Here is another breakfast/brunch kinda dish! And the best thing about it is that it is super healthy too. ‘Fada‘ as it is called in Hindi, is a coarse form of wheat that is obtained when whole wheat is crushed. You can find it in different textures ranging from small pieces to a tinier-coarser product. I almost always like the semolina like coarser version as it is easier to cook and eat. It is popular as a healthy food item because it does not undergo complicated processing. And for which very reason, it is high in fiber and nutrients making it a very good option in comparison to rice for people with heart and diabetic problems.
When I was young, whenever we would visit my grand-parents, I would mostly find cracked wheat on the dining table either as upma or plainly cooked similar to rice. Back then, I would think of it as plain boring food. But, now I love it. It’s simple, tasty and wholesome. I often make it for a quick breakfast, for a sunday brunch or for a light week-day dinner. It is simply delightful when served with spicy mango pickle or coconut chutney. When I and one of my dearest friends stayed together for a while, she introduced me to the combo of upma with plain yogurt. I’m so glad she did because even though I knew about this delicious combo, I had never tried it until then and now I absolutely love it.
For variations, you could spice it up a little with regular spices like turmeric and paprika or add vegetables or cook it plain-&-simple and serve with some gravy/rasam.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
- Fada/Cracked Wheat – 2 cups
- Water – 4 cups
- Oil – 2 tsps
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Cloves – 2 (optional)
- Curry Leaves – a fistful
- Peanuts – 1/4th cup
- Onions – 1/2 cup – finely chopped
- Green chillies – 3 or 4 – finely chopped
- Salt – 1n1/4th tsp or less (as per taste)
- Lime juice – 1 tsp
- Coriander leaves – for garnish
1. In a wide flat pan, take fada and spread it out. On low heat, dry roast the wheat slowly for about 5 to 6 minutes and then set it aside. Be very careful not to burn it. It is very important that dry roasting is done as it removes the rawness from it and also gives a nice flavor.
2. In a wide skillet, heat about 2 tsps of oil. When it is hot enough, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cloves, curry leaves and peanuts. On low heat, saute for a couple of minutes until the peanuts are lightly brown.
3. Now, add finely chopped onions and green chillies. Saute until the onions are translucent. Add 4 cups of water (double the amount of fada/rava). Add salt. Cover with a lid and let the water come to a boil.
4. Remove the lid and slowly add the roasted fada while stirring it continuously to prevent any lumps. Place the stove on low heat, cover and let it cook for at-least 5 to 7 minutes. Keep checking in between to avoid burning at the bottom. Add lime juice and give a quick mix. Turn off when it is thick yet fluffy porridge like consistency.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve warm with your favorite chutney/pickle. We usually enjoy this healthy and tasty dish with mango pickle, coconut chutney or yogurt!
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