This recipe appears in:Beyond Curry: Sooji Upma, an Indian Semolina Breakfast Dish
Sooji Upma is a delicious alternative to the usual bacon and eggs or cereal for breakfast. It's vegetarian, quick to rustle up and packed with nutrition.
About the author: Denise Dsilva Sankhe is a writer & creative director by profession. But that's only when she isn't eating her way across India. She recreates this delicious cuisine in her Mumbai home, which she shares with her newly-married husband, who has long since given up his determination to have salads for dinner.
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- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon split black gram (Urad dal)
- 1 small onion chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 small green chills split lengthwise
- 10 curry leaves
- 1/4 cup diced boiled carrots
- 1/4 cup boiled green peas
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- 2 1/4 cups water
Place semolina in cast iron pan and cook over medium heat until toasty but not browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Return pan to medium heat and heat ghee or oil until shimmering. Add the mustard seeds and split black gram, stir until they splutter, about 30 seconds. Add the onion, fry until slightly soft, about a minute (take care not to brown). Add the slit chillis, curry leaves and stir until fragrant, about a minute longer. Add the carrots, peas, red chilli powder, and sugar, and stir until fragrant and the mixture is coated with the ghee/oil, about 1 minute.
Add toasted semolina and stir vigorously until the mixture resembles wet sand—about a minute. Add the salt and gently pour in the water. The semolina will bubble and spurt as it absorbs the water. Reduce heat to low. Allow this mixture to cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The Upma absorbs water very quickly and tends to dry out too, so turn off the heat when the mixture is slightly runny. Serve immediately.