Rava Upmaa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coarse semolina/sooji/rava (roasted lightly)
  • 1 very large onion
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cups of hot water
  • 2 tbsps Ghee/oil (Ghee gives a great flavor, coconut oil is also great)
  • Several curry leaves
  • 1 tsp ginger powder

Preparation:

  • Finely chop onion and green chili
  • In heated oil drop mustard seeds and curry leaves, then add chopped onion and chili. Once onions are sauteed and reduced a bit, add ginger powder and after a few minutes the diced tomatoes. Next add the semolina and hot water, mix and set aside in closed container.
  • It is easy to do variations with upmaa. The simplest upmaa you can make is without onions and tomatoes. Then anything you add makes it different.  To the above recipe I added some chopped cilantro and cashew nuts to give it just a little bit more. The end result is what you see as the feature image for this post. Have fun playing around with ingredients you like to make your own rava upmaa!

Couscous: As quick as a flip of a switch

Not quite as fast as that, but the couscous found in most Western markets is the 5 minute pre-steamed kind.  Remove boiling water from heat, add couscous in the ratio of 1 cup couscous to 1 cup boiling water, and stir. Cover pot tightly for 5 minutes, then open and fluff with fork to serve.

I added coucous to a bed of greens, some beans/lentils, a little Greek yogurt, and had a delicious feast for the senses.  The best and only way to eat.

When cooking coucous salt and butter are often added to the water, just like pasta.  Want a different aromatic bouquet? Substitute water with a different liquid, such as vegetable stock.  And make any meal a treat of texture, color, flavors, and smell.  You can always quickly add slices of tomato, beets, carrots for a burst of color and more. Instead of yogurt there is sour cream, curds, or just forgo it altogether.  On the 15th coucous was part of my refueling meal after a great bike ride on a 66 degree sunny Fall day.

Couscous is one of the healthiest grain-based products you can find.  Originally made from ground millet in North Africa, it now typically is made from semolina, and even wheat. Whether made from wheat, millet, or semolina, coucous is simply a great way to add variety to the healthy carbohydrates in our daily diet.