Upma is a popular South Indian recipe made with Semolina (or Sooji or cream of rice) that is eaten for breakfast or as a snack. Traditionally variations of this can also be made by substituting the Semolina with bulghur wheat or vermicelli. In recent times I have tried westernized variations by substituting with quinoa and couscous. I recently discovered Amaranth grain which was the staple food of Aztecs. In Maharashtra it is known as Rajgiri and used to make “laddus”. Nutritionally it is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, iron and calcium. So here is yet another variation to my favorite Upma recipe 🙂
1 cup amaranth grains (optionally toasted)
1 small onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 large tomato chopped
Any other vegetables of choice such as peas, beans, potatoes
1-2 green chilli chopped
1 small piece of ginger chopped
a few curry leaves
1 tsp dry split yellow peas(channa dal)
1 tsp white gram or moong dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 cup cashews or as desired
1-2 tbsp oil
1-2 tsp ghee or butter
Add oil to the pan. Add cashews, channa dal, moon gal and mustard seeds and fry till lightly brown. Add curry leaves, green chilli, ginger and onion and fry till the onion turns translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables and lightly fry. Add salt and 2.5 cups water and bring to a boil.
Set flame to medium low and continue cooking until the vegetables soften. Add the amaranth seeds and continue cooking until all the water evaporates and the grains are cooked, adding water if necessary. Add the ghee and mix well.
Serve hot. Makes 4 helpings.