I remember when I was a small child and loved waking up to a casserole of steaming hot upma and subsequently dousing it in honey. It has an altogether smooth texture with delightfully colourful bites of vegetables interspersed, with the occasional crunch from toasted cashew nuts (totally optional, yet incredibly tasty :D). Yep, this is breakfast simplicity at its finest.
MAJOR bonus: while going through the recipe recently, I realised it can be made to suit ANYONE's Ayurveda constitution!
It's made using semolina/ rava/ sooji, which you can buy raw at the Indian store (1/2kg for less than HK$10 <3), and then toasted to really bring out a subtle, toasty flavour.
What is it?
Semolina is basically the hard part of the wheat grain, and it's ground into different sizes - finely ground, coarsely ground, and ground whole wheat grain. Rava/ Sooji tends to be the finely ground variety.
Added bonus, it's SUPER nutritious.
13g Protein (approx 26% of your daily needs)
How to make upma?
One it's toasted (till it becomes a light brown), you can keep it simple with only a few spices and onions for flavour OR you can add bites of veggies for added noms! I'm going with the latter because it's what I've grown up on and it's the ultimate comfort food :) Except... I omitted all the mixed veggies (other than peas) because we literally had no veggies in the fridge and I was too lazy to go to the wet market... hehe whoops! Feel free to NOT copy me and actually add some bite-sized veggies!!
How to Enjoy it?
On its own. Because how else do you get to taste how scrumptious it is?
With honey. Well, unless you're feeling like a bit of sweetness in the morning, because who doesn't love a bit of sugar :P
With bites of banana. Back in Kerala there are SO many different varieties of bananas that the option to eat bananas with a meal, before a meal or after a meal is almost an unspoken rule we adhere to. A rule we've adopted even in HK. Although the only variety we have available is the cavendish banana, a banana is still a banana. :D
With a veggie curry. Sticking to the savoury veggie theme and also not to ply the body unnecessarily with animal protein early in the morning, a veggie curry is an excellent option. Above, I had it with a chickpea curry we'd made earlier (recipe will be posted once I make it again), but there's a variety of options to choose from! Kadala curry, paleo plantain stew and spiced vegetable stew are a few recipe options you can choose from (also, they just so happen to be recipes on the blog, hehe :P)
So, now that we know what goes well with the upma, let's get to the recipe!
Ayurveda Dosha Compatability
Kapha (in moderation)
In a large wok, on medium flame, dry roast the rava with the tsp of ghee till it changes colour to a light brown (approx 7-10 mins). If you have ready made roasted rava, you can skip this step. Once roasted, transfer to a bowl and let cool.
In the same wok, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and add curry leaves. Saute for 15 seconds on medium flame, then add onions, ginger and green chillies. Saute until onions turn transparent.
Add the peas and mixed vegetables, mix well. Add 3 cups water, cover and cook until vegetables turn soft.
Add salt as per your taste, mix well. Turn flame to low, then slowly start to add the toasted rava a little at a time, whilst stirring continuously.
Once the rava absorbs all the water, continue to cook and stir for another 5 minutes.