Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Humble Upma with a Tasty Twist

I was changing channels when I saw an Indian face on Top Chef Masters. It is a competition between seasoned chefs from all over the country who are competing to win money for their favourite charities. I was intrigued and decided to watch the remaining few episodes. The chef’s name was Floyd Cardoz and he is from Mumbai, I think. Anyway, for one round in the finale where the chefs were asked to make any food that brought back childhood memories, Chef Floyd presented a dish called The Upma Polenta. He made the regular sooji upma with coconut milk and served it with sautéed mushrooms and some greens. And guess what, after two more rounds, he won the competition and received $100,000 for his charity.
Here is my take on his prize worthy upma. I mixed water and coconut milk but you could of course use just coconut milk.
Sooji (Semolina) - 1 cup
Coconut milk - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Chopped vegetables (Capsicum, carrots, beans or any vegetable of your choice)
Salt to taste
Mustard 1 tsp
Curry leaves
Chopped ginger - 1/2 tsp
Chopped green chilis 1-2
Oil - 1 tsp
Toast the sooji in a pan until the color turns slightly brown and keep aside. Heat oil in the same pan and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the chili, ginger, curry leaves and vegetables. Add little water and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Add the remaining water, coconut milk and salt and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the sooji slowly, while stirring continuously. (It is important to stir else it will get lumpy.) Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and serve hot. Bon Appetit.

Recipe sent to Midweek Fiesta # 11 @

 Thank You So much Julie @ for this award.
We would like to share this award with
Amy @
Sobha @
Vidhya @
Ashwini @


  1. I watched all of the episodes and Floyd Cardoz made some really unique and excellent dishes from a southwestern USA perspective. :) I was so glad he won! I do remember this recipe and am so glad that you shared it with us. I'm bookmarking it.

  2. Thank you so much MJ. You have a lovely website too :-).

  3. its so nice to know that our upma has bagged the final prize..twist to the regular upma sounds great, should try this sometime soon :)

  4. Really Yummy recipe..Would love to give it a try…Thank you so much for posting this..


  5. Thank you Sobha and Aarthi. Please let us know how your upma turns out.

  6. Never added coconut milk to upma..looks healthy n delicious!!
    You have an award at my space ,please collect it dear:-))
    Erivum Puliyum

  7. Never even thought of using coconut milk in the reg upma. Will soon try and update you. Thanks for sharing
    Love Ash.

  8. Thanks Ashwini and Julie. Well the credit goes to Chef Cardoz :-)

  9. Coconut milk to the Upma sounds different! I'll try and post how I likes it soon! Thanks for your award! And congrats to you for your award...

  10. Yes Vidhya, it is a different combination..very tasty though. Thanks.

  11. i think addig coconut milk make it tasty thinks for sharing .clicks are super

  12. Its nice to know about this competition & fund raising for charity...seems you have done the chef's recipe very well!!
    Thanks a lot for the awards,I am honoured!!

  13. You are very welcome! Do try the recipe, Amy, I am sure you will like it too.