This was one of those dishes I threw together in 10 minutes because I was hungry and had leftover cooked pearl millet. It was an unexpected treat. Famished as I was, I realized I should probably take a couple of pictures before I ate it all up. So here they are along with a recipe.
If you’ve never cooked with whole pearl millets before, run to the grocery store, now and get your self some! It is that awesome. We eat millet instead of rice often. I first ate cooked whole pearl millets while visiting my in-laws. My MIL makes a very delicious crust-less pie with whole millets and slices of pears all baked together and served with apple compote.
What are millets? Millet is a collective term for tiny seeds from various grasses that are not even related to each other. They are used as grains and are typically highly nutritious, more so than wheat or rice. I use pearl millets as they are easily available in Seattle. There are however many kinds of millets. In South India, finger millets are widely used and I’ve shared a delicious rustic flat bread recipe before.
I’m calling this dish Upma though it’s a lot simpler than the real deal South Indian uppitu or upma. I’ve eliminated a lot of the typical upma ingredients such as onion and grated coconut and used millets instead of semolina because of my food issues. You are welcome to add those ingredients back in or follow my recipe as is. It will be delicious either way. Pearl millets are also a great gluten free substitute for couscous.
I would recommend serving this millet upma with a side of plain yogurt and spicy pickle. It’s perfect as a snack, savory breakfast or light lunch.
This recipe is vegan and gluten, onion and garlic free. It’s a FODMAP friendly recipe.
- 2 cups cooked millets, room temperature or refrigerated
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 10 curry leaves
- 2 dry red chilis, broken in half
- 1 teaspoon urud dal (split black lentils, optional)
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds (optional, I added some for nutrition)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/3 cup cashews, roasted (or almonds)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Juice of 1/2 lime or to taste
Heat the oil over medium heat. When you see ripples on the surface of the oil, add a mustard seed. If it sizzles, the oil is hot enough.Sizzle the mustard seeds and curry leaves for ten seconds or till the seeds start popping. Saute the dry red chilis, urud dal and flax seeds for another 10 seconds.
Add the turmeric powder and stir in the millets and cashews. Add salt and squeeze fresh lime juice to taste. Serve with a side of yogurt if you can eat dairy.
Liked this recipe? Here’s another gluten free version of the Upma recipe.