In a heavy-bottomed skillet, roast the semolina over medium to high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until it looks sandy. Set aside on a plate.
In the same skillet, heat the oil and temper with lentils, mustard seeds and asafoetida, followed by the chopped green chili, grated ginger and curry leaves. Add the carrot and corn and sauté until just soft.
Fold in the roasted semolina and salt and mix well. At this point, you can chill this mixture to be finished later in the day. Reheat well on medium heat before continuing.
Add the water and mix well, so there are no clumps. Bring it to a boil, and quickly reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Turn off the heat and let it sit for ten minutes.
Gently turn over the cooked grains. Add chopped coriander and drizzle with ghee. Dress your upma in a mould (e.g. a large cup), or simply spoon it on a plate. You can choose to remove the curry leaves before serving. Serve with thick yogurt or achaar, Indian-style pickles, readily available at most international grocers.
To make it for a crowd, increase the recipe proportionately and serve with a variety of pickles and toppings. Fried nuts, raisins, freshly grated coconut, and pomegranate seeds elevate upma from a simple weeknight fix to a party piece with wide appeal.
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