water evaporates & the semolina fluffs up when stirred with a fork. Turn off the healt and add the ghee or salted butter & combine till its melted.
Transfer to a serving dish & garnish with cilantro.
Tha characteristic aroma of upma is from the combination of the curry leaves, asafetida & ghee. Toasting the semolina helps in keeping the dish from clumping up into an oatmeal like consistency.

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magdance
magdance February 10, 2011

Thanks to everyone for excellent responses. To Sadassa_Ulna: please do e-mail me the recipe. I am at magdance (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Sadassa_Ulna
Sadassa_Ulna February 10, 2011

I emailed you the recipe I have in a cookbook, it doesn't call for ginger or chile like those above, which is a red flag to me (I think everything should have ginger in it!) Good luck!

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pauljoseph
pauljoseph February 10, 2011

We just made this easy upuma with grated carrot and semolina posting the recipe to food52

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