Monday, July 23, 2012

Puri upma - quick recipe for breakfast or snack

How do recipes that are very region specific get to other regions? I am not talking now when everything can be looked up with Guru Google and you can whip quite an international fare at home never leaving your kitchen but how did the recipes get transferred from one region to the other in the past without internet became such a household thing? I think some of it has to do with people's likes and availability of similar ingredients and some of it is due to a constant quest for new types of food. Travelling to places definitely helps in mixing, merging tastes and evolving new recipes. Today, it is one such recipe from the Northern regions of Karnataka, there may be other places that have this or a similar version but I was introduced to this long ago by a cousin of mine who was a medical representative and traveled places.

When we are home on weekends, we usually do a heavy brunch and have snacks in the evening, snacks are generally light, quickly put together and chat pata in taste. I have reduced the deep fried snacks quite a bit and found baked, steamed, stir fried yummy alternatives which are healthy.

Puri or puffed rice is light, tasty and can be adapted in many recipes - both sweet and savory. If you are a chat lover like me, you will find the Mysore Churmuri irresistible. Growing up in Mysore, visit to the hill top Chamundeshwari (Protector Goddess of the place) temple was a frequent outing for us. Climbing the 1000 steps, stopping for rest multiple times on the way, stopping at the big Nandi statue is all part of my childhood especially during the summers when we always had cousins over at our place. After the pooja was done, we would always get some puri from the small shops in front of the temple to go with the freshly broken coconut pieces and jaggery before we ate any of the home cooked picnic lunch. Sometimes, if we went without any packed food, we would still be full eating the fresh puri and the coconut pieces. Fresh puffed rice is a snack by itself, doesn't need much in terms of decoration.

Today's recipe as I mentioned is very popular in Northern Karnataka and the bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh. My cousin used to say that he always ate chili pakodas or the famous mirchi bhajias as a side with this. I make this often when I can't think of anything quick for a light dinner or snack and usually make variations with what I add to the seasoning. Here is a nutritious sprouty version of the puri upma.

Also, here is another way in which I use the pappula podi we made earlier.
What do you need to make Puri Upma? 
Makes 3 bowls of puri upma
6 cups of puri/marmaralu/puffed rice
3-4 green chilies (adjust to taste)
1 cup sprouted moong or any other sprouts you like
3/4 cup thinly chopped onions
3/4 cup pappula podi
5-6 curry leaves
1 Tsp salt
2 Tblsp oil
1 Tsp mustard seeds
1 Tsp cumin seeds
juice from one big lemon
How do you make Puri Upma? 
  • Slit green chilies and keep aside.
  • Chop the onions into thin, long strips and keep aside.
  • Take a big vessel and fill half of it with water and add the puffed rice into it, push it down so it touches the water and let it stand for a minute. 
  • Take handfuls of the soaked puri, squeeze out the water and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add the green chilies, curry leaves and fry for a minute until blisters appear on the skin of the chilies and curry leaves crisp up.
  • Add sliced onions, fry for 2-3 minutes until onion sweats a little.
  • Add the sprouts, salt and let cook for 3-4 minutes until sprouts soften a bit. 
  • Add the soaked. squeezed puffed rice, pappula podi and lemon juice and mix it well. Adjust any taste as needed. Keep it on the stove long enough to get the puffed rice warmed up.
  • Serve immediately topped with chopped cilantro (I didn't have it when I made it) and a wedge of lemon. 
  • The end product should be spicy and tangy, adjust the green chilies and lemon juice accordingly. 
  • Do not soak the puffed rice for longer than a minute at the most, it loses the crunch and turns soggy.
  • You can add other sprouts that cook fast such as alfalfa sprouts. 
  • I like the onions to retain their crunch in this recipe and hence undercook it a little bit. 
  • Puffed rice is generally salted and you have added salt to the pappula podi also, so go easy on the salt and adjust at the last step if needed.


Premalatha Aravindhan said...

Healthy breakfast,luks delicious...

NamsVeni Pothas said...

very tasty dish. puri upma is very ymmyy

Roshan said...

very yummy and indeed a very quickie dish...

Kannada Cuisine said...

We call it Puri-usli sans the poppula pudi and loads of coconut...One of my favorite foods..

kitchen queen said...

innovative and lovely crispy upma.

Anonymous said...

Hello Blogger

It is amazing how simple combo of sorts can be turned into a delicacy Kudos to your imaginative cooking style.

This will definitely make our family snack table very soon indeed.

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Nice read...yummy upma