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Indian Cuisines

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Upma

Upma (Malayalam, Tamil), also known as Uppindi in Telugu, Upeet in (Marathi) and Uppittu or Kharabath in Kannada, and "Roolong" in Konkani, is a wholesome Indian dish made of Wheat Rava.

Preparation

It is remarkable that in all the south Indian languages, the name of the dish has a similar etymology. The word "Uppu" means "Salt" in all these languages; the word for the dish derives from "Salt-and-flour" in all languages, thus:

* Tamil - "Maavu" means "flour" (of any kind); uppu+maav = Upma;
* Telugu - ""Pindi" means "flour" (of any kind); uppu+pindi = Uppindi;
* Kannada - "Hittu" (Old Kannada "Ittu") means "flour" (of any kind); uppu+ittu = Uppittu.
* Malayalam - "Maavu" means "flour" (of any kind); uppu+maavu = Upmaav

Preparation

There are many ways Upma is prepared; indeed, every upma cook usually will impart a small difference in flavour when making the Upma. This variation is obtained by varying or emphasising some particular spice, thereby making for variation. A typical recipe is included here:

Ingredients

* Wheat Rava (Semolina) (1 cup)
* Cooking oil (1 tbsp)
* Mustard seeds (1 tsp)
* Cumin (1 tsp)
* Ginger root (1 tsp, grated)
* Green chillies (3-5 med, chopped)
* Chopped onions (1 med, chopped) (some people may omit this for cultural reasons)
* Salt to taste
* Vegetables of choice: Peas, carrots, eggplant, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes (3/4 cup, chopped)
* Grated coconut (3-4 tbsp, optional)
* Cilantro leaves (3-4 tsp, chopped, optional)
* Lemon juice (2 tsp, optional)


Method of Preparation

* 1. Dry-roast rava until it just begins to turn brown, then keep aside.
* 2. In a large saucepan/wok, heat the cooking oil.
* 3. Add mustard seeds and wait for them to sputter. Then add cumin, ginger, green chillies and chopped onions and fry until onions caramelise.
* 4. Add vegetables, salt and 1.5 cups of water, and bring to boil.
* 5. Add the roasted rava, turn down the heat, and mix quickly to avoid lumps forming.
* 6. The upma is done when all the water is absorbed by the rava.
* 7. Garnish with grated coconut, chopped cilantro leaves and lemon juice.

Notes

* Many factors influence the final product: apart from the creative use of spices, the quality of Rava used, the use of Ghee (clarified butter) and grated coconut, the type and quantum of vegetables used, are all important.
* While most recipes neglect to mention this, a healthy amount of vegetables is typically added during preparation; this is generally not mentioned because which vegetables are used depends on convenience and inclination of the person preparing the dish.
* The Rava used for this must be the large-grained, as Upma prepared with fine Rava tends to become soggy.
* Upma is known to be eaten with a variety of side-dishes like yogurt, Chutney, Sugar and Pickles.

Major Variations

Apart from Rava, Upma is widely made with Rice Rava, Vermicelli and Cous-cous also. The Rice Upma, which is mainly popular in the southern parts of Karnataka is referred to as Akki Tari Uppittu (Rice coarse flour uppittu). Since rice is easier to digest than Wheat is, akki tari uppittu has also become a recommended edible for patients along with Idli and Ganji. Recipes for these dishes are linked here:
* Variety of Upmas
* Recipe for Cous-Cous Upma
* Recipe for basic Vermicelli Upma
* Quick and Easy Upma Recipe

A variant of Upma is prepared with grated coconuts instead of Onions, specially on holy days when onion is avoided. This type of Upma is generally smeared with Ghee at the end of preparation.

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