Cooking had never been a chore for me until about a year ago. Things changed a bit, rather a lot, when I came back to London from India, with 3 months old S. Looking after her became the priority naturally and even when I was not tending to her, I had so much to do that I forgot for a while how I used to enjoy cooking new dishes. Earlier, any one entering the kitchen would find me either humming a tune while I was chopping the vegetables or talking to myself (yeah, it may sound crazy!) about what all was needed to be done for a particular dish.
Now cooking was confined to the basic - Chapati, Bhaji & sometimes Rice items. Even dishing out the simple & quick ones started sounding like a Herculean task. S has always been very active right from the moment she was born. As she is getting older its getting more & more difficult to manage her (read control her running around!). So the whole day was spent in making one meal (just chapati & bhaji), working in shifts whenever S fell asleep. If I got some time to myself in the kitchen when GM was looking after her, my mind would be full of thoughts about what all was still to be done before I could manage to sleep in the night (not before12 anyway!) - nappies, baby food, washing clothes & utensils, planning for the next day meal etc dominated my thoughts. With so much going through in my mind, the cooking process became very automated, I did not even pay attention to what I was doing.
But things changed again when I started this blog. I started making an effort to take time out so that I could pay attention to this passion of mine - cooking! I started looking out for new recipes again, started talking to myself about what I was going to do next in the course of making a dish. And most important of all - I started singing again! I am glad that I am back to enjoying my time in the kitchen by the time that I am writing this 50th post on this blog!
Last week when I was getting things ready to make this 'Upma'. I realised that I was actually humming! I dont even remember which song it was but I was enjoying what I was doing. I am really glad that I started blogging, not just writing but reading other blogs as well.
Coming to the recipe, Upma called Uppittu in kannada, is not really a favourite. I never liked it and would avoid eating it whenever I could and whenever I did consent to eating, it had to be steaming hot. I only liked it that way. Since GM doesnt like it too, we rarely make it if ever. This time it was made for lack of quick breakfast option on a weekend (of course after we had already made the Pohe on Saturday!).
- 1 cup Rawa (Semolina)
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetables (I used peas, beans & carrot)
- 2 Green Chillies, chopped
- 1 tblsp oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp Urad dal (Split Black gram)
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- Lime juice
Roast the rawa in a pan/kadai till it lets out an aroma and starts turning slightly brown. The roasting can be dry or in 1 tsp of oil. Keep this aside.
Heat 1 tblsp of oil in a kadai. When hot, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the curry leaves and the Urad Dal.
Once the dal browns slightly, add the green chili & onion. Saute for sometime. Add a little more than 2 cups of water. The quantity of water can be increased a little if you want the Upma to be very mushy but decreasing the quantity will result in very dry Upma. The thumb rule is that the amount of water should be double than that of the rawa.
When the water starts to boil, add salt and mix. Now add the roasted Rawa in small quantities while stirring continuously to avoid the formation of lumps. Mix well and then cover & cook till all the water is absorbed.
Add the sugar and a dash of lime juice, mix and serve hot. It pairs very well with Baarik (thin) Sev or any other farsan. Chutney powder such as this one or pickle is also sometimes served with Upma.
I have grown to be a little more tolerant to this easy & 'quick to make' breakfast item and so it has started making an occasional appearance in our kitchen nowadays.