This is the "traditional" Sunday brunch, after church we troop home and I start the day with this. its particularly good as Keith would have come home with fresh green coriander and chillies from the Mt. Gravatt farmer's markets.
This is the quantity that I find easiest to make, making larger quantities does something to the taste, and its harder to mix..unless you have a very large wok!

Note: Follow the 1:2 ratio of semolina to water as a thumbrule! This dish does need your full attention, but none of the steps are difficult, maintain concentration and don't be distracted by the usual Sunday morning mayhem. You will also need to drink proper coffee with this meal, so place the plunger near the kettle, and  boil enough water for this dish and the coffee to kill two birds with one stone, (at Step 8).

You need
1.5 cups semolina or suji
a quarter cup of oil
1 onion, chopped
half an inch of grated fresh stem ginger
1 green chillie chopped
1 cup of mixed chopped 'english' vegetables, peas/carrots/beans
handful roasted peanuts or cashewnuts or kadlai (roasted channa dal)
handful or less sultanas (optional)
half a cup or more of chopped green coriander - leaves and tender stems
3 cups of boiling water

A large sprig Curry leaves - at least a dozen leaves
1 teapoon mustard sees
1 teaspoon urad dal
1 dried red chilli
1 teaspoon cummin powder
1 teaspoon garam masala

To serve
Chopped limes or lemons
Mango or home lime pickle

  1. Heat a large spoonful of oil in a kadai or wok, and pour in the semolina. Turn down the heat and mix around to roast the semolina, for about 5 minutes, or until a beautiful toasty smell fills the kitchen. Do not allow the semolina to burn or become dark brown.
  2. While doing the above, parboil or microwave the vegetables until just underdone. Strain and keep the water if any. (Add this water to make up the measured quantity of water.)
  3. Remove roasted semolina to a plate or thali.
  4. Pour in the rest of the oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds, when they stop popping, add the urad dal, when it browns slightly, add the red chillies and curry leaves. Stir rapidly till it stops spluttering.
  5. Add onions and stir till transparent, add ginger and stir for a minute.
  6. Add the nuts and sultanas.
  7. Add the drained cooked vegetables.
  8. Bring the water to the boil, and pour it into the kadai.
  9. Add the cummin, garam masala and salt.
  10. Hold the plate above the kadai and pour it into the boiling water in a steady stream, mixing rapidly all the time to avoid lumps in the upma.
  11. Mix for about a minute till the upma has a fluffy but still moist consistency. Sprinkle over and mix in the green coriander.
  12. Turn off the heat, put a lid on and leave for a minute or two.
Eat with a squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of sugar and a lump of pickle!

What to do if you don't have any curry leaves? Stop whinging and just eat toast. No upma can be made without curry leaves, just forget it.