Upma (uppama), a savory South Indian dish made with semolina (cream of wheat/sooji), was my favorite breakfast as a child and still is. I was a picky, light eater, but when it was upma for breakfast I had second and third helpings. There isn’t likely to be much leftover upma around here, but if there is here is a way to use it up.
First, how I make upma:
I know there is a specific sequence the spice ingredients are traditionally added, but sometimes I throw them in pretty much all at the same time. Here I briefly dry roast cinnamon, cashews, cloves cardamom seeds, coriander seeds. and mustard seeds. I then add oil, dried Kashmiri chili, green chili, asafetida and curry leaves (chopped and whole).
I am so glad it’s finally warm enough here in North Carolina to get the curry leaf plants out of the house and into the sun where they belong.
I dry roast the semolina before mixing in the fried spices and nuts.
Next I add water, currants or raisins and plenty of salt. Accurate or not I’ve always associated upma (uppuma) with the word uppu, Tamil for salt.
This cooks under a lid until all the water is absorbed, after which it continues to cook without a lid until it starts to dry out and has a crumbly consistency when stirred but is still a bit moist. The upma is then ready to eat.
I used freshly made but this is one way to use up leftover upma. I stuffed hollowed out tomatoes with upma and baked them until soft.
I used the insides of the tomatoes to make a salsa with: green onion, cilantro. onion chives, garlic chives…
…almost forgot the jalapeños. That would have been a crime. Salt, lime juice and a drizzle of agave got the flavors right.
The upma stuffed/baked tomatoes were served with tomatillo salsa, tomato salsa and avocado mixed with tomatillo salsa.