Mixed Vegetable Upma. Cream of Wheat Pilaf

Upma is a savory South Indian pilaf usually made with cream of wheat and vegetables.  Upma is made by roasting cream of wheat which is then seasoned with spices and veggies and then cooked until fluffy and soft. The spices in upma are minimal making it a simple dish that kids really enjoy.  Upma can me made with any variety of vegetables such as cauliflower, spinach, potatoes, green beans, and carrots. Upma makes a delicious lunch or brunch option served with a side of plain yogurt or raita. Here is a recipe for a quick and easy upma that my Mom used to make with frozen mixted vegetables. Give it a try!

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Vegetable Upma
makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cream of wheat
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 medium onion finely cut
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp asafetida powder
  • A few curry leaves if you have
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Dried red chili or 1 green chili – optional
  • 1-2 tbsp ghee to roast the cream of wheat plus more for garnish

Directions:

  • Roast cream of wheat on a pan with 2 tbsp ghee until it is light golden brown in color – about 3- 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • In another pan heat 1 tbsp oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Next add asafetida powder, red or green chili if using, and curry leaves and fry in oil for 1-2 seconds only! Don’t burn the asafetia! Immediately add fresh ginger and onions and sauté until onions are translucent.
  • Add 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, tomatoes, 2 cups water and 1 tsp salt to taste. Cover pot and cook 5- 7 minutes until vegetables are tender.

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  • Once the vegetables are cooked add roasted cream of wheat and mix-in. Add 2 cups of hot water and stir in. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes to steam the cream of wheat. This will make it soft and fluffy.
  • After 5 minutes turn the stove off. Fluff upma with a fork. Add lemon juice, fresh cilantro and 1 tbsp ghee or 1 tbsp butter and mix-into the upma.
  • Upma is ready.  Serve upma warm or at room temperature with a side of plain yogurt or raita.

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