Saturday 28 March 2015

Ragi Uppuma (கேப்பை உப்புமா)

My father and paternal grandmother being chronic diabetic patients, there had always been one or two low caloric items on our daily menu. Finger millet dosa or uppuma, wheat dosa and broken wheat uppuma were often made at home. Hence, I had developed a taste for these items.

Finger millet or ragi (கேப்பை () கேழ்வரகு) is used extensively in countryside to make dosas, porridge (கூழ்), roti, uppuma and ‘kali’ (களி). It is rich in calcium, iron, vitamins, essential amino acids and dietary fiber. Finger millet is often included in weight loss and diabetic diets. Ragi flour can be used to make uppuma, and my grandmother was adept at making it. Ragi uppuma is simple, quite filling and tasty. Let’s see how to make ragi uppuma by traditional method.

Fig.1: Finger millet batter for uppuma
Ingredients: (serves two)
Finger millet flour/ ragi flour (கேப்பை மாவு) – 1½ teacups or 300ml measure
Buttermilk – 1½ teacups or 300ml measure
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Split urad dhal – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Cooking oil – 2 tablespoons
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Green chilies – 1-2no, chopped finely (adjust to taste)
Curry leaves – a few

Method: Mix finger millet flour and salt in a bowl with buttermilk. Use a hand blender and mix very well taking care that lumps are not formed. The batter should be medium thick and of pouring consistency (fig.1). 

Now heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds and when they start to sputter, add split urad dhal. Sauté till the dhal turns golden brown. Add chopped chilies and asafoetida. Sauté for a short while, and then switch off the stove. Add the ragi batter and mix well. Cover and cook on low flame, turning the contents every now and then. Once cooked, ragi mixture turns dark brown in color. Continue to cook till the contents start breaking into smaller lumps. At this stage, switch off the stove. Garnish with curry leaves and serve hot with chutney or pickle.

Ragi Uppuma (கேப்பை உப்புமா)
Note: If you prefer the uppuma to be very soft, add ½ teacups (100ml) of water to the batter, and proceed with the recipe as given above. You may use 1 tablespoon of coconut gratings, which can be added at the end. Mix the coconut gratings well with uppuma before switching off the fire. 

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