Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ragi Vermicelli Upma

 It some times takes many years for us to understand what is good and what is bad for our health. Simple healthy choices in our day to day cooking like swapping rice with wheat or barley, white bread with brown bread, using whole grains and pulses can create wonders to our overall health and well being.

I was very fond of vermicelli, used to have vermicelli upma atleast twice in a week. But vermicelli is made up of white flour, which we all know is really bad for our health so now my normal vermicelli has been swapped with Ragi vermicelli which is made up of wheat and ragi flour. I have used Anil Ragi Vermicelli, because this is the only Indian brand which I know is available here in Dubai. Also I always use equal quantity of vegetables and vermicelli to make this upma, making this super healthy to start the day. 

Ingredients: ( Serves generous 2 plates )

Ragi Vermicelli - 1 Cup
Mustard Seeds - 1 Tsp
Split Black Gram - 1 Tbsp
Onions - 2 Medium sized chopped
Ginger - 1 Inch piece grated
Green Chilies - 3 chopped
Mixed Vegetables Like Carrot and Peas- 1 Cup ( Boiled )
Peanuts- 2 Tbsp
Curry Leaves - 2 Sprigs
Salt- To Taste
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
Oil - 1 1/2 Tbsp


  • Soak vermicelli in 5 cups of room temperature salted water for 2 or 3 minutes. Drain the vermicelli.
  • Steam the vermicelli in greased idli plates for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove vermicelli from the plates and keep aside.
  • In a pan add oil and once the oil heats up add in mustard seeds. As soon as mustard starts cracking add split black gram and peanuts. Fry them till peanuts start cracking.
  • Now add onions, ginger, green chilies and curry leaves. Fry till onions turns translucent.
  • Add in boiled vegetables and salt to taste, mix everything together.
  • Now tip in the steamed vermicelli and combine everything. Close the pan's lid and let the upma cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Take off the pan from heat and pour lemon juice in the upma and mix. 
Serve hot. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Barley Grits Upma/ Barley Grits Savory Porridge

Upma is one of the most popular breakfast in any Indian household. Semolina or vermicelli upma used to feature regularly in my kitchen and once a while cracked wheat upma was made and enjoyed. But now a days barley has become my family's favorite grain and we enjoy it in many forms, be it the rotis made with added barley flour, barley dosa, barley soup or this barley upma. Rice can be easily substituted with barley in most of the dishes like pulao and khichdis too.

This recipe was given by Sangeeta Khanna whose diet plan I follow. She told me to make barley dalia upma but bless my ignorance those days, I combined cracked wheat and pearl barley to make the most unappetizing upma. That was then she introduced me to cracked barley or barley grits. And now there is no slipping back to semolina or vermicelli. 

Ingredients: ( Serves 2 )

Barley Grits - 1/2 Cup
Water- 1 1/2 Cups
Onion- 1 Large ( finely chopped )
Ginger- 1/2 Inch Piece ( grated )
Green Chilies - 2 ( finely chopped )
Carrot - 1 Medium Sized ( cut in small pieces )
French Beans - 10-12 ( finely chopped ) 
Green Peas - 1/4 Cup
Tomato - 1 Small chopped
Peanuts - 2 Tbsp
Oil - 1 or  1 1/2 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds- 1 Tsp
Urad Dal ( Split black gram ) - 1 Tbsp
Salt- To taste
Juice of 1 small lemon
Coriander Leaves - To Garnish

Procedure :
  • Switch on the gas and take a pressure cooker and keep it on heat. Add oil and once it heats up add in mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds crackle add split black gram and peanuts. 
  • When peanuts start cracking add chopped onions, ginger, green chilies and saute till onion turns translucent. 
  • Add carrots, beans, peas and let it all cook for a minute or two stirring in between.
  • Now add barley grits mix well and let it cook for few minutes. Keep stirring else barley may stick to the cookers bottom.
  • Pour water and add salt and tomatoes. Mix well. 
  • Put back the lid of the pressure cooker and let the upma cook in medium flame till 2 whistles come. Take the pressure cooker off the heat and let the cooker cool for some time before opening the lid.
  • Open the lid and add in lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix well and serve hot.

Barley grits is available in Dubai at  Down To Earth Organic Store.


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