I made Upma. If my mother reads this blog, she would be shocked, I hated upma all through my childhood, the texture, the onions, the taste, all of it was unpalatable to my poor ignorant tastebuds.
And then I came to the NC and had grits and it was love at first taste. Of course, Shrimp and Grits is an amazing dish with strong roots in Gullah cuisine, but I love plain grits in butter and even those instant quaker packets as well. After my love of grits was cemented where I was literally eating grits on a daily basis that it got me thinking about Upma. Upma is made of rava or semolina a derivative of cream of wheat, while grits is coarse ground cornmeal. The essence is the same however, a sticky, gooey highly textured dish that can be seasoned either savory or sweet. I am partial to the savory versions of both Rava and Grits. I like my grits, cheesy and spicy with a little of fat (bacon, butter) and of course shrimp. My upma I like spicy with mustard seeds and curry leaves and lots of ghee (clarified butter). I am still opening myself up to experimenting with upma, adding different toppings – nuts and raisins (YES!!!), veggies (meh), cheese ( I really want to try this soon).
But my point is, I learned to appreciate a familiar food that I had rejected only after I had found an unfamiliar version first.