Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bread Upma

I haven't even heard of bread upma until the day I made it. My hubby suddenly had a craving for it, and told me about this dish that used to be very popular in Tamil Nadu during his childhood. Before chaats from north India became popular and invaded the snack scene in south India, these were a regular item in most tea shops. Nowadays, you can never find this in a restaurant menu. So he asked me to look it up and make it for him. I went through a few bread upma recipes online and mostly followed Preethi's.

Bread - 6 to 8 slices
Ghee - as required
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Green chilli - 1, chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch, minced (optional)
Tomato - 2, chopped
Vegetables of choice - like crumbled potato, green peas, carrots, beans, chana (garbanzo), chopped and cooked. You can also add cooked ground meat.
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal - 1/2 tsp
Chana Dal - 1/2 tsp
Cashewnuts - handful, broken
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Tomato puree or water - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - minced (or coriander chutney) - to taste
Lemon juice - to garnish

Toast bread pieces on a skillet with ghee. (You can skip toasting the bread, but I felt this step made the dish really tasty!) Cube them into bite size pieces. In a wok, heat ghee and splutter mustard seeds. Add chana dal, urad dal and cashewnuts. Stir well so that they fry evenly. When they brown, add onions, ginger and green chilli. Fry till onions turn translucent with salt. Then add tomatoes and fry till they mush up. Then add cooked vegetables and combine. Add turmeric powder, asafoetida, red chilli powder and garam masala. Sprinkle some water or add tomato puree and cook for a few minutes. Finally add the cubed bread pieces and combine well. Garnish with cilantro chutney and squeeze a bit of lemon juice. Serve hot.