Monday, July 02, 2007

Chow Chow Bhat

Chow Chow Bhat! Yes you heard it right. A sumptuous breakfast combo sold everywhere in Bangalore and surrounding areas. Due to the omnipresence in Karnataka this post will go to Jugalbandi in the mail. Keep guessing.

It is a plate with one scoop of Upma and one of Kesari bhat (Sheera). Both are staple breakfast items individually all over India. Yet it assumes this combo avatar in blr and is called chow chow bhat. Quite misleading for a Chinese. Well chow chow is used like an adjective to denote a combination of opposites. These opposites completely change your preferences once you have tried this combo. You will never want to have Sheera and Upma as separate dishes for sure. Kesari bhat is made plain or with pineapple. Here the Kesari bhat is spiced with cloves unlike the cardamom used in the north. This is the distinction between a North Indian Sheera from a South Indian Kesari bhat!


For Upma

1/2 cup semolina
2 tomatoes diced
1 onion chopped fine
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon udid dal
1/4 teaspoon chana dal
2 Tablespoon oil
few curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon ghee
salt to taste

Heat oil and splutter mustard seeds, fry udid dal, chana dal and then curry leaves. Add semolina and fry till it gets fluffy and light. Add the onion and fry till translucent then add tomato and stir well. Mix in salt. Then add hot water and keep mixing . Cover for some time so the semolina absorbs all water to get fluffy upma. Add half a teaspoon of ghee on the top that will separate out the grains of semolina that have not become fluffy.

Pineapple Kesari Bhat

1/2 cup semolina
1 cup hot milk
1/2 cup Floating Pineapple Syrup
2 tablespoon ghee
few cashew nuts
3-4 cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ghee

Heat ghee fry the cashew nuts and keep aside. Fry the cloves and the semolina to a light pink and you will get a nice smell of roasted semolina. Add the hot milk and cook for 5 mins. Then add the pineapple syrup. Cook for 10 mins. Till all liquids get absorbed and semolina is fluffy. Top with 1/2 teaspoon of ghee as we did for upma.

Once both Upma and Kesari bhat are ready scoop out on to a plate. Traditionally one is white colored while the other is yellow colored. If upma is made yellow with turmeric then the kesari bhat is white or is given orange color using food color. Dad likes his upma drizzled with a little sugar.

Remember as far as possible avoid food color. Anything that is not natural is not meant to be consumed. Even if the Food and Drug organizations certify it.

A picture of Pineapple sheera when I practised what I preach no food color used here. Doesn't it look divine with the pineapple studded rava.

Upma with fresh peanuts

and this time there is turmeric making it yellow (20 Dec, 2009)


  1. Wow, girl! You made two things for breakfast!!

  2. For a minute I thought this was a guest post from "My chow chow bath" :D.. That blogger just posted this recipe too.. All the more reason to try this!


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