Sunday, February 26, 2012

Puli Aval Upma

Yesterday's brunch was a mix between puli pongal and aval upma. I wanted to make puli pongal, but was too lazy to get the pressure cooker out - I know, crazy right? I don't mind cutting the veggies and doing tons of other stuff, but for some bizarre reason, taking out the pressure cooker just feels like too much effort at times!  So instead of using rice and dal, ended up using poha. And of course I had to include a few veggies. Hence the puli aval upma!

Preparation & Cooking: 20 minutes              Serves: 3-4


Beaten rice flakes/poha/aval - 2 cups
Tamarind paste - 2 teaspoon
Molasses - ½ teaspoon
Onion - 1 small chopped
Capsicum - 1 small, sliced
Tomato - 1 small, sliced
Potato - 1 small, diced
Carrots - ½ cup, grated
Green Chillies - 2, chopped fine
Ginger - 1 small piece, chopped fine
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Black Gram Dal/Urad Dal - 1 teaspoon
Bengal Gram Dal/Chana Dal - ½ teaspoon
Curry Leaves - a few
Red Chillies - 2
Asafoetida/Hing - a pinch
Turmeric - ½ teaspoon
Peanuts - 2 tablespoons
Salt - to taste
Sesame Oil - 1 tablespoon
Cilantro/Corriander - for garnish


  1. Wash the poha and mix in the tamarind paste and molasses with 4 tablespoons water and set it aside.

  2. In a non stick pan, roast the peanuts and remove the skin from them. 

  3. Heat the oil and mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black gram dal, bengal gram dal, red chillies and asafoetida.
  4. Once the seeds splutter, add the onion, capsicum, curry leaves, green chillies and ginger. Saute till the onions turn translucent.

  5. Now add the tomatoes and potatoes and give it a good stir.

  6. Add the turmeric, salt and grated carrots.

  7. Pour in about ¼ cup water and cook this, covered, for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are fully cooked.
  8. At this stage add the poha mixture and the peanuts and stir until well blended. If the poha feels too dry, you might want to add a few tablespoons of water.

  9. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve. All it needs is a dollop of yogurt and some pickle.

Handy Tip: You could use a wee bit of jaggery instead of the molasses or you could completely omit it. I just feel like the addition of a hint of sweetness takes any dish with tamarind in it to a totally different level!

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