Upma is a popular recipe in Southern India made of Semolina/Cracked Wheat/Cream of Wheat/Suji – known as Godhum in Sanskrit. Suji comes in 3 sizes: Fine, Course and Upma which is a mid-grade. Cream of Wheat is finer than Upma grade.
Wheat is a superfood when cooked in an Ayurvedic way. Must dry roast the wheat to add ushna (hot) and laghu (light) guna (qualities) to the wheat.
Wheat has gotten a bad rap due to false research that has now been proven to be false by the same guy that discovered gluten sensitivity. He has completed 3 research projects that has conclusively proven gluten intolerance to be incorrect. What does this say about the 30% of Americans and the 15 billion dollar business that has been created off of this popular fad?
The “easy to understand from an Ayurvedic standpoint” story explains it all. If your digestion is really garbage for a very long time and you continue to eat poorly and heavy foods that don’t digest, you body develops allergies to those heavy foods and/or the foods that aggravate the doshic imbalance that the come out in the weak tissue and corresponding srotas affected. It is really just that easy. This is the same that i have been saying for years before the gluten intolerance even raised its ugly head. We do not have any concept of heavy or light qualities and how they digest, we do not have any discernable way to see digestive capacity of an individual, and we do not have any way to diagnose digestion beyond you eat heavy nutrient dense foods because they are healthy for you. Kinda shines some light on things, doesn’t it?
Think of what eating gooey bread is quality wise? Heavy. Hard to digest. Americans seem pulled to all the foods that are this way because they feed the desires and make you feel good. Says plenty. Eat by the tongue and you will have a short and unhappy life.
Godhum is Madhur (sweet) Rasa, it pacifies Pitta and Vata and can increase Kapha.
Rice is laghu (light), and therefore not a best friend to Vayu, plus adds more Aap (water) to Kapha than godhum does.
Wheat however is guru (heavy), so is better for Vayu. It has more Parthiv, so good for mansa (muscle), asthi (bone), and shukra (reproductive) dhatus (tissues). Known as an aphrodisiac. (Another better aphrodisiac is dates because they also help with spermatogenesis)
In the Punjab, they eat more wheat than in the south where they eat more rice. Punjabis have more ojas, are more solid and muscular than southern Indians.
Roasting Wheat – Can dry roast wheat and store bottled at room temperature in a glass jar on the counter. Dry roasting lessens kleda (moisture) in the grain so it doesn’t attract bugs or mold. Must roast wheat to add ushna and laghu. You can roast and keep for 2-3 weeks.
To dry roast wheat, cook on medium heat. Cook until it smells fragrant like popcorn and toast.
Wheat is stoutening – it densifies bones and muscles. Warrior food. Balakala – give bala (strength) to the system. Jivanaya – food that gives you life. When you take wheat in, broken parts get healed – fractures etc.
Wheat is Pachaka (digestive) – ok for Vata,Pitta and Kapha. Nourishment for Vata and Pitta.
It has a special function to connect broken pieces- even muscles with tears.
Wheat is used in special Ladhus for post-delivery recovery
Godhum – Even though it is increasing, the way we cook it affects whether Kapha increasing or not – can be used in weight management. (really see here that the actions done to a substance will change how the body can digest it as well as the qualities it bestows)
If you are “wheat intolerant”, work on improving your agni, then you can eat wheat after slowly acclimating a couple teaspoons at a time.
Yellow mustard – not as hot, but still has Pachaka quality.
Black mustard – slightly more hot with Pachaka quality.
To make Upma
1. Boil water in big pot
2. In separate pan, heat a little ghee, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, onion. Don’t need a lot of ghee because it will be mainly boiled. Cook until onion nearly translucent, then add carrots and peas. If using frozen peas (not ideal at all), thaw and drain before adding. (never place a frozen food into a hot pan or with other hot and cooked substances) Peas are especially good for Pitta and Kapha, but ok for Vata as well.
3. When the vegetables are lightly cooked, add boiling water to them – enough to cover the vegetables plus ½ knuckles of water above the vegetables. Too much water will make the dish like a soggy halwa with vegetables. The right amount of water will make it like a firm rice.
4. Bring to a boil, then add Godhum slowly while stirring. When it comes back to a boil, turn off and cover. The godhum will soak up the rest of the water. Because we roasted the wheat before hand, the wheat becomes “hungry” and soaks up the water.
5. Serve once the godhum has soaked up all the water.
* Note: it’s better to add to little water and then be able to add more if necessary, than to add to much water at the beginning.
Qualities = Madhura (sweet), Shita (cold), Snigdha (oily), not heating. Even Pitta needs some spices to support their agni.
Don’t add tomato (aggravates Pitta) or excessive ghee (aggravates Kapha) or Cauliflower (aggravates Vata) or Chilis (aggravates Pitta).
This dish is good for all doshas or tridoshic as it is called, but you could also add some other spices for additional digestibility. Adding a dash of lemon when serving (never cook lemon), can help digestion, because this dish is Guru (heavy). It is even good for Kapha and Vata, as it is not atisheeta (excessively cooling). The recipe is less aap than it is parthiv.
Rochaka – gives the desire to eat something. Appetizing foods.