Semolina(rava) Upma



Upma is a breakfast item in south Indian households and it is one dish which can be prepared in no time if you have all the ingredients ready beforehand,
You can use semolina,or wheat rava or oats to make upma. I  tried quite a few recipes till i found a method that works for me.

So here goes my tried and tested version for soft fluffy upma.

Ingredients:
1. Upma (semolina)  - 2 cups
2. Shallots - 8 - 10
3. Ginger (minced) - 1 - 11/2 tsp
4. Green chilli - 2
5. Cashews - 10  (optional)
6. Raisins - 1/4 cup (optional)
7. Water (hot) - 2 cups
8. Oil - 1 tbsp
    Ghee - 2 tbsp
9. Urad dal - 1/2 tsp (optional)
10. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
11. Curry leaves - a sprig (optional)
12. Salt - to taste


Method:

In a wok, heat the oil and ghee. Add the mustard seeds to this. When it starts spluttering add the urad dal(if using). 
Then add the chopped green chillies, give it a stir and add the minced ginger. 
Fry these for about 30 seconds and then add the chopped shallots. Add the curry leaves if you are using it.
When the shallots turn translucent, add the cashews and the raisins.
Keep sauteing on a medium flame till the raisins become plump and the cashews also starts to brown.

Now add the semolina. Mix everything really well. Keep sauteing till the semolina is roasted (this will take about three minutes). 
Add the two cups of water into the semolina mixture. Add salt at this stage.The semolina will absorb all the water and become lumpy. Keep stirring it to break the lumps and cook the upma for a further 5 minutes. 

Soft upma is ready.

You can have upma with pickles or coconut chutney or chickpeas(chana dal) curry.
But my favourite combo is upma and banana.

Notes:
* Even roasted semolina needs to be heated up a little; so don't skip this step.
*You may feel that the amount of oil and ghee is used too much but honestly, this is the first meal of the day and I say you should feast like a King :) :). The ghee is really good for the stomach (according to Ayurveda) and it keeps you satiated for a long time.
* You can add carrots, beans, peas and capsicum to the dish if you wish. Just add them after adding the shallots and cook them before proceeding to the next step. Alternatively, you can add steamed veggies also.
* The semolina to water ratio should be 1:1
* It is always best to use hot water for this recipe.




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