Bread Upma literally translates to scrambled (sauteed) bread. This is my childhood memory on a plate. A staple in south indian households, often a great after school snack for kids, and a great way to use day old bread.
This demonstrates the simplicity of good food. Served with mint chutney, this is my perfect supper. Although often made with plain white bread, I used simple wheat to make it more hearty.
10 slices wheat bread (serves 4), crumbs removed and chopped into 2″ pieces
1 tbsp canola oil + 2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp channa dal (bengal gram lentil)
1 tsp urad dal (black gram lentil)
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder (popularly available brand is “L.G”)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 chillies, finely chopped (indian, thai or serrano kind
3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp lemon juice
Heat oil and butter in a pot, over medium heat. Just when the butter starts melting add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the butter starts turning golden, add both lentils in. Fry for a minute until the lentils starts turning golden brown.
Now add the finely chopped green chillies and onions. Fry for 5 minutes until the onions soften and are cooked thoroughly. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt, mix well and drop the heat to low while preparing the bread to add in.
Remove the crusts off the bread and chop once vertically across the middle and thrice horizontally to create 6 pieces out of every slice. Prepare all 10 slices similarly. Add the pieces to the onion mixture and mix well. Add the tablespoon of water so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Mix this all together so the spice onion mixture coats all the bread pieces evenly. The volume of the bread will drop but, it will still keep it’s texture.
Leave on low heat for 5 minutes stirring once in while. This will help the bread soak up all the flavor from the onion spice mixture. Add chopped cilantro and lemon juice, stir and serve hot with mint chutney.
The lentils stay crunchy, the spices with the little butter add a nutty savory flavor with the bread hearty and chewy. It really is a party in your mouth.