Upma – supposed to be the most easiest dish; which even the bachelors may it very well. Some how, I was never good at making upma. It was sometimes smashy, sometimes mushy, sometimes salty….
I felt roasting rava is a tricky thing. Whenever my mother and mom – in – law visits my house – I watch how they are making the upma. I always thought that they used tons of oil and I can never use so much.
For sometime, I just gaveup on upma.
Finally, My sister gave me this recipe.
Sooji – 1 1/2 cups (1 cup is equal to 200 gms)
(In the south, sooji is called rava. For some years, I was buying rava from the shop and I never new the difference between rava and sooji. Rava is bigger granules and sooji is fine granules. Rava is used for making idli and sooji for upma, kesari or sooji ka halwa).
oil – 2 tbsp
water – 4 1/2 cups i.e for one cup of sooji it is 3 cups of water. I like my upma little liquidy and soft. If you want it really dry use 2 1/2 cups water.
Mustard – 1 tsp
Chana dal – 1 tbsp
Cashew – 5 to 10 nos (must)
salt – for 1 cup it is 2 tsp.
Can use hing. I use it but this optional.
Vegetables of your choice – say you can make plain onion upma or plain tomato upma or combination of vegetables. I have used carrot, capcicum and peas.
Chop some ginger, green chilli (3 nos) and coriander. Actually, curry leaves are used. I didn’t have curry leaves so I am using coriander. Please don’t use both. I always feel if we use coriander or curry leaves separately the flavour is very nice.
- Roasting the rava. Roast the rava with some raw cashewnuts. When the cashewnut colour turns to brown the rava is also roasted (My sister gave me this tip. she got it from indusladies).
- This is one option.
- The second way is,
- Add oil
- Add mustard.
- Add chana dal and roast well.
- Add ginger.
- Add green chilli.
- Add curry leaves.
- Roast ginger and green chillies well.
- In case, you are using onion use at this stage. Roast it well. if you are making plain tomato upma add tomatoes here.
- Add raw rava and raw cashew and roast till cashew turns brown or if you have already roasted the rava separately add it at this stage.
- At the same time boil the water in a vessel and add the vegetables (except onion and tomato) in the hot water. Allow it to boil. Till the vegetables are cooked.
- Once the rava is roasted add salt and hing.
- Then, pour the hotwater with vegetables. Be careful, pour little by little. If you pour in one go it might splutter.
- Mix once and cover it and keep it for 5 minutes. No need to keep mixing.
- Open it and add coriander. Some people add 1tbsp ghee. I don’t.
- Open after 5 minutes. Upma is ready.
- My grandmother always had only tiffin for dinner. Sometimes, she will make upma only for her. In that, no vegetables are added. It is a plain upma with mustard, chana dal, curry leaves,ginger and green chillies. She will make it in coconut oil and will add some grated coconut on top after cooking say at the stage of adding coriander. I love this upma the most. I tastes wonderful when had with sugar. Even in my house, I normally make only plain upma and I try to serve it with sambar loaded with vegetables and chutney.
- Can add lemon juice. If you are using coconut oil – lemon juice will not work well. It is good with refined oil or ghee.
- Please use good amount of ginger and green chilli. The spice level will get reduced when roasted in oil well. Only when you retain it raw it is very spicy. Also buy the low spice version.