indian uppma

Jonathan’s weekend upma

22nd April 2015


My husband has a few signature dishes, the most favoured is his pasta sauce, Indian lemon rice and this one, which he makes for us every Saturday morning.


Jonathan’s weekend upma with charred okra

Serves 2-3

This is a savoury semolina pilaf.  Cut the vegetables into small uniformed pieces, so they cook evenly and vary your choice of vegetables to what is in season.


1 cup/170g medium-ground semolina

2½ cups hot water


cup/80ml peanut or coconut oil

½ tsp mustard seed

1 Tbsp split channa dāl 

1 tsp split urad dāl

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

10 cashew/peanuts, cut in half

1 dried red chilli, chopped

1 tsp cumin seed

10 curry leaves

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

1 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped 

1 tsp ginger, finely chopped 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp jaggery

1 tsp lemon juice

¼ cup/20g dried coconut

¼ cup coriander, chopped

toast the semolina 

1.  Dry-fry the semolina in a skillet over moderate heat, stirring continuously until it turns golden- brown or emits a good smell – pour into a bowl and set aside.

prepare the voggarane

2.  Heat oil in a medium-large skillet, add mustard seed, channa and urad dāl, asafoetida, cashew and chilli; when mustard seeds pop and both dāl are golden-brown, add cumin, curry leaves and turmeric – fry for 10 secs.

3.  Stir in the carrot, green pepper, ginger, salt, sugar, lemon juice, coconut and add the water -bring to boil, simmer for 1 minute, then reduce heat.

4.  Pour in the semolina, stirring continuously – until the water has evaporated, 1 – 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the coriander, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  When ready, fluff up with a fork and add more salt if desired. When serving, drizzle with ghee to aid digestion.

charred okra


300g small okra

2 Tbsp coconut/peanut oil

pinch asafoetida powder

a sprinkling of salt


1.  Using a small knife, trim the okra, removing the stem, slicing in half lengthwise and half again.

2.  Place a heavy-based frying pan on high and leave to heat for a few minutes; once hot, drizzle in a tiny bit of oil/ghee and asafoetida, add the okra, stirring every minute.  The okra should start to have dark blisters and a charred look – cook for 5 minutes until charred and soft.

3.  Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately over the upma.


Goodness shared by Stacey

Prepared by Jonathan

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