Bourghul Upma -

One of the best things about a holiday for me is the fact that I don’t have to drink cold Smoothies for breakfast. I mean I like Smoothies but if I have to choose between a chilled glass of fruits mushed up with Oats with some Almonds & water pretending to be Milk or a plate of a hot breakfast made fresh in the morning with a cup or two of Chai, guess what I will go for? Yes, you got it a hot breakfast it will be.

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I have also found that I feel less grumpy or moody when I have started the day with a hot meal. Sadly corporate life doesn’t allow for the provision of a hot meal to start your working day, so weekends or holidays become the beacon of my desi breakfast blues. Maybe it is a childhood thing, waking up to the sounds & smells of Maa cooking something hot for you while shouting at you to get ready for school at the same time. We never started a day with a cold breakfast, never.

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Infact I remember the first time my uncle got us a box of Cornflakes from Doha; it sat above the fridge for almost three months before we figured out what to do with it. One day I decided to self initiate myself into this world of western breakfast, so I put some chilled milk in a bowl, dropped a lot of Cornflakes in it with a few large teaspoons of Sugar because Cornflakes don’t have sugar do they, & did not like it. So I transferred all the contents of the bowl in a pan & heated the mixture till it became a slushy mass of goop that was so inedible that I was put entirely off Cornflakes.

Thankfully, today is not the day to put off breakfast, especially when it is a hot savory breakfast; it is the day to make a delicious Bourghul Upma. Wikipedia states that Bourghul is a cereal food made from the cracked parboiled groats of several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat. I am not sure if this is the same as Daliya, but it looks like it. It is a naturally high-fiber, low-fat, low-calorie food that is also very easy to make. It also makes a great leftover which you can eat with some pickles & yogurt.

Here is the recipe (Serves 4, cooking time 30 minutes)

  • 1 cup Bourghul soaked in water for atleast 1 hour
  • 1 cup of chopped vegetables (I used Carrots & Capsicum)
  • One finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup Green Peas
  • 7 – 8 Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 2 tsp Urad Dal (White lentils)
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped Ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • Freshly chopped coriander for garnishing
  • 3 cups of water to cook
  1. Wash the Bourghul properly a few times in water & then drain the water from the Bourghul & keep it aside
  2. Heat oil in a pan & the Mustard seeds & Urad dal & cook on a low flame till the dal is slightly brown
  3. Now add the Ginger, Green chilies & Curry leaves
  4. Add the chopped onion & cook till it is translucent
  5. Then add the Carrots & Capsicum & saute for 5 – 7 minutes
  6. Now add the Bourghul, all the spices, & mix well. The Bourghul needs to be coated really well with the masala. Keep stirring, or it will stick to the pan.
  7. Add 3 cups of water & the green peas & let it come to a boil.
  8. Cover & cook till the Bourghul is done. You will notice the texture becomes really soft when done.
  9. Serve hot garnished with fresh coriander & drizzle it with some Lemon Juice.