Those from the south of India would know what ‘bread upma’ is – it is a variation of a traditional dish made with bread. But it is typically bland, tastes far too strongly of turmeric and generally fails to impress. But this version is the answer to all those who wished for something more interesting. It is perfect for that lazy Sunday brunch – for any day actually – when you want something that is easy to make, yet tasty enough to make you reach for second or third helpings. In fact, it has become such a hit with my colleagues that I am often asked to make this for my entire team! :)
A word though – I have not included exact measurements for the condiments/spices in the recipe included below. I usually eyeball the measurements, and am sure it works far better than following a given measure to the tee. Go on and try this out – and I hope it is part of your wonderful Sunday brunch! :)
Bread – 1 loaf (approx)
Tomatoes – 3 big or 4 medium
Onions – 1 big and 1 medium
Green chilli – 1 big
Corriander leaves – for garnish
Cumin seeds (jeera)
Red Chilli powder
Sugar (a pinch)
Making the Bread Upma
Cut the bread into cubes. Heat a thick-bottomed wok on the fire (don’t add any oil in it). When the wok is hot, toss in the bread and keep tossing the pieces around until they become a very light brown. Drizzle a spoon or two of oil over the bread and toss it around well so that the cubes are evenly toasted. Keep turning the cubes around regularly, so that the heat is evenly distributed. When the cubes start to turn a darker brown, take the wok off fire and keep aside to cool.
Chop the tomatoes into cubes and keep aside. Slice the green chilli lengthwise and then chop into tiny bits (keep the seeds if you like it to be spicy). Slice the onions into long, thin strips.
Heat a big non-stick pan or work. When it becomes hot, pour in some oil. After about half-a-minute, add a generous helping of cumin seeds and let them simmer. When the seeds turn a dark brown, add the green chillies. After half-a-minute, add the ginger-garlic paste and mix with the oil. (The oil will splutter sharply when you add the paste, so keep a lid handy.) After a minute, add the onions and mix everything together well. When the onions become transparent, add in the tomatoes and mix everything well. Smash a couple of the tomato pieces. Lower the heat slightly. Add in the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and mix well. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar and mix well. Add a tablespoon (approx) or ketchup and mix it all together. Let simmer for about two minutes.
Toss in all the bread and quickly mix together so that the tomato mixture coats the bread pieces evenly. Take care not to lump the bread together – use a flat ladle to spread the bread around. After a few minutes, when the bread looks moist (but not wet), take it off the heat. Chop some sprigs of coriander leaves and toss into the bread upma and give it one final mix.