Indian and Thai inspired Seviya Upma!
It was my turn to host the book club this month.
We read ‘Inside the O Brien’s’ by Lisa Genova. I absolutely love her style of writing! I was riveted to the story of a seemingly ‘regular’ family in the Boston area while learning about Huntington’s disease. Lisa Genova is brilliant at educating us about a disease, while showing us how it affects families.
I am lucky to be a part of a book club with a multicultural background. I enjoy our conversations and discussions. We also share our love of international foods. I am the only Indian American in this group and my carte du jour/ bate (in Marathi) is based on Indian or Indian inspired foods that my friends like.
So my menu/bate consisted of Seviya Upma topped with chivda, samosas and chutney, gluten free and low cal mung dal salad, chakli, khakras and papads for crunch, fruit bowl, cardamom cookies, Mango cake with a lemon filling and topped with fresh fruit and the much loved chai.
I enjoy the noodles made by my Asian American friends so was very surprised when they had said that they like my ‘Indian noodles’. I love Pad Thai and try to bring in its flavors and vegetables many times when I make seviya upma. This version is simpler to go along with tea. So I start with the traditional tempering, but add garlic, red chili powder, lime juice and peanut meal for that fusion taste. The peanut meal and spices cling to the seviya noodles giving a boost of flavor.
I used the roasted Bambino brand noodles available in the Indian store but Thai rice sticks can be used for a gluten free alternative too.
Here is the simple yet flavorful Seviya Upma or as my friends call it, ‘The Indian noodles’
1 (16 oz) pack roasted noodles
About 6 cups water+ 1 teaspoon oil+ salt, to cook the noodles
2 teaspoons oil+ 1 teaspoon ghee
½ teaspoon urad dal
12 fresh curry leaves
1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds
1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon asafetida powder
3 cloves garlic, grated or chopped fine
3 to 4 dry red chilies
½ teaspoon mild chili powder
2 tablespoons dry roasted cashew nuts or roasted peanuts with skin (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1/2cup peanuts- crushed fine or processed in a food processor to make peanut meal
Juice of 1 lime
To make the Seviya Upma-
- In a large saucepan bring the water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon oil and salt and add the noodles. Stir and cook the noodles until soft, about 4 minutes. Drain the noodles, pour cold water over them and drain again and set aside.
- In a frying pan, heat the 2 tablespoons oil and the ghee over medium heat. Add the urad dal, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida powder, grated garlic and dry red chilies. Stir until the mustard seeds begin to sputter and the garlic is golden in color. Add the chili powder and cashew nuts or peanuts (optional) stir and remove pan from heat.
- Add the drained noodles, stir and add the sugar, salt, peanut meal and lime juice. Combine well with the noodles.
Make ahead tips-
- The entire dish can be made in advance and reheated in a microwave.
- These noodles can be served hot or at room temperature.
- You can add mixed vegetables to the upma. In the frying pan, stir in 1 cup of the mixed vegetables and sauté them before adding the noodles and proceed according to recipe above.
- Top with chivda or mung bean sprouts.
Have a great weekend!