At many Hare Kåñëa 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.