Friday, June 21, 2013

Father's Day Monkey Bread and Uppama/Savory Cream of Wheat

This past Sunday was my husband's birthday as well as Father's Day. To celebrate my son and I made him a special brunch. My son baked monkey bread, and I cooked uppama, savory Indian cream of wheat.

Monkey Bread

My son likes to make monkey bread from scratch for special occasions (e.g., Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas). He uses the recipe in the article "Let's Make Monkey Bread" from the December/January 2005 edition of Family Fun magazine. You can find it here Let's Make Monkey Bread. Since it is time consuming to make, he either mixes the dough or prepares the bread in the bundt pan and lets it rise in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, he continues preparing the bread and/or baking it.

Uppama/Savory Cream of Wheat

I do not like the texture of cooked oatmeal or cream of wheat, however, this savory dish is a family favorite. The recipe is based on "Zakiya's Uppama" from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking. The original recipe calls for cabbage, potatoes, and onions. So we will have leftovers, I add more vegetables and double the cream of wheat. I use vegetables that are ripe in our garden or that I have on hand. The following version calls for yellow squash since squash is ripe now. Later in the summer, I make it with okra, and I use carrots other times of the year.

Indian Ingredients

Black mustard seeds, asafoetida, channa dal, urad dal, and curry leaves are available at an Indian grocery. If you do not have black mustard seeds, substitute yellow mustard seeds. You can omit the asafoetida and curry leaves. Instead of channa and urad dal, you can use cashews.


The final texture of the dish is dependent upon the water in the vegetables you cook and how much water you add. Some people like their uppama dry while others prefer it wetter. Vary the water to your taste.

2 TbspVegetable oil
1/2 TspBlack mustard seeds
pinch Asafoetida
1 Dried Cayenne pepper
1 TbspChanna dal
2 TbspUrad dal
1 Onion, chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
1/4 LbPotato, about 1 medium sized potato, peeled and diced
1/2 LbYellow crookneck squash, chopped
1 CupFrozen peas
1 TbspFresh ginger, grated
1 Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
6 Curry leaves
2 TspSalt
2 CupsCream of wheat
2 CupsHow water, approximate
2 TbspCilantro, finely chopped
  1. Heat oil on high in a large pot. Add mustard seeds. When seeds pop, add dried cayenne pepper, channa dal, and urad dal. Cook until dals begin to brown, stirring often.
  2. Reduce heat to medium high, add onions, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir to prevent potatoes sticking.
  4. Add squash, frozen peas, ginger, curry leaves. Stir to mix. Cook 1-2 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until vegetables are cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir and check every 5 minutes.
  6. When veggies are cooked, add salt. Turn heat to medium high. Add cream of wheat, and stir to mix. Cook until cream of wheat is lightly roasted about 5 minutes. Do not brown cream of wheat.
  7. Reduce heat to medium low, add hot water about a 1/4 cup at a time. Stir and cook until water is absorbed before adding more water.
  8. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit 5 minutes. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and fluff with a fork before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment