Back when I wrote the post on Upma – South Indian Soul Food, I didn’t have to worry about gluten. Upma is made from semolina, a durum wheat product. In the last few months, I’ve made upma with broken rice or gluten free cereal blends. They were good but not quite as satisfying. Today I made upma with gluten free rolled oats. It was still different from the original but highly satisfying and elicited a sigh of contentment from me. Upma is a dish in which the final consistency is important. It can’t be too mushy or too dry.
While you can use any oats, the rolled oats resists getting too soft and soggy, a problem with quick cooking oats.
You might have noticed that I’ve been using a lot of Bob’s Red Mill products. If you’re wondering, no I don’t have any affiliation. I like that they are certified gluten free and are readily available in the stores where I normally shop.
Since I was in a hurry and was out of big pots, I modified the Upma recipe. For simplicity, here’s the modified recipe.
- 2 cups rolled oats, dry roasted for 3 minutes on medium low heat
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (split skinless black lentils)
- 5-10 fresh curry leaves
- 2-3 green chilies (optional), chopped
- ½ onion thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
- 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup grated unsweetened coconut (if dessicated, rehydrate in 1/3 cup warm water for 10 minutes)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (or to taste)
Heat the oil in a large skillet (should hold the oats and the water) over medium heat. You know the oil is hot if you drop in a mustard seed and it sizzles.
Add the mustard seeds and wait 5 seconds or till they start crackling.
Add the curry leaves, urud dal and chilies and stir constantly to prevent from burning. Saute for just 10 seconds.
Add onion and sauté till soft translucent.
Mix in the veggies and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in the water and cover the skillet. The oats should be cooked after about 6 minutes. Stir halfway through.
Add salt and squeeze lime to taste. Mix in the grated coconut.
Serve hot with yogurt on the side.