May 23, 2013

Dill Semolina Upma (Rava Porridge with Sopsige soppu)

Dill is, I think, the queen of herbs and the gender bias is because not only does it look dainty and beautiful, it also smells extremely good! It not only lends a unique taste to whatever dish it adorns but also imparts a fragrance while cooking that lights up the kitchen. It is easy enough to use whether cooked (a quick saute) or raw and adds a flavourful dimension to the spread.
Upma is the quintessential quick one pot meal in many households across South India. It is the meal of choice for the lunch box and dinner atleast once a week in my house. There is an interesting equation in our house with respect to this dish. My brother loves it like he loves nothing else and my hubby's brother hates it like he hates nothing else! So when the twain meet, the cooks are left wondering whom to please! Each time my brother visited my house in the US, there would be uppit on the table for atleast one meal everyday.

Upma comes in many varieties. It can be made with semolina, vermiciilli, coarse rice flour (akki thari) or even leftover bread. Any vegetables that can be cooked can get into this dish. Raw vegetables are somethign I have never tried in an upma and I am not likely to. It can even be spiced up to one's palate with garam masala powder or freshly roasted and ground spices. Onion is a common fixture in upma, although leaving it out does not dampen the taste in any way.

This recipe is to make combine the aromatic dill and the tasty upma. Its easy to make and you need one pot to make it.

Dill Semolina Upma

Servings: 3
Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 15 mins


2 cups Rava/Semolina (coarse not fine)
4 cups Water
1 bunch Dill leaves
1 medium Onion

For the seasoning

5 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric
3 Green chillies
1 tsp Jeera
1 tsp Channa Dal
1 tsp Urad Dal
2 tbsp Groundnuts / Cashewnuts


Wash the dill leaves, remove thicker stems and cut it into fine shreds.
Heat a heavy bottomed vessel and roast the Rava in it till it reddens. This may take around 10 minutes on Medium heat. Make sure to not over brown them. It is time to stop when you start getting the smell from the roasted semolina. Keep aside on a plate.
In the same heavy bottomed vessel, heat the oil and add mustard seeds to it.
When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the rest of the seasoning ingredients.
Saute for half a minute.
Now add onions and saute till transluscent.
Add the dill and saute for a few minutes till the leaves become tender.
Pour in the water, add salt and allow it to come to a boil. This is the time for a quick taste check to see if the salt is enough or more. If more, squeeze 2 tsp of lemon juice.
Pour the roasted semolina little at a time into the vessel while constantly stirring. Stir to avoid lumps.
The rava coagulates with the water to form a porridge consistency, mix well and cover and continue to heat on a very low heat for another 5 minutes.
Serve upma hot plain or accompanied by chutney or yoghurt.

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