Healthy Cauliflower Upma – 40% lower in carbs, 25% lower in calories and more nutrients than the traditional version, but same “Original Taste”!
In the south of India, there are a myriad breakfast options. But upma is one common breakfast that is sure to be on the menu of most restaurants and households. It is especially popular among the older generation. So you can imagine why I specifically chose this recipe to experiment with.
Yes, you guessed it right! Diabetes is a widely prevalent condition in India. And a basic upma recipe is definitely not good for a diabetic. It is high in carbs and does not have much fiber.
But with certain modifications the same item can be nicely transformed into this Healthy Cauliflower Upma – now higher in fiber and lower in carbs. The flavor and taste is great too! And your diabetic mother or grandparent is not even going to know the difference in the taste. Really!!!
I have used cauliflower to substitute part of the semolina in this Healthy Cauliflower Upma. As I explain in my post on Creamy Cauliflower Stuffed meatballs, cauliflower is an amazingly versatile vegetable.
For this upma recipe, I have processed the cauliflower so finely that it looks and feels like cooked semolina and nicely integrates into the dish. When you add cauliflower, you are giving it a nutrient and antioxidant boost too.
I developed this recipe in a way to keep it as close as possible to the traditional version, such that it is acceptable to everyone. But if you want to make it even more healthier, you could use whole wheat semolina/cracked wheat and even increase the cauliflower substitution as per your taste.
Pair this Healthy Cauliflower Upma with a high protein chutney made with hemp seeds and you have a nourishing breakfast!
Photography above: bijansviewfinder.com
- 1/2 cauliflower head chopped (1½ pounds)
- 3/4 cup semolina
- 2 to 2½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp chana dal (split chickpeas)
- 2 tablespoons peanuts
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger grated
- 7 to 8 curry leaves
- 1 cup onions chopped finely
- 1 chili peppers chopped (jalapeno/serrano/cayenne)
- 1/3 cup mushrooms chopped
- 1/3 cup tomatoes chopped
- 1/4 cup green beans (or 2 tablespoons green peas)
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (adjust as needed)
Steam the chopped cauliflower for 10 minutes. Then, process it until it acquires a fine rice like texture.
Place the processed cauliflower in a clean cheese cloth or kitchen towel and squeeze out the moisture as well as you can.
The mixture should be very dry. It should be about 1½ cups in quantity.
Roast the semolina for a few minutes in a skillet over medium heat.
Heat 1½ tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and chana dal.
When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves, ginger and stir for two minutes.
Add the peanuts. Sauté few minutes until peanuts turn light brown.
Then add the onions. Sauté until softened and translucent.
Add chopped peppers and stir for a minute. Then add the mushrooms, tomatoes, green beans/peas and sauté .
Add the water and bring it all to a rolling boil. Slowly pour the semolina, stirring continuously to make sure it does not result in any lumps.
When the mixture starts to bubble, add the processed cauliflower and stir it well.
Lower the heat, place the lid and simmer for about 10 minutes or more until all the water is absorbed.
Mix in the lemon juice and cilantro. Stir the remaining olive oil. Turn off the heat. Let it rest few minutes.
Serve this Healthy Cauliflower Upma hot with hemp seed or peanut chutney.
Semolina, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and chana dal (split chickpeas) are available at Indian grocery stores or online. Fresh curry leaves are available at Indian grocery stores.
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories 250, Total Fat 9 g (Saturated Fat 1 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat 6 g), Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 492* mg, Potassium 483 mg, Phosphorus 117 mg, Total Carbohydrate 36 g, Dietary Fiber 4 g, Sugars 5 g, Protein 8 g
* The suggested amount of salt is just a guideline and may need to be adjusted. Check for any added salt in spice mixes and other ingredients and adjust.