Salty Porridge: Vegetable Upma

Upma and Suji

For the past few months Arvind has been living 6,204 kms away. Does he cook, you ask? Arvind’s culinary skills are limited to three things: chicken drumsticks, some spice, and the oven. Sometimes he remembers to add salt while marinating the chicken and at times he adds salt after it’s cooked. Either way he enjoys his food.

A couple of days ago he was missing his mom’s food so he asked me how to cook Upma. He was shocked to realize that it took him only 20 minutes to make a tasty meal. Here is the recipe:

Vegetable Upma
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp urad dal
1 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies
12 – 15 curry leaves
1 medium onion
2 green chillies
2 cups of mixed frozen vegetables (corn, beans, carrots, and peas)
2 cm piece of fresh ginger
1 cup of semolina (suji)
1 heaped tbsp salt
3 cups of water

Chop the onion, the green chillies, and the ginger. Rinse the frozen vegetables in hot water and drain them. Wash the curry leaves and pat them dry using a paper towel.

Put a medium-sized wok over medium heat and add oil. Once the oil heats up add urad dal, mustard seeds, dried red chilies, and curry leaves to the wok. After a minute, add onions, vegetables, ginger, and green chilies and sauté them for about 5 minutes. Once most of the water from the vegetables has dried up, add semolina, and salt. Cook the semolina for 3 – 4 minutes and then add the water. It might seem like a lot of water, but the semolina will absorb it all. Stir the mixture and cover the wok as the mixture will squirt. Cook over medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring it every couple of minutes. Serve hot with Indian pickle.

My verdict: Traditionally, Upma is eaten as a breakfast but we often make it when we are short on time and crave a taste of home. If Arvind can cook this in 20 minutes then it will not take you much longer.

9 thoughts on “Salty Porridge: Vegetable Upma”

  1. looks D-lish! it looks like a type of porridge…usually a poor mans porridge…we have a similar style in korean…with so many variations…i put….cup of rice, (all veggies finely diced) carrots, spinache, kale, broccoli (any veggie you like to cook with but just enough to sprinkle into the porridge mix to make it look colorful but not overloaded…garlic, water or broth, salt to taste…but yours looks like the gourmet of all porridges! p.s. i have no idea what some of the ingredients are or where to get them? please elaborate :-)

    1. Hi Jenny, your right this is a poor mans porridge. You can find urad dal, mustard seeds, semolina (suji) at Superstore or Indian store on 34th. Curry leaves are available at Indian store only. I have also added links on some of the ingredients so that you can read up on them.

    1. Thx for dropping by Jes with a single s! Exactly my point. I am salty person, so I add salt n veggies to everything!

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