At the workshop with Joan recently, Joan noted that one of our colleagues and friends, named Upma, has a name that matches that of a breakfast cereal she enjoys when she goes to India. Upma and upma. Upma agreed, adding that in the north of India Upma is a name and in the south it is that delicious breakfast food.
The next day, our Upma brought a container filled with upma, and two spoons, for Joan and I to enjoy. Short story: we did. So much so that I had to ask for the recipe and ask to post it here, for your enjoyment. Herewith, the generous Upma's splendid upma recipe:
1 cup fine sooji /cream of wheat *(Indian stores carry it )
2- 3 teaspoons of ghee— you can be generous if you like with this
10 curry leaves*
1&1/2 teasp of mustard seeds*
pinch of asafoetida
10 pieces of broken cashew nuts*
2 cut- up Kashmiri chilies- dried kind *
optional mixed vegetables/peas
For taste— lemon juice, salt and sugar.
Heat ghee. Add mustard seeds. After they pop add asafoetida, curry leaves, cashew nuts, and the kashmiri chilies.
After the cashews brown, add sooji and let it roast in the pan.
Keep the fire on low to medium heat-always.
Keep a close eye so it does not burn, keep mixing with a spatula.
After sooji turns a light brown color—add 2 cups of hot water, mix well.
After water absorbs (about 2-3 mins), add lemon juice, salt and sugar in the still watery upma.
After 5 more mins it will stiffen, bring the pan off the fire, as it sits it will get more stiff.
Garnish with cilantro.
Thanks, Upma. Off to the Indian Market. I even like the sound of "Sooji".