Saturday, February 11, 2006


Here's something we haven't done for a while, but it's a tasty South Indian snack that makes for a good breakfast. An Indian friend of ours showed us how to make this several years ago and I don't know if I've remembered the recipe exactly, but I think it's close enough. It's made with sooji, which is also known as farina or Cream of Wheat (and sometimes known as semolina, though not the same kind of semolina used for pasta). You'll find sooji at Indian markets with the other grains and dals, but you can also use Cream of Wheat that you can find at any grocery store. There's also a little dal in here, which brings a some texture to the party. I soak the dal in a little water overnight, but that's definitely not authentic - I just prefer the dal to be a little softer. (The alternative is to add the dal without soaking it and boil the water for longer before adding the sooji so the dal gets a little soft.) Anyway, here's what I did this morning:

1 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
finely diced jalapeno or serrano chile, to taste
1/4 c. roasted unsalted peanuts
1 Tbs. chana dal (yellow split peas), soaked overnight in a little water then drained
1/2 tsp. salt
10 or so chopped curry leaves (These are available in Indian markets but you could leave them out if you can't find them.)
2 c. water
2/3 c. sooji

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add mustard seeds. Cook until the seeds start to pop, then add onion and chile. Cook until onion is starting to get tender, about 5 minutes, then add peanuts, dal, salt and curry leaves. Cook for another minute or so then add water. Bring water to a boil, then slowly add sooji, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until sooji is well incorporated and the mixture is starting to thicken, then turn off heat. Let stand for a couple minutes before serving.

This makes enough for 2 decent-sized servings but you can easily adjust the quantities - just make sure to use 3 times as much water as sooji.


Ferocious Killer Kat said...

upma is my hot favorite breakfast.. aside from poha..!!! that looks gr8!

Chris said...

Hmmm... I've never had poha. In fact I had to go look it up. You can make it sort of like uppma but with beaten rice right?

SusanV said...

Hey Chris, this looks great! Thanks for mentioning it on my blog. More uses for curry leaves!!! :-)

Vanessa said...

What an interesting and fantastic looking idea. My fav breakfast as a child was "Coco Wheats" (a chocolate flavored cream of wheat)with some peanut butter stirred in. Now that I somehow lost my sweet tooth I'd say this could be new fav!