Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brown Rice Uppuma for the Win!

I really hate porridge. I wish I loved it, but it's one of the only vegan foods I can't stomach. I've tried many, many times to get into a bowl of oatmeal, muesli, cream o' wheat, or even steel cut oats. So don't ask me why my panties twirl up so much over uppuma, they just do.

For those not familiar, uppuma is a savory South Indian porridge made from farina or cream of wheat, vegetables and spices. If you're looking for the grain in an Indian market, the Hindi name for farina is "sooji"--that's how it's usually packaged.

I thought I was done with wheaty uppuma, when I tossed out my last bite of seitan, but apparently I was wrong. Sometimes being wrong is just the best. In this case, I read about Cream of Rice on Mo's blog and went scramblin' to try to find some. They sell it at regular groceries, next to Cream of Wheat, but it's made from white rice, which I'm not too into. When I recapped my disappointment to my friend Julie, she told me matter of factly that Bob's Red Mill sells "brown rice farina." This is the ticket my friends! It works just like the wheat stuff, and it's probably more nutritious, too.

I'm writing up a recipe, but for now if you want to whip up a bowl of this xgfx magic, here's how: Heat up some neutral tasting oil and brown off a a small handful of cashews with a teaspoon of urad dal. If you don't have the dal, you can leave it out, but it adds a nice texture. Next, throw in some mustard seeds and curry leaves, let them crackle a moment and toss in some grated ginger, some salt and half an onion, chopped. When the onions has softened, throw in 1 cup of brown rice farina and stir to coat the grain with oil. Toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Throw in about 1 1/2-2 cups of finely chopped veggies, stir and mix in a little less than 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer the uppuma uncovered for about 8 minutes, stirring often. When the uppuma is very thick, season to taste with salt and serve with a wedge of lemon or lime. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to firm up, then eat! This time out, will prevent you from experiencing the dreaded "uppuma chest of fire," which is similar, but not exactly like "chest death by mashed potato burn."

The vegetables I added today were chopped onion, shaved Brussels sprouts, paper-thin carrot circles, fresh spinach, jalapeno slices and green peas. Holy crap. And, if you've never had Brussels sprouts fresh from a mandoline before, I highly recommend 'em, just watch your fingertips. Other veggies which would be good include chopped tomato, sliced cabbage, pre-steamed potato and cilantro. Oh my sweet little mound o' uppuma, I'm so glad you found your way home.

Also, the winner of Carribean Vegan (from my habanero post on Thursday) is none other than my friend, Michelle! I swear on my life I didn't rig the generator, the first random number that came up landed on radioactivevegan. Since RV already has the book and asked not to be entered, I went to the next comment which was from dear Michelle!

See ya around the block, bubs!
xo
kittee

This post is part of VeganMoFo 2010 - the Vegan Month of Food. Get more MoFo info by checking out VeganMoFo Headquarters Itn'l, where you can subscribe to a bunch of vegan blogs and ohh and ahh to your heart's content.

12 comments:

  1. great post kittee! I've never had Uppuma, how is that possible? It sounds great. Especially since I actually DO like most porridge variants. I am hungry, and reading mofo, and this is a somewhat reckless combo. Every post I see is filling me with foodie desires.

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  2. Yum, yum, yum!! Maybe I'll make this for dinner tomorrow night. It looks like the Indian version of Congee (or the other way 'round).

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  3. i love that i learn about lots of new foods from you, kittee! uppuma's another dish i've never heard of - i really want to give it a whirl. :) i think i overdid it on the oatmeal years ago - these days, no matter what i put in it, i'm unable to really enjoy it. it just tastes pastey and grey (if that makes any sense) and ewww. sadface. i'm more of a savory breakfast lady, methinks - and i need to get my booty over to an indian grocer, find myself some curry leaves and urad dal and make some uppuma happen. w00t!

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  4. i've learned more about food from making the vegan move than i did as an omnivore. thanks for the lesson and another gf option.

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  5. Congratulations, Michelle! It's a good book; I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

    I'm going to have to look for some uppuma at a local market. It looks really great. Thanks for the info!

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  6. That sounds so amazing, Kittee! I need to see if I can find something similar here. It's got my mouth watering!

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  7. Gotta check this out. Plus Uppuma just sounds so positive & life-affirming! xo

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  8. love this post...u made me LOL when u said you panties twirl up over uppuma. I saw the white rice one but I did not know what to do with it other than cereal...I would not say I hate porridge but it doesnt make my panties twirl up if you know what I mean:) Just a filler so you dont pass out when u are waiting for the bus!

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  9. This is all news to me. Never heard of it before. It is only a dinner thing or do some people eat it for breakfast?

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  10. hey jill!
    actually uppuma is a big breakfast thing in south india!

    xo
    kittee

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  11. Ahhh! I used to loves me some cream o' wheat back in the day (never a big oatmeal fan, tho). This seems way cooler, and way way way tastier! Thank you for the intro to uppama!

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  12. This sounds delicious, but then I must admit that I've never had a porridge I didn't like :) It's my comfort food! I always have mine sweet though - this sounds amazing and savoury. Now I can eat porridge 24/7!

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