Elaborate breakfasts are only on weekends. But then again, at times we miss breakfast completely on weekends and go straight to lunch. But then there are Saturdays. Then there those 'odd' Saturdays when I get to stay home and S gets to go to work. (That will change in 2008, thankfully!)
When I remember during the week, I prepare dosa or pesarattu batter so that I don't have to think too much about what to make for breakfast. I don't ferment my dosa batter at all (much to the shock and disgust of many Tamil food connoisseurs) and my favourite dosas are the ones I make for myself just as soon as I've ground the batter. They're like my little treat for all the effort I've just put in.
When I was newly married, I called my MIL to ask for the recipe for Pesarattu, a type of dosa made with green moong beans. She gave me a recipe that was so complicated that I decided this was not for me. I like Pesarattu, but it didn't seem worth all that effort. And she told me that I should make upma along with it and serve the two together. I told her that I could, at best, make any one item for breakfast. But one Friday, I'd made Pesarattu, and had left over batter. So, on Saturday, I made upma and together whipped up a proper Andhra style breakfast: M.L.A. Pesarattu.
I devised my own sweet way of making Pesarattu. When it is my way, it has to be the simple way. Here goes:
1 cup Whole Green Gram, soaked overnight
3 Green Chillies
2" piece Ginger
Salt to taste
Wash the green gram and grind to a paste along with the chillies and ginger. Use enough water to get a dosa batter consistency. Add the salt.
For the Upma:
1 cup Rava (Sooji/Cream of Wheat)
2 Onions, sliced
1 tbsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
1/2 tsp Chana Dal
1 Red Chilli
1 Green Chilli
1/2 tsp Ginger Paste
7-8 Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Coriander leaves for garnish
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a kadhai and add the urad and chana dals. When the urad dal starts to brown, add the mustard, cumin and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the onions, red and green chillies, curry leaves and ginger paste. Add the rava and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of boiling water to this. Add the salt and sugar and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. The upma is done when the rava sets and is not sticky.
Heat a tawa and smear a little oil on it. Simmer the flame and pour a ladleful of the batter in the centre of the tawa. Quickly spread the batter while forming concentric circles (spiral actually!).
Add a little oil on the sides and centre. Usually not more than 1 small spoonful per dosa. When crisp, carefully turn the dosa over and allow the other side to cook a little. Place some upma along the diameter of the dosa and fold the sides over.
Serve this with some chutney or pickle. It is quite filling and you can go on for a few hours without a complaint from your tummy.
Wishing all of you a very happy holiday season.