Serves 4
Prep time: 25 minutes

I love this savory South Indian breakfast. It’s studded with onion, mustard seeds, and cashews and has a nice soft, crumbly texture. The urad dal adds a nice bit of crunch, but don’t worry if you don’t have any.

1/4 cup raw cashews, broken
1 teaspoon of ghee or salted butter

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon split urad dal
1 dried red pepper, broken in half
1 sprig fresh curry leaves (about 10)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced ginger

1 cup farina (Cream of Wheat)
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups just-boiled water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a wok or deep pan, stir the cashews in ghee or butter over medium heat until light brown. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, heat the oil over medium. Add in quick succession: mustard seeds, urad dal, dried red pepper, and fresh curry leaves, taking care to quickly cover the mixture which will sputter. When the noise subsides, add onion and ginger and stir until onion is soft.

Add farina and salt and stir for 5 minutes to lightly toast.

This part will bubble a lot, so be careful! Slowly add the hot water and lemon juice and stir until water is absorbed. Lower the heat and continue stirring until it forms large lumps. Stir in the fried cashews and serve warm with extra ghee and sliced bananas!