Tuesday, 24 January 2012



Ingredients (for one large helping or two small helpings):

     1)    Roasted Bombay rava (fine wheat semolina) – 100 gm.
     2)    Salt – ½ teaspoon
     3)    Sugar – 1½ teaspoons
     4)    Coconut oil – 2 teaspoons
     5)    Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 teaspoons
     6)    Cashew nuts – 10 numbers
     7)    Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon
     8)    Tender curry leaves – 1 sprig
     9)    Tender ginger – 5 gm.
     10)     Hot green chilies – 2 Nos.
     11)     Dry hot red chilies – 2 Nos.
     12)     Coriander leaves – of one small plant

To Prepare:

          Pluck off the stems of the green chilies. Slit the chilies lengthwise on one side. Break each red chili into 2 or 3 pieces. Peel the ginger and chop to fine pieces. Pluck the curry leaves from their sprig. Wash the coriander leaves and chop to fine bits.

To Cook:

          Set a vessel with 300 ml. of water on a stove. Set a thick cast iron wok on the other stove (both on high heat). Pour the oil and the ghee into the wok. Throw in the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds are about to finish spluttering, tip in the cashew nuts.

          Stir till the cashew nuts turn a light brown. Now tip in the curry leaves, the ginger and both the types of chilies. Stir once or twice and pour in all the boiling water from the vessel on the other stove. Put in the salt and the sugar. Stir nicely and taste. Add a bit more salt if you wish. Keep the rava ready in a small bowl or cup.

          Stir the liquid continuously in a clockwise motion with your right hand. Take up the bowl of rava in your left and pour it in slowly while you keep stirring with your right. When all the rava is in the wok, turn down the heat and cover with a lid. Open the lid after a minute, stir nicely and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves. Switch off the heat and cover with a lid. Let the upma rest for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot at teatimes. You can pack hot upma in banana leaves (for extra flavor) and carry on picnics or to work.



          The success of the upma depends to a large extent on the stirring while you put in the rava. If the stirring is not proper, the rava will form balls with uncooked semolina in the center. When properly stirred, you get a silky-smooth upma.

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