December 23, 2005

Khara baath aka upma

Most of the Northern part of India is experiencing one of the most damp and chilly days where the weather changes are affecting everyone out there. Intense cold wave conditions continue in the entire northern part of India for a week now. We at My Dhaba wanted to post about some dish today which those affected friends would really enjoy accompanied by a cup of steaming hot special masala tea or coffee. We have chosen wheat suji and vermicelli khara baath aka upma for our today's post.

Khara baath aka Upma is a well-known breakfast and tea-time preparation in South India. Upma is prepared in myriad number of ways with quite a few attractive variations. You might have noticed the subtle flavor differences each time you have this dish at restaurants. Please note that you may use or omit all or any one of the below-mentioned optional ingredients depending on its availability at your home or as per your taste.

Here are the possible variations we have while cooking khara baath aka upma: (1) making a plain upma with wheat suji by not adding any of the mentioned optional ingredients, (2) adding tomatoes, (3) using vermicelli instead of wheat suji, (4) adding cinnamon and cloves (5) and lastly by using vermicelli and wheat suji together in equal proportions or in any proportion that you like according to your taste.

Today, we have cooked the above-mentioned fifth variation that is khara baath aka upma by using vermicelli, wheat suji, and all other opitonal ingredients together.

Bringing the ingredients together...

Khara baath aka upma recipe
Serves - 4
Preparation time - 20 minutes

Wheat suji - 1-1/2 cups
Vermicelli - 1 cup (optional)
Salt - 1-1/2 teaspoons
Cashew nuts - 10
Cinnamon - two 1-inch long sticks (optional)
Cloves - 4 (optional)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Black-gram dal - 1 teaspoon
Dried red chillies - 4, broken into halves
Curry leaves - 1 sprig, fresh
Green chillies - 6, small size, medium hot, finely chopped or slit just half way at the stem end if you prefer to make a bit lesser spicy
Onions - 2, big size, finely chopped
Garlic - 3 beads, finely sliced
Tomatoes - 1, big size, fully ripe, finely chopped (optional)
Oil - 1+1 tablespoons
Ghee - 1+1 tablespoons
Lime juice - 1 tablespoon (optional)

Method: Bring 5 cupsful of water to boil and keep aside covered so that it remains hot. Heat a roomy flat-bottomed vessel and pour in the half portion of oil and ghee mix. When this becomes just slightly hot, fry the cashewnuts to a light brown color, remove it from the ghee, and keep aside. Then fry the vermicelli in the same oil over moderate heat by lifting and tossing taking care not to burn the vermicelli; it burn easily. Remove the fried vermicelli to a plate and mix it with half portion of the salt. Now add the remaining oil and ghee. When the oil and ghee becomes very hot, add in the following order: the cinnamon sticks and cloves together, mustard seeds to splutter, black-gram dal to brown, red chillies, curry leaves, onions, green chillies, and garlic slices all together. Saute well turning over the contents thoroughly till the onions turn limp. Add the tomatoes and saute till the oil separates from it. Now add the wheat suji mixed with the remaining salt and fry it over moderate heat turning over thoroughly till it becomes very hot to touch. Add the fried salted vermicelli, stir thoroughly once and then pour the hot water to barely cover both wheat suji and vermicelli. Cover with a lid, cook first over moderate heat and then allow to simmer over low heat till all the water is absorbed and both wheat suji and vermicelli is cooked. If it still remains of a loose consistency, remove the covering lid and allow the excess water to evaporate quickly over low heat. Sprinkle 2 or 3 teaspoons of hot water around the sides and surface if water is absorbed before the suji and vermicelli is cooked. Mix in the fried cashewnuts just before removing from the heat. You may also sprinkle a few drops of fresh lime juice over each individual serving for a refreshing flavor. Serve it steaming hot with any thick chutneys of your choice. Kids love to have this upma with just a sprinkling of sugar. Enjoy folks, stay warm!



Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hey man! your upma story is amazing! I was lost in the upma world...............hehaha

Blogger Sury said...

Got to agree with Anon. That is the most awesome food pic I have seen in a while. Makes you want to devour it instantly. :P Must make this, and soon. Thanks for sharing, VKN!

Blogger vkn said...

Thank you folks. Glad that you liked it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I made this yesterday and loved it very much. Thanks for a great recipe.

Blogger sanjana reddy said...

upma is looking delicious.. thanks for sharing such a nice and simple recipe.. If you wanna try south indian food recipes check this South Indian Recipes


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