Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Funday.

Is it me, or is anyone else completely obsessed with watermelon? I decide to eat one piece and next thing I know, I've eaten an entire watermelon.

It happens every summer!! It's somewhat of a love/hate relationship. Mostly love, though. At least it's a nice form of hydration.

And I would totally make something like a watermelon salad or watermelon smoothie or grilled watermelon but...I'm perfectly content eating just cubes of watermelon with a fork. Anyone with me here? Anyone?

On a completely unrelated note, the other day, I documented my mom cooking a traditional south Indian dish called upma. It's completely delicious, nutritious, and easy to make! Win-win-win as I like to say. Actually, I've never said that before. Details.


  • 1 cup cream of wheat
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon urad dal (or cumin seeds)
  • pinch asafoetida
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 potato
  • 1/2 inch cube ginger, grated
  • 1/4 green chili (or more if you like it spicy!)
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews 
  • salt
  • cilantro for garnish

Start by adding the cream of wheat and 1 tablespoon oil to a pot on the stove. Roast over medium heat.

Keep stirring and stirring so that it doesn't burn! When the cream of wheat becomes a light brown, turn the heat off.

Transfer the roasted cream of wheat to another bowl or plate and set aside.

Prepare the veggies by chopping the potato and green chili, and grating the ginger. 

In the same pan (for convenience!) pour the water and add the veggies and a pinch of salt. 

(You can add the cashews too, or wait until the end to do so).

Cook the veggies over medium until the water boils (or until everything has cooked). Then, turn the stove off, move the pot, and slowly add the roasted cream of wheat.

Keep stirring as you add the cream of wheat. This prevents any lumps from forming, sort of like when making a roux. So, stir!!

Even when all of it has been added, keep stirring! 

To prepare the seasonings (which can be done while you're waiting for the veggies to cook), put the mustard seeds, urad dal (or cumin seeds), asafoetida, and 1 teaspoon oil in a small pan over the stove. Heat on high and cover to ensure that the seeds don't splutter everywhere! Once they start to splutter, remove the pan from the heat.

After you've stirred and stirred and stirred the cream of wheat, add this seasoning mixture and stir one more time to incorporate.

Cover the large pot for just a few minutes and let everything settle. 

The resulting upma should be a soft and dry-ish mixture. 

Garnish with chopped cilantro (and more salt if necessary).

I love upma! I usually eat it with a side of plain yogurt. It's super filling and definitely passes the healthy test (fun fact: cream of wheat is a great source of iron!). For anyone who is curious about south Indian food, I definitely recommend trying this recipe!

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