Todd went on a long rant…

Todd went on a long rant about wheats and grains and such, and in the process, mentioned farina (aka Cream o' Wheat). Which reminded me that farina is something I use all the time in cooking Sri Lankan food, and that it's a great alternative to rice (much faster to make), and very tasty, and y'all probably don't know about it. So here's a recipe for something we call uppuma, made basically from farina.

Uppuma -- tastiest method (more work)

  • 1 c. chopped onions
  • 2-5 chopped green chilies
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seed
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 c. water
  • 2 c. farina
  1. In a large frying pan, saute onions in butter with chilies, cumin seed, and mustard seed until golden.
  2. Add water and salt to pan, bring to a boil.
  3. Turn heat down to low and add farina, pouring in a circular stream into the pan. Stir for a minute until all the water is absorbed. Turn off heat.
  4. Let sit 3-5 minutes. Eat with curries.

Uppuma -- quick and easy method

Just do steps 2 and 3 above. :-)

In my experience, uppuma is best with soft curries, especially egg -- if you're eating with your hands, you can make little balls of uppuma and curry and pop them into your mouth. Classically, we would eat it in the morning with a fish and egg curry. But most Americans can't seem to handle fish in the morning. :-) If I were serving it for dinner, I'd probably make it with fish and egg curry, potato curry, and a coconut sambol. I don't think a yogurt raita would work very well with it -- too goopy. If you need something to cut the spice of the curry, pour tall glasses of milk or mango lassi.

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