pizzarossa was our August 2012 Daring Cook hostess and she challenged us to broaden our knowledge of cornmeal! Rachael provided us with some amazing recipes and encouraged us to hunt down other cornmeal recipes that we’d never tried before – opening our eyes to literally 100s of cuisines and 1000s of new-to-us recipes!
My sights were set on cutting out an ingredient from an existing Indian dish and replace it with cornmeal. Quite ambitious maybe, since I had not the clue of a single Indian recipe which included this mighty grain. Cornbread, pizza dough, polenta and sausage, I've done over and over. But to take a classic item from the country that hails Rice and Wheat as dual kings of the crop and possibly replace either Precious with the yellow cereal might end up in great grain blasphemy. A concerning predicament? Yes. Will I do it anyway? Definitely.
At this point, I decided to put the venerable dish of upma to the task.
Upma is a great one- pot breakfast miracle. Made with roasted durum wheat semolina, similar to Cream of Wheat, it is deliciously gratifying and super cinch to prepare. Plain semolina gets dressed up with some basic, but boldly fragrant elements only to be transformed into a wondrous quick meal, rich and flavorful in every bite. A classic upma can be made with just the handful of ingredients or jacked up substantially for a wholesome, ample spread.
Here, simple was key. With only the few components infusing my upma, the cornmeal shown through quite well and fabulously top-notch. A creamy complementing texture came together considerably faster than semolina upma ever did.
|Visually no stunner, a forgivable fault, when given the major plus of coming together in shorter than 15 minutes.|
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ½ c chopped red onion
- ½ tsp finely chopped ginger
- 2 serranos, cut into small rounds (Asian green chilis)
- ½ c chopped red bell pepper
- 1 c cornmeal
- ½ tsp salt or more
- 2 c water
- 1 tsp ghee or butter
- ¼ c chopped almonds (optional)
- On medium flame, in a deep saute pan or dutch oven, heat the oil
- Add the mustard seeds.
- Once mustard seeds temper and pop, add curry leaves, onion, ginger and serranos. Saute for 3 minutes or until ingredients are wilted and onions translucent.
- Add in red pepper and saute for additional minute, don't allow pepper to wilt and brown.
- In a measuring cup measure in water, add salt and combine well. Pour into the cooked ingredients.
- With heat on medium-high, allow water to boil (use lid to cover).
- Lowering to medium heat, swiftly stir in the cornmeal to the water. Stir just until the cornmeal is mixed through. By now it would have absorbed much of the liquid.
- With one final stir, take off heat, spoon tablespoon of butter on top and sprinkle with almonds. Cover and allow for the cornmeal to cook and soften in the steam.
- Serve or scoop into a plate.
|Mixing it all up, no silverware needed- hot lime pickle, bananas and upma, the absolute best way to have it!|