Who doesn’t like a hot breakfast? Most days I turn to the regular cereals and egg for the sake of getting things done quicker. But not on a weekend, right?! So today is a breakfast post. I did a quick semolina snack called ‘upma’ in India, a regular from my childhood days. Semolina is part of many quick-fix recipes used throughout Europe and Asia. It can be made into sweet or savory dishes. It is used for making pastas, couscous, breakfast cereals and various desserts. Though my recipe isn’t as good as what my mom and grandma can whip up in minutes, it comes pretty close. But then again, it’s one of the simplest recipes in my book. Here’s what I do:
- 1 cup semolina grains
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tsp cooking oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 potato, diced
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- salt, to taste,
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 cups water
Chop up the veggies and keep aside. The beauty of this dish is that you can be flexible with veggies lying around in your fridge. Green beans, celery, cauliflower, broccoli are options too. One tip that I have come across quite often is that you just have to take care that you slice or dice them to a more or less uniform size, so that they cook through at the same time.
Next, dry-fry the semolina in a pan for about 5 mins. Take care to keep stirring it, as it is very easy to burn and turn a dark brown. And it won’t taste that good. That’s not what we want. We want it to be ever so slightly brown. 5 minutes of constant stirring should do the job. Take the pan off the heat and keep aside.
Heat the oil. Add mustard seeds. When they start to sputter and jump around, add onions and fry till they are slightly browned. Next add the potato, carrot and peas and fry for another 5-10 mins. Add the salt and coriander powder and mix well.
Once the veggies have softened, add the water and bring to a boil. Slowly add the semolina to the pan while stirring constantly. The semolina will absorb the water quite quickly, so make sure to give it all a good mix. Take off the heat and serve up with a squeeze of lemon or ketchup. Best enjoyed with a steamy cup of chai!