One of my favorite snack foods growing up was South Indian Upma. My mom would most often make it for breakfast, which is when it is traditionally eaten, and then occasionally she would make it as an evening snack. To me, it is almost a comfort food. It reminds me of lazy weekend afternoons at home with the lovely aroma of sizzling mustard seeds and curry leaves. I didn't get a very good picture today but the taste and aroma was just wonderful.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup Sooji (semolina).
- 1/3 cup fine rice vermicelli, dry, crushed
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 8-10 green onions/Scallions, sliced longitudinally.
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 medium tomato, diced into chunks.
- 4-6 dried curry leaves
- 6-9 cilantro leaves
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- salt to taste
In a dry skillet, on medium heat, roast semolina and crushed rice vermicelli until deep golden brown (about 5-7 minutes). In the center of the skillet, open up a spot by moving the roasted dry semolina and vermicelli to the side. Add the butter and mustard seeds. Once the seeds begin to pop, mix into the roasted semolina and then add green onions, frozen peas and tomato. Sprinkle with salt and roast everything for another few minutes until all peas are thawed and the water from the tomatoes is evoporated. Mix in dried curry and fresh cilantro leaves and chilli powder. Mix well. Then add 1/2-2/3 cup of cold water. This will quench the heat and stop the roasting process, but will also release aromas from all the spices, and will also help the roasted semolina to puff up and cook completely. I like my Upma to be creamy and the consistency of oatmeal. Some people prefer it to be flaky, for which you should simply use less water.
My Assessment: A+++