Friday, January 6, 2012



This is one of my favorite South Indian breakfast dishes. Imagine a moist, robustly seasoned couscous dish. Traditionally, each serving is topped with banana slices or a fried egg.


Serves 4

1 1/2 cups semolina or 2 1/2 minute Cream of Wheat
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
2 tablespoons urad dhal, skinned and split
1 cup finely diced onions
Half a small jalapeno, seeded and quartered
3/4 tablespoon minced ginger
20 curry leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups of water


Put the semolina (or Cream of Wheat) in a skillet over medium low heat. Dry roast, stirring frequently to ensure even cooking. Remove from the heat when it becomes a shade darker, about 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds. Cook until they begin to pop. Add the urad dhal. Cook until it becomes honey brown.

Add the onions, jalapeno, ginger, and curry leaves. Cook until the onions become totally translucent. (This is very important step as the texture of the onions should be very soft in the final dish.)

Add the water and salt. Stir. Bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Slowly pour in the semolina, stirring constantly. (Note: It will spit and sputter!)

Cover and set aside for at least 5 minutes to allow the semolina to soften completely.

Serve with bananas or top each serving with a fried egg. Uppamavu can also be eaten with small side of hot pickle.

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  1. mmm, that looks tasty! reminds me of a dish we had at an indian restaurant in las vegas last week. we also had pakora for the first time there - addictive!

  2. This looks delicious! I've never attempted Indian flavors with breakfast (I'm usually a bacon and egg kind of girl), but this looks really interesting. Do I need to go somewhere special to get curry leaves and urad dhal?

  3. Urad dhal is available at most Indian grocery stores. It's also called black gram as the skin of this lentil is black. You want to purchase the version that is skinned and split. Some Indian stores also carry curry leaves. If you get hooked on the curry leaves, try growing them indoors with your herbs. My mom and all my aunt have them as indoor plants.


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