Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fast & Fabulous Couscous Upma (Couscous Indian Style)

Making upma with couscous is really fast - it is easier than reading the directions :D! Cooking Couscous Upma is very similar to regular Upma except for substituting the couscous for the rava (suji or cream of wheat). Also, couscous does not require cooking on the stove - just stir it into the boiling water, wait for a few minutes, and Voila! the upma is ready to serve.

There are numerous types of couscous available - I used whole wheat couscous for the upma; follow the directions on the package for the right amount of water for the particular type. Couscous is available at most grocery stores; dals and spices are available at Indian markets. If couscous is not readily available, bulgar (middle eastern cracked wheat) may be used instead. Bulgar need not be cooked but soaked in hot water as is done in Tabbouleh which is really upma with raw veggies!

Someone asked where couscous can be purchased in India; according to Shobhaa it is available in all the major cities. Here's the info she sent:
  • Nature's Basket - Delhi, Gurgaon and Mumbai
  • D'Mart - Mumbai
  • Big Bazar - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai
  • Spencer's Daily - Chennai
4 Servings


2 Tbsp Indian Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp split skinless Chana Dal
1 Tbsp split skinless Urad Dal
1 Tbsp fresh Ginger, finely grated
1 or 2 hot green chilies, ends slit
1 sprig fresh Curry Leaves, chopped
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1 cup peas fresh or frozen
1 carrot grated
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 cup Couscous
1 Tbsp Ghee/Vegan Margarine (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped
fresh juice from 1/2 to 1 Lime


Heat the oil and prepare thalippu with the dals and seeds just as in regular upma.

Stir in curry leaves, ginger, chili, and onions and cook until soft.

Add the rest of the veggies, salt and the required amount of water (according to manufacturer's direction for the couscous) and bring to a boil.

Turn off the heat and stir in the couscous with the ghee/margarine if using.

Cover and let sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, sprinkle the lime juice, stir in cilantro and mix well.

Serve hot/warm just as is or accompanied by Indian pickles, raitas, curries and papadams as you wish. Mor Kootu, Kuzhambu, and/or Pulisseri make tasty accompaniments. Enjoy!!

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