Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A quick wholesome lunch

When I'm in a hurry, I turn to this Indian breakfast dish called ukma or uppma - made from semolina, mustard seeds and yogurt. It's deliciously tart and satisfying and one can add whatever vegetables that one has on hand. In the south, peanuts are also added, which I highly recommend as they taste great and are a good source of protein.

Since I avoid eating too much wheat, I prefer to use polenta, which is derived from corn, but one could of course stick to semolina. 

This dish is inexpensive, takes only 10 minutes to prepare, and best of all, is wholesome and satisfying.

Simply for one

1 tbs canola oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional but anti-cancerous!)
A pinch asafoetida ("hing" in Hindi - optional but good for digestion)
1 tbs sesame seeds (optional)
2 tbs peanuts, chopped
1 small serrano chili
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 an onion, sliced lengthwise
1/2 a green bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup polenta
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 cup water
Cilantro for garnishing

In a pan on medium-low, heat oil and add mustard seeds, turmeric sesame seeds, asafoetida, peanuts and stir so nothing burns. After about 30 seconds, add onion, tomatoes, green peppers and salt. When they are almost cooked, add polenta, yogurt and water and cook, stirring often, until it is thickened and the polenta is cooked. Garnish with cilantro.

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