Uppama- Farina Pilaf with Dal and Vegetables

March  5, 2013
0 Ratings
Photo by red chillies
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

Uppama is one of my favorite comfort foods for breakfast or dinner,and, accompanied by creamy scrambled eggs and plenty of yoghurt, it's the definitiion of Cheap Feast!. It's funny - I usually love Indian food for all the cumin and other spices, but here there are no spices, just a surprising amount of warm nutty flavor and appeal from the toasted dal and the toasted farina itself. It is a good foil for spicy dishes; it also makes for a robust and more unusual option as a vegetarian or vegan entree.

The things that make my Uppama version non-traditional are the larger amount of both tomato and fried dal (I just love the nuttiness and toothsome textural contrast of the fried dal with the soft farina.) When making this for a crowd, you can follow the recipe through the browning of the farina, doing it in batches, and then transfer the farina mixtures to a large pot- for cooking with the tomatoes and finishing the recipe. If multiplying this recipe by three or more, you should start with 2/3 of the tomato juices and water, as you can always add more and then cook the uppama longer (which is preferable to having soupy uppama!)
LeBec Fin

What You'll Need
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup toordal or urad dal *
  • ½ Tablespoon black mustard seeds*
  • 1 cup(4 oz.) finely chopped onion
  • 3 jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced ( or or 3 ½ Tablespoons minced pickled jalapenos,seeded
  • 1 cup quick- cooking farina(Pillsbury is fine; not Indian sooji which is too fine)
  • 28 ounce can Pastene plum tomatoes, lifted out of their juices and chopped
  • or
  • 2 cups finely chopped ripe garden tomatoes or grape tomatoes
  • minced peeled ginger
  • 1/2 cup ( 2 ounces)minced unpeeled carrot
  • 1/2 cup (1.2 ounces) minced scallion, including green and white
  • 2 cups water (2 ½ cups if using fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/8-1/4 cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup+minced cilantro
  • Plain yoghurt
  1. In medium hot oil, sautee dal a few minutes to make crunchy. Add mustard seeds til they pop, then onion. Sautee 7-8 minutes til onion is soft, adding oil if needed. Don’t brown the onions. Add jalapenos for a minute, then farina, toasting 4-6 minutes til lightly browned. Individually add tomato through scallion, stirring well between each addition. Add water and Salt. Bring to boil. Turn down to simmer, cover tightly, 20-30 min. until farina is thick and dal are toothsome. If dal are not tender, cover and simmer til done, adding more water if mixture is dry. Finished uppama should be moist but not gloppy or soupy. Stir well to blend.
  2. Squeeze lemon juice over it and sprinkle w/ cilantro. Serve with plenty of plain yoghurt. .
  3. *Available at Indian stores and some Whole Foods

See what other Food52ers are saying.

My eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, cardamom, and GARLIC! I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse review it and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.

1 Review

Tracey W. April 6, 2013