Kripalu Recipe: Upma

Upma is a traditional South Indian dish that provides a nourishing way to start your day. Comprised of vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruits, and fresh herbs and spices, this dish is a delectable breakfast option.

Upma can be made with various spices. One of our favorites is turmeric. Turmeric is the single most anti-inflammatory spice identified to date. Adding two teaspoons of this spice to any dish on a regular basis can help lower a person’s risk for numerous inflammation-mediated diseases—why not start with breakfast?

Makes about 4 servings

2 tablespoons ghee (you can substitute safflower or grapeseed oil)
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons brown mustard seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of hing (asafoetida), if available
2 cups water
1/3 cup diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced carrots
1/3 cup diced green peppers
2 to 3 tablespoons raisins
2 to 3 tablespoons cashew pieces
2 tablespoons organic Sucanat or sugar
1 cup cream of wheat or ground roasted rice (available in some stores as “rice cream”; don’t use rice flour)
Squeeze of lemon and cilantro for garnish (optional)

Make a broth using the water, potatoes, carrots, and peppers. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Keep broth warm.

Next, heat the ghee or oil and add the spices. Stir until the mustard seeds begin to pop; be careful not to burn. Add the cream of wheat or roasted rice and stir until it starts to become fragrant. Gradually add the broth with vegetables, along with the raisins, cashew pieces, and Sucanat, until you reach the consistency you like. It will begin to lump—use a fork to fluff it. Top with a squeeze of lemon and cilantro if you’d like.