I will be ‘Cooking for 1′ this week. Ever since I started cooking, just cooking for myself has rarely happened. Back in the grad school days, my roomies and I used to cook for the whole gang. After getting married, never got to cook for just 1. But with my husband traveling a lot lately and both the kids in the school, there are days when I have to cook for myself.
I try to keep the dishes I make for myself very simple with few ingredients (usually the odds and ends in the fridge) and few dishes to clean. So for the first day, I made this simple and comforting rice upma from Sandhya’s blog. The good thing about this dish is it can easily be made for 1 or for 10. A quick and easy dish that takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and needs about 15 minutes of hands on time.
My mom makes similar upma but she uses moong dal instead of toor dal. I followed Sandhya’s recipe to the T and loved how delicious it turned out. She added peppercorns to the rice & lentil mixture and that gave the dish a nice spicy kick in the background. It tastes great when served hot with some chutney or pickle.
First make Rice Rava: Combine rice, toor dal and peppercorns in a wide bowl, sprinkle couple of tablespoons of water over the rice. Rice should be wet but not soaking wet. Mix well with fingers and set aside for 10~15 minutes. After 15 minutes, most of the water will be absorbed by rice and the mixture will feel damp. Don't let the rice get too dry. Grind into a coarse powder. If you prefer a finer upma, then grind longer to form a finer powder.
Make Upma: heat 2tsp oil in a medium sauce pan, add the tempering ingredients and once the seeds start to splutter, pour in about 1 cup of water and bring to a boil (adjust the quantity of rice depending on the rice you are using, some rice may need more water to cook).
Add salt to the boiling water, mix well and slowly stir in the rice-dal mixture.
Bring the mixture to a boil again, now lower the heat to simmer -- cover with a lid. Pour some water on the lid -- this ensures that the upma stays moist.
Cook for 15~18 minutes, stirring in couple of times in the middle, or until the rice is cooked through.