Bread Upma – the Sunday brunch version

In breakfast, cooking, food, snacks, vegetarian on July 11, 2014 at 3:34 pm


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)
Ginger-garlic paste
Turmeric powder
Red Chilli powder
Sugar (a pinch)
Tomato ketchup

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.


Chocolate Cake with Cherry Filling and Chocolate Frosting

In baking, dessert on June 19, 2010 at 9:39 am

think chocolate cake and cherries – and the first image that probably springs to mind is a black forest cake. and that was what i had actually set out to make. using a time-tested recipe for chocolate cake from The Joy of Vegan Baking (which i had mentioned once before in my Chocolate Cupcakes post) i breezed through baking the cake layers and preparing the soaking syrup. things were going well and i was quite happy. i assembled the basic cake with store-bought cherry pie filling and went on to prepare the whipped cream topping to frost the cake. and that was when disaster struck (Murphy’s ghost just had to step in!). i used whipping cream with 35% milk fat, but it refused to form soft peaks as it was supposed to (and this was despite chilling my bowl and beaters before-hand). i could only watch helplessly as it remained a thick white puddle. chilling it for some more time before trying again made no difference. (i think the heat and humidity in my kitchen could have been the problem factor, but i am sure there must be a way to work through such problems in this side of the world, right? if you have any suggestions for this, please do share them with me.)

Chocolate Cupcakes With Orange Buttercream Frosting

In baking, dessert on November 21, 2009 at 3:29 pm

you may know of vegetarians who don’t eat eggs. heck, you may be one of them. the big question that intrigues most people who do eat eggs is how those who don’t can give up on desserts and pastries – especially since most of them are made with eggs.

here’s your answer – ingenious bakers have created a line of eggless baking recipes that have stood the test of time and taste. one such is the “wacky chocolate cake”. the name may sound funny, but the innovative recipe’s origin lies in serious circumstances – it was actually created during the world wars, when food products like eggs, butter and milk were tightly rationed. i first saw the recipe in “joy of vegan baking” by colleen patrick-godreau. i have since made this in the form of cupcakes two or three times - and it turns out fantastic every time :) and if we are talking chocolate cake, why not make it even more irresistable with orange buttercream frosting? that’s just what i did - and topped it all off with chocolate curls and dragees.

i couldn’t say “no” to these yummy goodies, and if you have a sweet tooth, i am sure you can’t too :)

*Photography by Saraswathi Raja Krishnan


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