Quick fix breakfast! Upma usually suggests a bland, dull, ‘oh no not again’ feeling. Make it really delicious, instead, with this version of Semiya Upma, with crisp curry leaves, fried cashew nuts, the aroma of ghee!
This is my go to breakfast item when I’m strapped for time or otherwise need to make something quick. Without compromising on taste, of course! Semiya Upma should be taken hot, and may be served with chutney. I take curd with everything so even if I make chutney, will still take curd with the Upma. Onion and tomato chutney goes really well with the hot Semiya Upma.
I generally use roasted vermicelli instead of raw white Semiya, as I think it looks more appetising.To up the taste and health quotients, add peas to the usual onion and tomato. If you are making the Semiya Upma with raw white vermicelli, you will need to dry roast it first, stirring frequently so that the semiya does not char or blacken. The fried curry leaves add a special flavour to the dish. And don’t forget the raisins!
The trick to making a perfect Semiya Upma is to control the water you add for cooking the semiya. Too much water and you get a soggy breakfast. Too little, and the semiya does not cook well. Once the peas are cooked, keep the stove on a low flame, and add semiya slowly. I usually add the semiya from a bowl in one hand, stirring the pan with the other so that the semiya settles in the water. As soon as the water just covers the semiya, I stop adding. The semiya cooks very fast but if the water is less, you could add trickles of hot water and stir it in. A little care will be worthwhile and give you a very tasty Semiya Upma!
Though generally a breakfast item, Semiya Upma can be made for a quick lunch or evening tiffin.
Note: I have included this recipe in my Series on Cooking for the New Mom: https://www.pepperonpizza.com/cooking-new-mom
However you need to substitute ghee instead of oil for sautéing, and remove onions, peas and green chillies from the ingredients list and the instructions – the rest of the process is just the same. You might increase the number of peppercorns to 4, and powder them well.