Upma (oopma - the u is like the u in put not the one in cut) is a commonly seen item in South Indian kitchens and we make it almost every week for breakfast or dinner.
It is a fast to cook dish that takes like 15 minutes or so overall to prepare. The basic ingredient would be some broken grain like semolina or coarsely ground rice or broken wheat. We could use millet varieties or wheat products like vermicelli.
Sautee lentils, curry leaves , green chillies , ginger add in roasted broken grains and water and it cooks in a jiffy. Whether we add the water first or the grain first is a matter of preference.
I normally add vegetables like carrot, potatoes, cauliflower, beans and peas to my upma.
I have heard of it being described as bland and boring especially in youth circles. Some subtle details like amount of water, quality of grains used, what goes into the garnishing, what is served as accompaniment decide the taste factor of this dish. It can be anywhere between a very bland porridge like substance to an aromatic, colorful , soul-stirring scrumtious meal. Its upto the cook to move it towards the latter.
The taste one enjoys what eating depends upon ones measurement on the hunger scale! Don't you think so ?
Food for thought:
Kannadasan was one of the most famous lyricists of Tamil cine industry. His works were prominent in the movies of the black and white era in the 1950s and 60s. Kavignar(poet) Kannadasan has penned many verses with profound meanings. The below are from a movie song released in the year 1960.
Unakkum keezhe ullavar kodi
Ninaithu parthu nimmadhi naadu
The above are one of my most favorite lyrics from him.
Unakkum keezhe - even beneath you
Ullavar - who are there
Kodi - crore ( millions)
Ninaithu - think
Nimmadhi - peace
Naadu - seek
No man on earth is devoid of problems and everyone of us has some hardship or the other to face or endure. The lines say , there are always millions at a situation worse than yours. Think of them and be at peace!