Stir-Fried Semolina / Uppuma

I had to retake some photos of uppuma for Vegan Serendib — the photo we used for Feast had a meat curry in the photo too, and we figured it’d be better to get a clean photo for Vegan. I did the super-fast version that I cooked weekly during grad school for these photos, but the full recipe is below.

Okay, now I’m hungry…


Stir-Fried Semolina / Uppuma

(20 minutes, serves 4-6)

When I was harried in grad school, I made a very fast, very simple version of this often — five minutes to boil water, add semolina with some butter and salt, stir, and serve. Served with spicy egg and mackerel curry, it’s a wonderful breakfast or dinner; the soft uppuma blends beautifully with the fish — my ultimate comfort food.

This version, which is a little more time-consuming, offers more vegetables, more interesting seasonings, and a fluffier texture — it’s tasty on its own, or with a vegetable or meat curry. Both versions are great!

2 TBL butter
1 onion, chopped fine
3 dried red chili pods
1 tsp black mustard seed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 stalk curry leaves
1 rounded tsp salt
2 carrots chopped small
1/2 cup peas (or chopped green beans)
3 cups water

2 cups coarse semolina

1. Roast semolina in a dry pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for about five minutes, until it’s darkened slightly. This will give the end result a fluffier texture, with less clumping. Remove to a plate and set aside.

2. Sauté onions with seasonings in butter on medium-high for a few minutes.

3. Add carrots and continue to cook until carrots are softened and onions are golden-translucent. Add peas and cook a few minutes longer.

4. Add water; bring to a boil.

5. Turn down to a simmer and quickly pour in the semolina, stirring constantly, making sure all the wheat is moistened. Remove from heat and allow dish to sit for a few minutes before serving. Serve warm.

Note: You can use farina (sold as Cream o’Wheat) instead of semolina for an almost identical result. Semolina comes from durum wheat (high in protein, produces more gluten). Farina comes from any hard wheat but durum.

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