Upma is super easy and highly nutritious breakfast option
Vegtable upma made with semolina or suji and vegetables is one of the most popular, easy, and highly nutritious breakfast in southern India. It is usually accompanied by piping hot sambhar – a soup made from lentils, tamarind, and vegetables. Curry leaves form an integral part of both the dishes as they do for the majority of the food preparations in South of India.
Purple Carrots are a rich source of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins
We made this upma recipe with purple carrots and green peas along with the usual ingredients. Purple carrots are less common these days, however, they were more common before the orange carrot was widely farmed and commercialized. Purple carrots have similar and slightly higher nutritional value as compared to other variations of carrots as they contain the bioactive compounds known as anthocyanins – which are also responsible for their purple colour. Anthocyanins are flavonoids that are also classified as antioxidants for their several positive health benefits and their anti-inflammatory properties. Besides this, purple carrots are a rich source of fiber, minerals such as Manganese, Carotenoids (lutein), and Vitamins A, E, C and K.
Green Peas for Vitamins, Minerals, and Proteins
Green peas are usually available in winter season. However, frozen green peas are made available throughout the year and that’s what we have used for this upma recipe. Green peas belong to the legume family and contain high concentration of Folate, Iron and Manganese. Green peas are a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Thiamin. They have nearly zero cholesterol and saturated fats.
Curry Leaves for Nutrition, Taste, and Beauty
Curry leaves are a nutrition packed herb that not only enhances the flavor of the food but also provides it with additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a rich source of Vitamin A, C, E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Folate. Curry leaves are a good source of minerals as Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc, and Potassium. Fresh curry leaves are widely available across Asia and added deliberately to the South East Asian dishes.
They have multiple health benefits for the body’s internal functioning and for the outlook including skin and hair. In fact, they are revered for hair growth, texture, and volume.
Healthy Breakfast – Upma Recipe
Upma can be prepared with a variety of vegetables with key ingredients being semolina, curry leaves, ginger, and mustard seeds. It is soft and mushy in texture, making it a great food option for the little ones. It can be made in a jiffy as it is essentially a one-pot recipe requiring a minimal level of preparation. With the health benefits of ingredients, it works as a great food option to be included in the meals of Diabetics, pregnant ladies, new mothers, and people suffering from lifestyle disorders.
Ingredients – Upma Recipe (Serves 4-5 people)
- 1 Cup semolina or suji
- 1 medium-sized onion – finely chopped
- 1 and 1/2 inch ginger – finely chopped or grated
- 1 medium sized tomato -finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- A handful of curry leaves – washed and finely chopped
- 2 purple carrots – cut into small pieces – 1/4 inch
- 1 cup green peas – frozen
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon – peeled urad dal
- 1 teaspoon – chana dal
- 2-3 Tablespoons ghee – replace it with cooking oil of your choice or add sesame oil instead. We added more ghee for the taste and nutrition. Upma can surely be made with a lesser amount – 1 tablespoon is usually enough.
- 1 and 1/2 cup water.
Method of Preparation – Upma Recipe (20-25 mins)
We used a pressure cooker to precook the carrots and green peas as it speeds up the process and also makes the vegetables soft for kids to chew and swallow. Usually, the vegetables in upma are stir-fried to give them a crunchy texture and hence the taste. Another tip would be to keep the flame low at every step of cooking.
- Heat a pan and dry roast the semolina. Take the semolina out of the pan and keep it aside in a bowl.
- In a pressure cooker add the carrots and green peas and cook them separately.
- Add the ghee to the pan. When ghee is little hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Add curry leaves, urad dal, and chana dal. Stir for 10 seconds.
- Add onion and ginger and stir till the mix turns golden brown.
- Add tomato and keep stirring till they turn soft and mushy.
- Add salt and rest of the vegetables (if not cooked separately in a pressure cooker).
- Mix and cover the pan. Let the mix cook on low heat till the vegetables turn soft.
- After 10-15 mins, remove the cover and add the roasted semolina. Mix well.
- Add water to the mix and again stir well to make a consistent paste.
- Let it cook for another 2-3 mins on low heat.
- Keep covered for another 5-7 mins as it will further cook and soften the semolina.
- Serve with Sambhar or Coconut chutney.