Bangalore is home to thousands of what are called “Darshini’s” which are nothing but small fast food, stand up/Seated and eat in/take out restaurants that are usually bustling with activity from early morning to late in the night. Most darshinis have no seating arrangements, just the handful of round, tall tables at which you can stand and eat or balance your plate in your hand and eat just standing or better still if there is a huge beautiful tree outside, stand below the tree and eat in the breezy divine weather. Most darshinis are self service and are usually very clean. And the food, is absolutely amazing and something to experience!
Usually fresh, hot and extremely tasty, these darshinis are very light on the working class pocket and offer a satisfying meal to its consumers. The darshinis mostly serve vegetarian fare and most darshini menus are standard with about 15 items to choose from during breakfast, Lunch thali meals during lunch (both South and North Indian), Chaat during the evening and usually North Indian fare and Lunch thalis during dinner. Most darshinis have now got innovative and even serve the basic Indo-Chinese fare. So if you do visit Bangalore be sure to stop by at one of the famous Darshinis and try the food there to experience the Darshini culture..you will definitely thank me for that 🙂
One of the more popular breakfast items on a Darshini menu is Khara Bhaat, which is nothing but Rava/Semolina Upma. Khara in Kannada meaning “Hot”or “Spicy” and Bhaat is a concoction of either rice or cream of wheat. Darshinis also serve “Chow Chow Bhaat” which is one serving of Khara Bhaat and one serving of Kesari Bhaat (a sweet version of the same Rava/Semolina). The Khara Bhaat is usually serve with Spicy coconut chutney and is usually hot and just melts in the mouth when you eat it. It is certainly one of my favorite items on the menu. 🙂
If I have made your taste glands salivate, be sure to try the recipe below 🙂
Today from my kitchen i present to you my way of making delicious Upma or Khara Bhaat.
You will need:
2 Cups Coarse Rava or Semolina/Suji
1 large Onion – Chopped into cubes
1 medium Tomato – Chopped into cubes
4 Green Chillies – Slit lengthwise
a few curry leaves (missing here because I ran out 🙂 )
1 small piece fresh ginger – grated
4 to 5 cups water
Salt to taste
4 tbsp Oil
Cilantro for garnishing
Fresh grated coconut for garnishing (optional)
Mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, Hing or Asafoetida
1. Roast the Rava/Suji in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Or alternatively you can roast the rava/suji on low flame in a pan for about 4 to 5 minutes. This is an optional step since I roast the Rava in Step 7 below.
2. In a saucepan bring the water to a boil.
3. In a separate pan or kadai, heat the oil.
4. Add the mustard seeds, allow to splutter, add the dal and cumin and allow to turn golden brown. Saute.
8. Pour the boiling water into the roasted rava mixture until water just covers the Rava. If you like it softer add a little more water. In this technique you can easily adjust the water to give you the consistency you desire. Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
Hope you have enjoyed my little story and post on a humble dish such as Rava Upma/Khara Bhaat. Thanks for stopping by.