Each of us has our comfort foods. These are mostly easy and quick to prepare and never cease to work wonders on the tummy or the tongue. Bread is quite high on my list. It can and does work for me in place of the regular phulka/roti (Indian bread) pretty often. You’ll find me cleaning off bowl after bowl of simple dal (thin lentil gravy) with bread as often as with roti. It is readily available and reasonably healthy, although I don’t much know of health benefits/unbefenits (I know there’s no such word, but I really am in no mood to rack my brains for the right one!) of the so-called brown bread, whether it really is made of whole or unpolished wheat etc.
If bread works with dal-subzi (curried vegetable) for dinner, it is raw vegetable sandwich for breakfast and a simple Nutella/peanut butter spread over dry toast that does the job for satiating early evening hunger pangs.
Yet another way of preparing bread that I just love is the simple bread upma (a salad made with roasted vegetables and shredded bread). In fact I love all sorts of upma, be it the Maharashtrian style poha (beaten rice), the regular rava/sooji upma, the south-Indian style puli aval (tangy beaten rice), upma with oats, Indian-style vegetable macaroni or even roasted vegetable pasta, which is simply a Western-style upma made with pasta(I’ll put up more on this pretty soon, hopefully)!.
Coming to the upma in discussion, the bread upma is the usual upma, but made with bread instead of sooji/rava (semolina). Splutter mustard seeds, some curry leaves and a few chopped green chillies, add shredded/chopped bread and you’re good to go!
Bread Upma/ Chopped Bread Salad
Bread slices – 4 (chopped/shredded)
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Broken black gram (urad dal) – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Onion – 1 (chopped)
Other vegetables* (chopped) – 2 tbsp (optional)
Turmeric powder – a pinch (optional)
Coriander leaves (chopped) – 2 tbsp
* I used capsicum and tomato
Heat oil an add splutter mustard seeds and add black gram
When gram starts changing colour, add curry leaves and onion
Sauté till onions turn translucent
Add turmeric powder and other vegetables if using (don’t add tomato now) and salt
Sauté for a couple of mins and add chopped bread
Sauté for a few mins till the vegetables and bread mixes well
Add more oil and sauté for 5 mins, if you prefer crisper bread
Add coriander leaves, mix well and serve