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Upma
(Vegetable semolina)


At many Hare Ka centers around the world, after the morning spiritual program, the devotees start their day of devotional work with a substantial breakfast of upma, chick-peas, and ginger tea.

Making upma involves three simultaneous operations: cooking the vegetables, boiling the water, and toasting the semolina. When everything is ready, all the ingredients are combined.

Preparation and cooking time: 35 min

4 medium-sized tomatoes
1 lb (450 g) other assorted vegetables
3 tablespoon ghee
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 dried chili, crushed
6 curry leaves (if not available, use 3 bay leaves)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
6 cups (1.4 l) water
1/3 cup (50 g) raisins (optional)
3 teaspoon salt
3 cups (450 g) semolina
1 cup (200 g) butter or ghee
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon butter

Begin by cutting the vegetables. The tomatoes can be quartered, green beans and peppers cut into pieces, carrots sliced, potatoes cubed, and cauliflower cut into flowerets. Heat the tablespoon of ghee in a saucepan over medium heat and fry the cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, ginger, and chili. After 30 - 45 seconds, toss in the turmeric and asafoetida, then add the cut vegetables. (If you want to give your upma a special taste and texture, lightly deep-fry the cubed potatoes, sliced carrots, and cauliflower flowerets and add them to the upma at the end). Stir the vegetables until they brown, then add a little water to prevent scorching. Lower the heat, cover, and gently simmer until the vegetables are tender. While the vegetables simmer, put the water and salt in a small pot to boil.
Melt the butter or ghee in a 5-pint (3 l) saucepan, add the semolina, and stir-fry gently over medium-low heat, stirring every time the bottom layer of semolina appears lightly browned. It should take 10 - 15 minutes for all the semolina to turn faintly brown.

When the grains are ready and the water is boiling, put the cooked vegetables into the grains, toss in the raisins (if desired), then pour the boiling water into this mixture. Be careful! The mixture will erupt and sputter. Lower the heat. Stir several times to break up any lumps, then cover the pot to trap the steam. Let it simmer on the lowest heat. After 5 minutes, lift the cover to see if the grains have absorbed all the water. If not, stir briskly several times and cook a few more minutes uncovered. Finally, add the pepper, lemon juice, and butter. Mix again.