It won't be an exaggeration to say that upma defines comfort! One of the most preferred breakfast foods across India, upma is healthy and light on the stomach. A classic upma recipe includes semolina (rava), vegetables, spices and seasonings. However, there are several variations of upma, where people experiment with different grains and ingredients of their choice. If you explore, you will also find some upma recipes unique to each region and their food culture - one such example being Maharashtrian tikhat sheera.
Tikhat sheera, which literally means spicy halwa, is a salty variation of Maharashtra's popular sweet dish sheera. It is low in calorie and makes for a popular breakfast and tea-time dish in most of the Marathi household. This semolina crumble is also called sanja by many. You may also find some similarity in the ingredients used in teekhat sheera and kanda poha- another popular breakfast dish of the state. Click here for the recipe.
What makes tikhat sheera different from South Indian upma is the texture. Unlike the thick paste-like texture of classic upma, the Maharashtrian version is dry and has a crumble-like appearance.
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Here's The Recipe Of Tikhat Sheera - Maharashtrian-Style Upma:
Half cup semolina (rava)
One onion, finely chopped
Half teaspoon mustard and cumin seeds, each
A pinch of asafoetida
Two to three green chillies, slited
5-6 curry leaves
Less than half teaspoon turmeric
Salt, as per taste
Some luke-warm water to boil
1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil/ghee
A handful of chopped coriander leaves, to garnish
One tablespoon grated coconut (optional)
1 tablespoon roasted peanuts (optional)
Dry roast the semolina and keep aside.
Heat oil/ghee in a pan and add asafoetida, mustard and cumin seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Fry them for half a minute.
Add onion and fry till it gets the translucent colour. Add turmeric, salt and mix.
Now, add the roasted semolina and give everything a good mix.
Pour water and close the lid. Let the sheera cook for a while. The texture needs to be dry and crumbled.
When the sheera is cooked and absorbs the water, switch off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves. Add grated coconut and roasted peanut at this point, if you want.