Upma is an ideal food for yoga practitioners when consumed in moderate quantity. Favorable for all constitutions and is tridhātu sāmya, balancing all doshas. Upma can also be served as a light food on half fasting days. Serve fresh and hot, as it will become heavier to digest after cooling. If using more than once a week, omit the nuts, which may cause sleep disturbance.
Preparation: 30 minutes
Spoon measurements are always heaped unless otherwise stated.
1 cup/170g medium-ground wheat semolina (ravā)
2½ cup/625ml hot water
⅓ cup/80ml peanut or coconut oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 Tbsp split channa dāl
1 tsp split urad dāl
⅛ tsp asafoetida powder
10 cashew or peanuts, cut in half
1 medium-mild red chili, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 fresh curry leaves
⅛ tsp turmeric powder
1 large/140g carrot, finely grated
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp fine rock salt
1 tsp jaggery
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup/20g shredded dried coconut
¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
1. Dry-fry the semolina over medium heat, stirring continuously for 6 -7 minutes until the semolina turns golden-brown and has a toasted smell – set aside.
(You can dry-fry semolina and store it for up to 2 weeks.)
2. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
3. Finely grate the carrot using the finer side of a box grater – measuring 1 cup. Measure out the remaining ingredients – set aside.
4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add mustard seeds, channa and urad dāl, asafoetida powder, cashews and chili, when mustard seeds turn grey and both dāl are golden-brown, add cumin, curry leaves and turmeric – fry for 10 seconds.
5. Add grated carrot, boiling water, ginger, salt, sugar, lemon juice and coconut – bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute.
6. Lower heat, add semolina.
7. Stir continuously – until the water evaporates and semolina doesn’t stick to the spoon – approximately 2 minutes.
8. Turn off heat and add coriander.
9. Serve fresh and hot, drizzle with 1 – 2 teaspoons of ghee for taste and aid digestion.
Upma can be made using a combination of green beans, carrot and capsicum – 1 cup in total.