My Aai (mom) did not quite follow the norms of traditional Maharashtrian cooking. Hers is more rebellious style of cooking, I’d say. She always made the most unusual delicacies people skipped from regular fair. If most homes were used to eating Pohe or Upeeth (Savory semolina pudding, also called Upma in southern India), we ate Sanjã !
Sanjã is really a traditional Maharashtrian version of the popular Upma. The basic ingredients like semolina, curry leaves, udad daal etc are the same. What’s different then? Ahh, this one is yellow-so it has turmeric in it! And that makes it golden :).
And the addition of turmeric changes the whole world! It gives an earthy taste almost pilaf like, a beautiful colour and an enchanting aroma. I can vouch for this recipe that wasn’t my favourites in childhood (because of my love for pohe-flat beaten rice savory breakfast flakes). But, as I grew up (and noticed that world has varied flavours and ingredients apart from monochromatic), my love for Sanjã grew deeper and deeper :P.
I rather type now instead of the hype J
- 1 Cup fine semolina/sooji/rava.
- 3-4 Curry leaves.
- 2 tsps. turmeric.
- 1 tsp. Asafoetida.
- 2 tsps. Mustard seeds.
- Salt to taste.
- 2-3 cups warm water.
- 1 green chili finely chopped (optional).
- ½ cup chopped cilantro.
- 3 tbsps. Lemon juice.
- ½ green capsicum, finely chopped.
- 1 medium sized white onion-sliced thinly.
- 2 tbsps. Olive oil (you can make it in clarified butter/ghee, it tastes better always J).
- 2 tsps. urad dal soaked in water for a minute.
You can add any veggies of your choice, but it’s close to weekend and my fresh groceries are diminishing so made use of the ones handy L.
- Heat oil in a deep pan and add mustard seeds, urad dal, asafetida, curry leaves, green chili and turmeric in it. Allow the mustard to crackle. (On a white cooking station and the tempering splashes yellow trickles on it while crackling. To avoid this, cover the pan with a lid. After the splitter, uncover and use).
- Sauté onions and capsicum over the tempering. The onions would turn soft and change colour to golden. Set this aside separately.
- In the same pan add the semolina. Roast until aromatic. The use of same pan allows the turmeric flavor to be infused into the semolina well while it roasts.
- Add water gradually and stir the roasted semolina continuously while doing so.
- Add the sautéed onions and capsicum in it.
- Mix well.
- Mix salt in the lemon juice and add it in the semolina mixture.
- Add more water if needed.
- Mix and add cilantro.
Serve alongside Yoghurt and pickle of your choice.
This Sanjã is an on-the go recipe. Made in barely 15-20 minutes,it could be served as any meal BLD! Relish on the true taste of turmeric! The ingredient shines through!!