Recipe: Soji/Upittu/Rawa/upma

Upma is a popular breakfast dish in India and can also be served at tea time. It was not very popular in our house though as we were part of the Maggi instant noodles generation which saw the rise of fast, tongue tickling, instant foods in India. However we reluctantly had to eat what was dished out to us. The Udupi upma called uppittu in Kannada and simply soji (semolina in Tulu, similar to sooji -what it is called in Hindi ) or rawa in our house was different from what we saw around. It was white and had barely any oil in it and was healthy (not to forget quick) and so saw a resurgence in my kitchen. Here is mum’s recipe, hope you like it.

Sheera is a sweet dish made in a similar way, but it is made with added sugar sans the vegetables, peanuts and tempering and uses ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil along with cashew nuts fried in ghee and hydrated raisins, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.

Recipe: Soji/Upma/Uppittu/Rawa

 

Ingredients for basic recipe: (Serves 1)

  • Oil (for tempering -Traditionally food grade coconut oil, but any light edible oil works too)
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal or split black gram (doesn’t matter if it is with skin)
  • A sprig or two of washed and chopped fresh curry leaves [Murraya koenigii] Dried leaves work too, but fresh is preferred.
  • 1/2 cup Sooji (Semolina also called rawa in Bombay). There are two kinds available, the coarse one called Bombay rawa makes for a fluffier Upma.
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt to taste

Optional:

  • chopped green chillies
  • A handful of grated coconut
  • Finely chopped onion. the onion needs to be chopped like when it is added to an omelette.
  • 1/2 tomato finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • You may also add vegetables such as cubed carrot, peas, potatoes to make it more nutritious or finely chopped greens. Remember that the cooking time is short, so make the cubes as small as is practical.
  • Roasted peanuts, raisins soaked in water or roasted/fried cashew nuts (use either peanuts or cashew nuts)
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

Hint:

You can add the chopped onion either to the oil or after adding the water. I prefer adding the onion to the water as they onion remains crunchy.

Directions:

Unlike most of the other recipes from coastal south Karnataka, we will be working on the tempering first. The Pundi also is seasoned first.

In a saucepan or tawa (griddle) stir and roast the semolina. (Roasting semolina makes it more favorful, if you are in a hurry, you can get away without roasting it at the loss of some aroma) You might see whitish steam rising from it. Make sure that the color doesn’t change much. Do this till you get a nice aroma which is different from that of raw semolina. You can do this once on purchase, cool and bottle it to shave off some time from the recipe, but freshly roasted semolina as an ingredient does make a marked difference. Transfer the semolina to another plate as it might burn even after the flame is turned off due to residual heat especially in the case of an iron or cast iron griddle. Then,

  • In a kadhai or wok, heat oil.
  • Add Mustard seeds and when it splutters, add the urad dal (split black gram) and fry till it becomes brownish.
  • Then add the chopped curry leaves, tomatoes and chillies and stir a couple of times.
  • In case you are adding any hard vegetables, add them now and stir fry till they are cooked.

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Once you feel the vegetables are cooked, pour water into the wok. The ratio of the water to semolina is 1:2 i.e. for every cup of semolina, you would add 2 cups of water. Add the onions and chopped greens if any and bring to a boil.

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When the water comes to a boil, slowly add the semolina while stirring continuously so that it doesn’t lump up. Add the salt, raisins, peanuts/cashew nuts, chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut and mix well.

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Keep stirring till the mixture traces and take it off the flame immediately. Serve hot.

Recipe: Soji/Upittu/Rawa/upma
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Upma is a popular breakfast dish in India and can also be served at tea time.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • Oil (for tempering -Traditionally food grade coconut oil, but any light edible oil works too)
  • ½ tsp Mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp urad dal or split black gram (doesn't matter if it is with skin)
  • A sprig or two of washed and chopped fresh curry leaves [Murraya koenigii] Dried leaves work too, but fresh is preferred.
  • ½ cup Sooji (Semolina also called rawa in Bombay). There are two kinds available, the coarse one called Bombay rawa makes for a fluffier Upma.
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt to taste
Optional:
  • chopped green chillies
  • A handful of grated coconut
  • Finely chopped onion. the onion needs to be chopped like when it is added to an omelette.
  • ½ tomato finely chopped
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • You may also add vegetables such as cubed carrot, peas, potatoes to make it more nutritious or finely chopped greens. Remember that the cooking time is short, so make the cubes as small as is practical.
  • Roasted peanuts, raisins soaked in water or roasted/fried cashew nuts (use either peanuts or cashew nuts)
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan or tawa (griddle) stir and roast the semolina. You might see whitish steam rising from it. Make sure that the color doesn't change much. Do this till you get a nice aroma which is different from that of raw semolina. You can do this once on purchase, cool and bottle it to shave off some time from the recipe, but freshly roasted semolina as an ingredient does make a marked difference. Transfer the semolina to another plate as it might burn even after the flame is turned off due to residual heat especially in the case of an iron or cast iron griddle. Then,
  2. In a kadhai or wok, heat oil.
  3. Add Mustard seeds and when it splutters, add the urad dal (split black gram) and fry till it becomes brownish.
  4. Then add the chopped curry leaves, tomatoes and chillies and stir a couple of times.
  5. In case you are adding any hard vegetables, add them now and stir fry till they are cooked.
  6. Once you feel the vegetables are cooked, pour water into the wok. The ratio of the water to semolina is 1:2 i.e. for every cup of semolina, you would add 2 cups of water. Add the onions and chopped greens if any and bring to a boil.
  7. When the water comes to a boil, slowly add the semolina while stirring continuously so that it doesn't lump up. Add the salt, raisins, peanuts/cashew nuts, chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut and mix well.
  8. Keep stirring till the mixture traces and take it off the flame immediately. Serve hot.

 Credits:

| Mrs. Manorama Soans|

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