Sunday, January 14, 2007

Life is rum, that way......

No, this post has nothing remotely close to Rum in it... sorry about that! I was merely referring to the expression one uses.... Life is rum.... you know the kind of expression Bertie Wooster uses when he is puzzled about certain circumstances.... he plunks a few bars on his piano and says, to Jeeves, " you know Jeeves, Life is rum.." to which the inimitable Jeeves only says, "Indeed Sir"
Now what has all this to do with the post, you say? Well, that's just what I found myself saying this afternoon... of course, there was no Jeeves, just M and I, whiling away our time...
So after the usual 'tucking in the corners', 'setting things straight', I pottered into the kitchen, much like Lord Emsworth (Of Blandings Castle) absentmindedly pottered around his home...
with nothing much on my mind. After a peaceful moment (I knew it was too good to last!) I (fretfully) mentioned to M - that I was COMPLETELY out of stock in the kitchen.
M, slowly, raised his eyebrows ( I should have sensed it then.... ) and said(not asked) "Nothing?!" "NO" I said.. someone once told me I had a stupid habit of putting both my feet in my mouth on occasions .... this is was one of those moments... So M got up and strode in to the kitchen, unlike my pottering in .. and started poking around and soon had things removed from all drawers by the bushel...... leaving me, well, digging my toes in the carpet and looking sheepish....
I had no idea, I had ALL those things in ALL those corners!! And in Ziploc bags! Well, well... what can I say? Genius is sometimes absent-minded!! Oh, I could see M's lips curl up, but he said not a word, just stuck up those lists on the fridge where I can see them all the time! (The yellow post-it is for items to be consumed on priority, and till such time, not a peep into any grocery store....) As for me ... I went on to making do with the ziploc bag and it's contents... instead of going off and buying all colourful vegetables... fruit.... some other grocery stuff... oh well, as I said earlier, Life is rum!
Now, this is a slightly coarser variety of farina I have used. The colour is a warm nutty brown and lends a nice flavour to the upma. Of course, I needed a little more water than the usual to cook this.....

1 cup Farina (rava/ sooji.. in this case, coarse cracked wheat farina)
1 med. size onion
2 green chilies chopped
1/2 tsp. each Urad daal & Chana daal
1/4 spn. Cumin seeds
A few curry leaves
~2 spn.oil
2 1/4 cup water (1/4 cup more, if u like your upma a bit moist)
Salt to taste
1 1/2 spn sugar
Juice of 2 lemons *(small size)
1/2 spn. ghee (optional)
Cilantro to garnish

Heat 1 spn. oil in a kadhai, add the farina to it and roast it for a while till it changes colour (be careful now, the colour of this type of farina is already brown, so don't go ahead and make it dark!).
Remove when done and set aside.
In the same kadhai, heat 1 spn. oil, add the urad and chana daal, when it turns a nice golden brown, add the cumin seeds, chopped chilies, curry leaves and onion.
Cook till the onion is tender.
Add the water, lemon juice, salt and sugarand bring to a boil.
Add the roasted farina.
Cover and cook till the water is absorbed and the farina is cooked and soft.
Add a dab of ghee, mix and simmer and cook another 2-3 mins.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

* You can substitute buttermilk for the lemon juice, whisk half a cup of plain yogurt (slightly sour) with water.

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