It’s easy to go overboard in the wee brunch hours (see: Bongo Room).
So we snapped to attention after reading former CLTV reporter-turned-fervent cook Anupy Singla’s newest book, Vegan Indian Cooking.
One bite of her savory breakfast dish (a South Indian recipe passed down from her mother’s friend) and we powered through the day. Here’s to starting your morning right.
Savory Cracked Wheat with Cashews (a.k.a. Upma)
Makes three cups
1 c. cracked wheat (you may substitute quinoa — just skip the first step)
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves, coarsely chopped
½ med. yellow or red onion, peeled and diced
1 sm. carrot, peeled and diced
½ c. fresh or frozen peas (thaw if frozen)
1-2 Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed, chopped
¼ raw, dry-roasted cashews
1 tsp. sea salt
2 c. boiling water
Juice of 1 lemon
1. In a heavy saute pan over medium-high heat, dry-roast cracked wheat until slightly browned (about 7 minutes). (Don’t skip or you’ll have soggy wheat.)
2. Heat oil in a deep, heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and cook until sizzling (30 seconds).
3. Add curry leaves, onion, carrot, peas, and chiles. Cook until onions start to brown (2-3 minutes), stirring occasionally.
4. Add cracked wheat, cashews, and salt. Stir well. Slowly add boiling water, then reduce heat to low. Cook mixture without the lid until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
5. Add lemon juice, return lid, turn off heat, and let mixture rest 15 minutes. Serve immediately with toast spread with vegan butter, mashed banana, or spicy green chili pepper chutney.
Vegan Indian Cooking is available at amazon.com, $12.
Photo: Courtesy of Agate Publishing