Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Khichdi from heaven

Good upma is a beautiful thing - it isn't always as easy as it seems, it is something that I'm always aspiring to perfect. And it makes me incredibly happy when my upma seems to be as good as my mum's - which qualifies as the perfect 10!

Speaking of upma and similar one-pot meals - I always wondered about the difference between upma and khichdi. Upma is often made with sooji, sometimes with rice rava, other times with vermicelli. And it seems like khichdi is typically a rice and lentils dish - kind of the desi equivalent of rice'n'beans? But then again, there is rava khichdi, right? Which is often this olio of sooji with a slew of vegetables. So, how is that any different from rava upma? Or are the names interchangeable? Food for thought :)

Anyway, with all the stuff happening with Vodka, I really needed quick comfort food - which can easily translate to upma (or khichdi?). I often take the easy way out and skip roasting the rava - but this time I really wanted the flavors and aromas to match the memories in my head - it is pretty amazing how nostalgic smells can be! :) So, hungry as I was, no shortcuts were taken - I worked with a mix of coarse and smooth sooji ravas and roasted them till golden before working them into the upma. That, along with liberal use of cherry tomatoes made for some really flavorful khichdi - I'm truly hoping I can replicate this!

Rava Khichdi
Or Upma. Or whatever you want to call it :)

Servings: 3-4

1 cup coarse sooji rava

1 cup fine sooji rava
1 red onion - chopped
1 green bell pepper - chopped

2 carrots - chopped

15-18 cherry tomatoes -sliced
4 green chillies - sliced lengthwise

1" ginger - grated
10-12 curry leaves
a handful of raw peanuts
1 t mustard seeds

1 t urad daal

1 T channa daal

1 t asafoetida

1 t turmeric
1 T sesame oil
kosher salt



a handful of pomegranate seeds

a few sprigs of cilantro

Mix the ravas and dry roast them till golden and the smell of the roasted rava wafts around you.
Heat the oil in a wok, add the mustard. Once it sputters, throw in the urad and channa daals along with the peanuts, asafoetida and curry leaves.
Once these are browned, add the onions, ginger and green chillies and saute for 4-5 minutes.
The bell peppers and carrots go in next, saute for another 1-2 minutes.

Now toss in the tomatoes and stir for another minute.
Pour 4 cups of water into this veggie mix and add some salt and turmeric.
Cook covered till the water is at a roiling boil.
Now, turn down the heat and fold in the rava gently - about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly to avoid clumping.
Again cook covered on low for 4-5 minutes till the rava is totally translucent.
Add salt to taste.

Garnish with cilantro and ... pomegranate seeds! *so* good! :)

Serve with a dollop of home-made yogurt and maybe some pickles - lime or maybe avakkai?


Rajitha said...

i love upma too..as a kid i hated it...but now i love it...with avakkai it is yummy!

Asha said...

Uppittu is always so comforting to eat, reminds me of home!Looks delicious Kay!:))
I am posting a Kichidi today too later!

Happy cook said...

My mom made uppma always when i was at home. And i used to add sugar to her dusgust when i ate them :-)

easycrafts said...

Looks perfect...this is an anytime healthy breakfast

bee said...

a question. do they sell wholegrain semolina anywhere? i prefer couccous because i get the whole wheat variety. i would love to cook more semolina if it is not a refined product.

Seema said...

Beautiful picture. I can even see the small grainy soji there. Nice Nice!!!


Sure its looking as if it came from heaven...:))Thanx for sharing..!!

Vani said...

A rose by any other name.... :) Khichdi/upma looks delicious! Love the pomegranate garnish!

KayKat said...


Am still trying to find whole grain semolina - haven't seen it anyplace around here. And I agree, couscous is a good alternative, but isn't quite the same thing :(

Menu Today said...

Hi Kay,
Colourful Looking Rawa Upma (Rawa Kichadi):-)I Think Adding both types of rawa gives nice texture to the upma.

sagari said...

making upma is very tough job for me why i dont know my umpa does'nt taste good i will try your method this time and hope success

Kribha said...

Looks really heavenly. Some people might think what's with upma. But it needs to be done right to get it perfect unlike the lumpy, soggy ones.(talking from my experience). Yours is a perfect example of a good job done.

Seema said...

Upma - its an all time favourite & easy to make too.. It looks yummy.

Anonymous said...

Khichdi is really looks so good. This khichdi is really from heaven. I don't add tomatoes or the peanuts to my upma or khichdi. I am going to try it your way. I can't wait. Thanks.