Upma or Masala Semolina

I feel like somewhat of a broken record saying this, but nevertheless, I will. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And I strongly believe in that.

In the past, I’ve been a bit here and there with breakfast. Growing up, we were almost always given a chapati or a paratha for breakfast. As a kid, it wasn’t my most favorite thing in the world, but I always ate what was put in front of me. After moving out of my parents house, breakfast took a back seat. We were always in a rush to get out of the house to go to work and the first thing that got neglected was breakfast. A wholesome meal was often replaced with a slice of toast and coffee. But eventually, we got so fed up of that slice of toast, I started looking for ways to spice up brekkie, so to say. I did a lot of experimenting and also went back to some old favorites like this Upma that my mother made for us every now and then. 
Moving forward to current day, I’m happy to report that in our house, breakfast is now a more wholesome meal. So, if you’d like to get back to wholesome breakfasts, the way it is meant to be, you’ve come to the right place. Today, I’m going to share with you our family recipe for Upma. Upma, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, is a Masala Semolina dish. Only recently, I learnt that there’s actually a different name for it in Goa. Goans refer to this as Tikhat Shiro (translates to Spicy Semolina). It is quick, easy, wholesome and delicious. So I’ll stop yapping here and take you straight to the recipe. 

Upma
Yields: 2 adult portions

1/2 cup coarse semolina / rava
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
5-6 curry leaves
2 chillies, cut into large pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 inch ginger, cut into 2 pieces
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1 small tomato (or 1/3 – 1/2 large), chopped
1/4 cup green peas
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 cup of water from a recently boiled kettle (hot water)
Dry roast the semolina on medium heat, till you get a nutty aroma and it only just starts changing color. Take it off the pan and place in a bowl and set aside. 
Heat the oil in the pan. 
Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. 
Add the cumin seeds and soon after add the curry leaves and chilly pieces to the pan. Saute for a few seconds. 
Next, add the chopped onion and saute. When the onion has softened, add the ginger and stir well to fry off. 
Once the onion has started to develop a little color on the edges, add the turmeric powder and stir well. 
Add in the roasted semolina. Stir well to incorporate and saute for 20-30 seconds. 
Now add in the hot water. Carefully stir the mix.
Add salt to taste, chopped tomatoes and green peas. Stir well to combine. 
Stirring continuously, cook the semolina till all the moisture has been absorbed and you are left with nice fluffy grains. This usually takes me around 2 minutes. 
Take the pan off the heat, cover and let it rest for a couple of minutes. 
Serve hot. 
Enjoy!

Methi Parathas – Whole Wheat Flatbread with Fenugreek Leaves

These parathas are another one of my favorite savory breakfast items. Like the Aloo Parathas, it can be served with some unflavored yogurt or pickle. But I like it served pipping hot with a dollop of butter and a mug of good hot coffee. To me that sums up a great breakfast. The parathas are easy to make because there is no stuffing involved, all the ingredients are mixed together to form a dough. They can be made the previous night and kept in  refrigerated in a covered container. All you need to do the next morning while the coffee is brewing, is warm it on a tava (griddle) and you’re all set. 


Usually fenugreek is known to have a bitter-ish taste. These parathas however aren’t. For this recipe, I don’t use the baby fenugreek leaves but the larger ones. Another thing to keep in mind, is that when you are cleaning the sprigs of fenugreek leaves, make sure you pick only the leaves and not the stalk, no matter how tender you may find the stalk to be.


You might want to allow a couple of extra parathas per person as these are not as heavy as the Aloo Parathas are and they are very more-ish. I added a couple of hot green chillies. You can either deseed them to cut down the heat or simply cut down the amount of chillies if you are not used to spice. Also, if you are calorie conscious, you can leave out the ghee and these parathas will still be tasty.





Methi Parathas
(Makes 12-15)


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 cup fenugreek leaves, chopped 
1 tsp carrom seeds, rubbed between the palms of your hands to release their flavor
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter + extra to smear on the parathas while they’re cooking (optional)


In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients well to make sure they are well distributed. 


Make a well in the centre and gradually add enough water to bind into a pliable dough.


Divide into portions the size of a golf ball and keep ready.


Roll this out to a thin disc on a floured surface.

Place this on a well heated tawa / griddle and roast for a while moving it around till light brown spots appear on one side. Turn over and cook on the other side till light brown spots appear on the other side as well.

To finish off, spoon a few drops of clarified butter on the paratha and spread. Flip over and repeat this on  the other side letting it roast for a few seconds after you add the clarified butter to the side.

Serve hot with butter and a mug of hot coffee.

You can leave out the clarified butter if you want an even healthier version, but it does wonders for the taste.
Enjoy.




This recipe is linked to – 
Just Another Meatless Monday
My Meatless Mondays
Meatless Mondays
Let’s Do Brunch
Not Baaad
Mangia Mondays

Herbs and Flowers in my platter- Fenugreek leaves 

(http://seduceyourtastebuds.blogspot.com/p/herbs-flowers-hosting-schedule.html)