Friday, September 26, 2008

Nutty Upma (Soft Pudding of Semolina with Nuts)

This special upma is full of nuts and that is why I call it nutty upma. Make it on special occasions and enjoy its nuttiness.

  • 2 cups semolina (Farina or Cream of Wheat)
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 2 small onions finely chopped
  • 4 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 7-8 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp chana dal
  • 2 tsp black gram split (urad dal)
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground nuts chopped

For tempering:
  • Roast the Semolina (rava) in a dry thick bottom pan till it becomes light pink, remove it from the fire and cool it.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add mustard seeds, when they stop spluttering add ½ tsp urad dal, ½ tsp chana dal and cashew nuts, stir till they become little darker.
  • Now add asafetida and immediately add curry leaves, chopped onion and chopped green chilies. Fry till onion becomes transparent.
  • Add peas and fry till they are soft.
  • Pour 6 cups of water and bring to boil. When the water starts boiling, add the rava in a flow, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Cook for a few more minutes stirring all the while. Mix in salt and black pepper powder.
  • Remove from fire. Add butter and keep covered for 5-10 minutes.
  • For tempering: In a small pan heat1 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds; when they stop spluttering add curry leaves, ½ tsp urad dal, ½ tsp chana dal, ground nuts, cashew nuts and tbsp green peas. Pour this mixture in a serving bowl.
  • Over this mixture pour upma and press it little down. Fill upma till the rim of the bowl. Invert this bowl over a big serving plate. The tempering which was at the bottom of the bowl has now come on the surface of the upma mound/cake.
  • Garnish with more cashew nuts, drizzle lemon juice and serve hot with coconut chutney.

Do You Know?

There are two main types of semolina sold on the general market. One is Durum semolina which is made from hard wheat and yellow in color. Another type is soft wheat semolina (farina or Cream of Wheat) which is white in color.

More broadly speaking, meal produced from other grains may also be referred to as semolina, e.g. rice semolina, or corn semolina (more commonly known as grits in the U.S.)

In North India, semolina is known as Sooji while in South India it is called as Rava or Ravey.
Semolina can be used as an alternative to corn meal to flour the baking surface to prevent sticking. In bread making, a small proportion of durum semolina added to the usual mix of flour produces a tasty crust.

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