Not Your Mama’s Upma!









Upma, a dollop of sour cream, and aachar is my version of comfort food. It’s so easy to cook, too, that it’s challenging for me not to make it my go-to when I want a bowl of carby soul food.

I should say bowls, plural. Bowls, and bowls, and bowls. 

You see, growing up, upma was considered health food of sorts in our house. I remember my parents telling me that it’s good for me, would give me strength, and hey, bonus! There was hardly any fat in it in terms of ghee or oil. 

There was no concept of low-carb or high-carb then, at least not in our household. Carbs were not bad. Hell, they weren’t even in our vernacular. Nor was the concept of portion control.

Homemade food was just good for us. Period. 

Nevermind that it might be too starchy or the portions heavy-handed. The takeaway was that we should be thankful that we had an abundance of homemade food, every day for every meal for which we were home. 

I remember coming home from school and being given upma as a snack. Like, bowls and bowls of it. Mind you, not as dinner, but as a snack before dinner. 

Upma and foods as such would further fuel our nocturnal vigils of studying because durrr, we’re brown. We didn’t just do homework; we had to study, constantly study, study, study to become doctors and engineers!

(Uhrm, clearly I became neither. Wasted upma? Sorry, Mommy & Daddy!)

Lemme stop and check my privilege. I am not for second bitching about my parent’s love for us and their ability to provide hot, piping meals and an environment to succeed in school. That ish is a friggin blessing and I mean it! 

What I am saying is… I dunno, what am I saying?

Ya’ll, I LOVE ME SOME UPMA, and I eat too much of it!

Like, I’m sure I could win some Guinness World Record shit for the amount of carby Indian food I can inhale. But that’s not the goal here.

I’ve had to educate myself, change my angle and question my food habits. As a chef, I’ve always focused on making food that tastes good. Now, I’m challenging myself with making food that tastes good and is good for me. 

*Mind exploding.* 

It’s what fueled my wanting to create a more vegetable-heavy version of one of my child–and adulthood– favorites. And the swap out works.

As I mentioned earlier, I considered the traditional semolina flour version of upma fast and easy to make. Well, I can honestly say the gobi version is just as quick and easy. You may not be shaving off time but, you’ll be shaving off many calories and carbs with this recipe. 

Using all the masalas found in traditional upma,  along with cauliflower’s ability to mimic the texture of roasted flour, easily dupes the senses.

I’m actually visiting my parents this weekend and plan on making this gobi version of upma to see what they think.

Duping their senses will give me the ultimate bragging rights in saying I’ve created a recipe that can be considered a worthy replacement.

I’ll keep you posted! 

In the meantime, here’s to health, love, and family.*Cheers*, Ya’ll!