Savory Breakfast Farina (Upma)

AuthorYashodhara G.
DifficultyBeginner

This savory breakfast farina (upma) is made from Indian sooji, also known as rawa, semolina or cracked wheat (Cream of Wheat), onions, and peas. A light and healthy dish that can be served for breakfast, brunch, or as a hot snack.

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Yields4 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time40 mins

 1 cup coarse farina/cracked wheat (Cream of Wheat)
 2 tbsp cooking oil
 2 dried whole red hot peppers (sabut sukhi lal mirch) - (optional)
 1 tsp small black mustard seed (rai)
 8 sweet neem leaves (curry patta)
 1 medium onion - chopped
 2 tsp dried split urad beans (urad dal)
 2 tsp dried split chickpeas (chana dal)
 2 cups water
 1 tsp salt, or to taste
 1 cup peas
 1 lemon or lime - cut into wedges

1

In a frying pan, roast coarse farina/cracked wheat at medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often to make sure it roasts evenly without burning or changing color. Transfer and set aside.

2

Heat oil in the pan and fry the dried whole red hot peppers (optional) for a few seconds to make it crisp and darken. Remove from oil and set aside for garnish.

3

Add small black mustard seed and sweet neem leaves in the hot oil, covering the pan to keep the mustard seeds from popping out of the pan.

4

After mustard seeds pop, add chopped onion, dried split beans and chickpeas, and fry at medium-high heat, mixing frequently until golden.

5

Add water and salt. Let water come to a boil on high heat.

6

Gradually add roasted coarse farina/cracked wheat and mix - making sure no lumps are formed. Mix continuously until thickened.

7

Fold in peas, reduce to low, and cover with lid. Cook in steam for about 10 minutes until the peas are cooked and the farina/cracked wheat fluffs up.

8

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the fried whole red hot peppers (optional) - crushing or breaking if you prefer.

9

Serve with lime or lemon wedges.

VARIATIONS
• For added crunch, sprinkle with roasted or fried peanuts or cashews.
• Replace peas with mixed vegetables.
• Add chopped tomatoes after browning onions. Cook until soft before adding water.

Ingredients

 1 cup coarse farina/cracked wheat (Cream of Wheat)
 2 tbsp cooking oil
 2 dried whole red hot peppers (sabut sukhi lal mirch) - (optional)
 1 tsp small black mustard seed (rai)
 8 sweet neem leaves (curry patta)
 1 medium onion - chopped
 2 tsp dried split urad beans (urad dal)
 2 tsp dried split chickpeas (chana dal)
 2 cups water
 1 tsp salt, or to taste
 1 cup peas
 1 lemon or lime - cut into wedges

Directions

1

In a frying pan, roast coarse farina/cracked wheat at medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often to make sure it roasts evenly without burning or changing color. Transfer and set aside.

2

Heat oil in the pan and fry the dried whole red hot peppers (optional) for a few seconds to make it crisp and darken. Remove from oil and set aside for garnish.

3

Add small black mustard seed and sweet neem leaves in the hot oil, covering the pan to keep the mustard seeds from popping out of the pan.

4

After mustard seeds pop, add chopped onion, dried split beans and chickpeas, and fry at medium-high heat, mixing frequently until golden.

5

Add water and salt. Let water come to a boil on high heat.

6

Gradually add roasted coarse farina/cracked wheat and mix - making sure no lumps are formed. Mix continuously until thickened.

7

Fold in peas, reduce to low, and cover with lid. Cook in steam for about 10 minutes until the peas are cooked and the farina/cracked wheat fluffs up.

8

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the fried whole red hot peppers (optional) - crushing or breaking if you prefer.

9

Serve with lime or lemon wedges.

VARIATIONS
• For added crunch, sprinkle with roasted or fried peanuts or cashews.
• Replace peas with mixed vegetables.
• Add chopped tomatoes after browning onions. Cook until soft before adding water.

Savory Breakfast Farina (Upma)

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