Popular Indian breakfast Upma is a savory porridge made with semolina, water and veggies. It's a filling and nutritious meal and tastes great with a side of coconut chutney.
Roast sooji on medium heat until fragrant, around 5 to 6 minutes, stirring continuously. Sooji shouldn't turn brown from bottom so be careful. Remove sooji from pan and transfer it to another bowl.
You can do this step of roasting sooji in advance and save time for busy mornings.
To the same pan now add 1.5 tablespoons oil on medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let them pop.
Then add hing, cashews, chana & urad dal (which I soaked in water for 10 mins), ginger and saute for 1 minute until they start changing color.
Add onion, green chili and curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes until the onions are soft.
Then add the green peas and stir (I used frozen peas and soaked them in warm water for 10 mins before adding to the pan). Cook for 2 minutes until the raw smell of peas goes away.
Add 3 cups of water. Then add salt, chopped cilantro and lemon juice and mix well. You may also add sugar if you like little sweet taste in your upma. You may add 1/2 teaspoon sugar. I did not add any.
Now let the water come to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, start adding the roasted sooji little at a time.
Mix sooji after each addition in one direction with a wooden spatula.
Add all the sooji in similar way, little by little until all of it is absorbed by water.
Then cover the pan with lid and set heat to low. Let it remain like that for 2 mins.
Remove lid and add 1 teaspoon ghee. This is optional but recommended. Turn off the heat.
Mix the ghee with the upma and close lid again for few seconds. Remove the lid, fluff upma with a fork.
Serve upma warm with a side of coconut chutney!
Skip the ghee at the end to keep it vegan.