Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In praise of...6

Upma


Last night's dinner was semiya upma. As we tucked into its whispy thin strands, I was reminded of Mammooty's dialogue in the opening scene of Azhagan in which he is addressing an audience. He begins his speech likening himself to upma. Having grabbed the audience's attention, he goes on to explain how the original speaker had fallen ill and how he had been asked to take his place as a last-minute replacement. Much like the upma which fills in quite readily, the place of a main meal at a short notice.

I'm partial to semiya upma. Only because I cannot make arisi upma quite as well as Pattu maami and my ravai upma always ends up stodgy. The mother-in-law's semiya upma is legendary and a trick I learnt from her is to add a generous spoon of nei just as you're about to switch off. Then there's the weird creature - bread upma. Waste of two perfectly good ideas. And always ends up resembling something the cow dropped. I'd rather eat my own head than eat a plate of bread upma.

The wonderful thing about upma is that it needs little preparation. It's fuss-free. No-soaking-grinding-fermenting nonsense. It's a bit like having a friend knock on your door one Thursday evening and dropping in unannounced for a cuppa. You could easily put together a delicious upma with the basics in your larder. It could be leathery-soggy or breadcrumb-ly and still quite delicious.

I don't know what we're going to have for dinner tonight. But there's a good chance that it will be be something hot and easy. A bit like Mammooty, I guess.

11 comments:

varali said...

Mammooty - hot yes, but easy?

Ravi said...

Though labelled as being a quick tiffin, I could never get both rava and semiya upma right. It would turn too soggy. I could never get the 'pola pola' upma consistency. :(

ms cute pants said...

Upma has always been one of my favourite things to eat for breakfast. My West Indian born husband seems to like it just as much after having eating it at my mom's house and now by my own hands.

mmmmm Upma!

Arthi said...

voiced my thoughts, ammani :)
And guess what I had for breakfast today?

Priya said...

My mom gave me the tip of using idli rava for arisi upma - it works like an instant upma for me, because it is so easy to make. It is not 100% like what mom makes, but it is good soul food.

Blogeswari said...

1. My vote is for MTR Rawa idli mix... put thayir, kothamalli and pacha mulaga.. and you have some hot rawa idlis

2. All the restaurants in the neighborhood... Nirvana, Southern treat etc etc. Call them at 11:30-12 in the night and they are everready for home delivery

3. All the provisions stores of Mumbai.. call them anytime for anything - right from a theepetti to a tudappakattai - they are ever ready for home delivery

Jai Mumbai! Jai Maharashtra!

gayathri said...

ammani ,
yesterday ,Even we had semiya Upma for dinner.

Me said...

no mention of avul upma?

swarna said...

ammani...gosh...upmas of the NCC kind remind me of the ones served in camps...that wouldn't fall off the plate when we turn it 180 deg above the head....more like the gondhu pasai used for poster sticking!

Shyam said...

Mammooty - easy? Why did I not know this fact when I was in India????

Vijay said...

cmon, bread upma's not so bad.