Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Love Like Salt, Part II

S. has been hinting (with much excitement) that I should learn to cook upma.

So I went to Namaste Grocery and bought myself a bag.

I didn't make it tonight (tonight was a salad night -- my roommate told me I could eat anything she left behind in the refrigerator, and there was half a bag of "Spring Mix" that needed to be consumed before it turned brown), but I will tomorrow.

There is, unfortunately, no recipe for upma in the copy of Southern Spice (Chandra Padmanabhan) that S. bought for me on one of our bookstore forages. So I went online.

And there I found, at the first link, that upma means "flour and salt." Intertwined, perhaps.

It seems that there could be a poem made out of this, with the idea of love like salt and the physicality of sifting and dropping and frying balls of upma. (Maybe not frying. I'm not very good at frying things; they always burn. But all the recipes seem to say that frying is what one does to upma, so I'll hold my thumbs that it turns out.)

We will see what I am capable of creating, tomorrow night.

On an unrelated note: S. also set me up with some sambar podi, and I am eager to try it out. But finding/creating idlis will be a problem. I have no method of grinding the rice and dal, but I could buy ready-made idli batter at Namaste Grocery. However, I have no idli rack. Dare I use a cupcake tin, or would it be better to lay them out on a cookie sheet... or should I just give up now before I make a mess of things? ^__^

(Note from the editor: She's just realized, through her internet searching, that upma and rava are the same thing. So Southern Spice has several recipes for upma after all. The recipes all require frying.)


neha vish said...

I always think of train breakfasts on the Southern Railway for some reason. One portion upma, and two vadas.

(PS - Upma making should involve roasting and not frying. Dare I send you a "homely" recipe!)

Anonymous said...


upma and rava are not synonms...upma can be made with rava, rice, vermicelli, lots of things...rava upma is the most common version.

Like Neha said, upma usually involves roasting the rava, but that is an optional step - unroasted rava may need slightly more water than roasted rava, adjust the water to taste...
BTW, I assume you know that "cream of wheat" is the local version of is usually more expensive, but cooks faster than conventional rava, and you can actually make microwaved upma with cream of wheat.

Lastly (this comment is getting longer than your post!) - idlis - options without a idly-rack -
- egg poacher
- small custard cups in the microwave
- anyhing that will hold an inch of liquid and can be steamed - you can use wide dishes and set one within another, with water in the outer vessel.

Good luck,


Blue said...

Neha -- you may send a recipe if you like, and I would definitely try to make it and give back a full report. ^__^

Bitterlemons -- yeah, I talked to S. last night and he explained the same thing you did re: upma vs. rava. My fault for trusting Wikipedia.

And I do have an egg poacher! What a brilliant idea! I hope it works...