In the southern part of India, Upuma, a simple breakfast, snack or lunch dish is made from cream of wheat mixed with a few spices.
The cream of wheat used in this dish is of a finer variety, bought in the Indian grocery stores. The cream of wheat found in the supermarket can be used, it is just a little coarser in texture.
When my daughter was working in Atlanta I came up with this home made “upuma mix” which she could use when needed for a quick dinner. Adding boiling water & some frozen or left over veggies, it is also nutritious as cream of wheat has iron and some protein.
1 cup cream of wheat
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 small red dry chilly, broken
1 teaspoon urad dal
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 small tomato, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup cooked vegetables (green peas, beans, carrots etc)
Homemade Upuma Mix:
NOTE: When I’m making the mix, I typically make 4 times this recipe, and store it in the fridge.
Heat the cream of wheat in a skillet over medium heat until it turns light brown, stirring constantly. Remove from pan and set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet; add the mustard seeds and when they start to pop add the red dry chilly. Stir for a few seconds and add the onion. Cook the onion till brown, add the ginger and stir for 1-2 more minutes.
Add the urad dal and nuts, if using, and stir until the dal turns brown (for a few more minutes). Add the toasted cream of wheat and salt and stir well until the cream of wheat is thoroughly mixed in.
If using as a “mix” cool and store in a container in the refrigerator.
Heat 2 cups of water to boiling, and if using vegetables add them now (I added beans that I had in the refrigerator, and a small tomato). Turn down to simmer and add 1 cup of your homemade upuma mix, stir until slightly thickened.
Cover and continue to simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Upuma is usually served hot, with a little bit of Indian hot mango or lime pickle.