Up, Up Uppuma! Indian chef, Floyd Cardoz wins $100,000 prize in New York – made news in the year 2011.
In the final round of the Top Chef Masters contest in Los Angeles, contestants were asked to prepare a dish based on personal food memories.
Cardoz whipped up an Uppuma of semolina and mushroom to beat two other favourites and win the top prize. The unpretentious, humble Uppuma shot into international culinary limelight, in New York. Cardoz named his prize-winning version ‘Wild Mushroom Uppuma Polenta with Kokum & Coconut Milk’.
Heartening to see the world sit up and take notice of how a simple dish, not even on the menu of most gourmet restaurants in India, could prove to be a jackpot winner.
- 2 cups of Semolina | Rava
- 4 – 4 1/2 cups of water
- 1 onion (optional)
- 1 tomato
- 1 cup of finely chopped assorted vegetables like carrots, peas, cauliflower, potatoes or any vegetable of choice
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp black gram lentil | udad dal
- 1 – 2 red chilies whole or broken into halves
- 1 – 3 green chilies
- 1 inch ginger finely chopped or grated
- 9 – 10 Cashewnuts
- a few curry leaves
- a pinch of asafoetida (optional)
- salt to taste
- 3 tsp ghee (skip for Vegan version)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil | sesame oil | cooking oil of choice
- Roast the Rava in a bandli | wok till aromatic and lightly golden brown in colour.
- Chop all the onions, tomatoes and other vegetables finely. Cut the green chilies into thin long strips. Grate the ginger. Keep them ready.
- Heat oil and ghee in the frying pan. Season with mustard, black gram lentils, cashew nuts, broken red chilies, asafoetida, ginger, green chilies, curry leaves, onions, scald and then add the tomatoes and other chopped vegetables. Scald some more and then add the measured amount of water. Now add the required amount of salt for the uppuma into the water.
- When the water boils vigorously, check whether the vegetables have cooked then fold in the roasted Rava and keep stirring continuously to prevent lumps. Cook till the rava is done. Switch off heat. Close with a lid for 5 – 10 mins.
- Serve hot with coconut chutney, sambar, buttermilk, pickles or even sugar!
1. For Gluten free version use broken rice rava or millets like Kuthiravaali | Barnyard Millet , Thinai | Fox-tail Millet , Varagu | Kodo Millet and Samai | Little Millet, instead of Rava and proceed with the above method to make rice or millet uppuma. If the millets seem uncooked then add upto 1/2 to 1 cup more water and cook till well done.
2.Broken wheat can be used instead of Rava and the above method followed to make Broken Wheat uppuma.