Corn-Cilantro Upma/ Cream of wheat/ Sanja

Upma or Cream of rice/wheat is  a very popular Indian Breakfast item. Indian breakfasts seldom consist of cereal and milk,danish or donuts. When we were growing up, we had morning session school starting at 7.10 Am. It was nothing less than torture to get out of bed at 6 Am, have a bath, drink a glass of horrible chocolate milk and even squeeze in a toast or roti/poli roll. I never ever had any breakfast in the morning, the glass of milk would fill me up so much that I would throw up at the thought of any more food. My Mom was a working parent who had to absolutely leave the house by 8.30 am as to not miss the 8.50am local train starting from my train station. I am still in awe of how much work she had done by then like cooking  for the school recess boxes, lunch and even evening snacks including taking bath and doing a small pooja for the gods, sometimes even bathing each god. I am still struggling to do half of what she did each morning and my commute to work is less than 15 minutes.

We always had some things fixed for breakfast on weekends, when my mom cooked at peace and ate in peace sometimes. I have the image of my mom sitting on the patio with a coffee cup and crossword puzzle most Sunday mornings. A memory I refuse to part with. I always want to think of my mom like this. Funny thing was she almost never solved the puzzle on her own, till slowly we all woke up and helped her with the words. She always had upma or tikhat sheera or kanda batate pohe ready with tea for us each weekend for as long as I remember. Idli, dosa, pav bahji and chats; such items were kept for high tea on weekends where they substituted dinner and we had people over. This upma is one basic upma which can be made into veggie upma, potato upma or even cauliflower upma. Trick is to substitute the amount of corn with the veggie you like or use little of everything 

You will need;
1.5 cups Sooji/Rava/Semolina/Cream of wheat
1 onion-Finely Chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels or frozen
2 green chilies for medium heat
Few curry leaves
3 Cups water with inch ginger grated mixed in the water
Salt as per taste.
Cilantro for garnishing, I like more so added more.
1 tsp Lime juice-Optional

1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Jeera/cumin seeds
1 tsp Turmeric/Haldi
1 pinch Hing/Aesafodita
2 tbspn oil

In a wok, heat 1 tsp oil, and roast the sooji/rava till the aroma fills the room. Remove this on a  plate and keep aside. In the same wok, now take the rest of the oil, add the tempering, mustard and jeera till it sizzles, then the onions, then the green chilies, curry leaves, corn and haldi and hing. Simultaneously in a pot take the water and the ginger grated, and keep it on medium heat til it boils. Now add the roasted sooji to the onion mixture and roast till the sooji gets incorporated well. Add salt as needed. stir well, and then add the boiling water with ginger in it. I like to add water in batches and mixing while I go on adding the water. This gives me a better estimate of how much water will be needed. Once the sooji mixture looks wet, cover with a lid and let cook on low heat for 3-5 minutes. Sooji cooks faster so this should be enough time to cook it. After 5 minutes, take off the heat and stir in the cilantro and add a dash of lime if you like little tang. Mix well and serve. Adding grated ginger is completely optional. I love the flavor and freshness  ginger brings to this upma, but if you don't like ginger or cannot stand it, keep it out.

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I am sending this Upma to  Sweet Heat challenge hosted by Food and Football and Baby.  

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