Originally posted on May 25, 2008.
Updated on June 7, 2008.

Thank you, Google God.

We deleted this post (from two weeks ago) by mistake and here’s how we got it back, pictures, comments and all. Thank you for the tips, Cookblog. That post taught us a lot of things we didn’t know.

If you lose a post, go to google and type the keywords of your lost post. We typed ‘crazy’, ‘upma’ and ‘jugalbandi’.

If it shows up, go to ‘cached’, and click on it. Your post with show up, pics, comments and all, with the search words ‘crazy’ and ‘upma’ highlighted.

The interesting thing is that google shows the pics too, even though they were deleted from our blog. Then go to ‘View’ on the top of your page, and click on ‘View Source’ . From there, you can copy the html code of your post and paste it back to your site.

We had to copy and paste the comments back one by one. These cached pages are supposedly available only for a certain time frame, so the sooner you recover your post, the better.

Thanks to your tips, we were able to backdate this post on WordPress to May.

Crazy’ because Tarragon Upma with Tomatoes, Olives and Lotus Seeds is too long to fit into our header.

The modus operandi in our home is this. Bee usually buys weird stuff from the grocery store – things that we’ve never tried before. They get lost amidst the chaos of the freezer or pantry.

When J cooks something, he goes on a voyage of discovery garnering ingredients for his dish – the stranger the better. And an interesting dinner is born.

Two days ago, J made upma and chutney for dinner.

Upma is a south Indian concoction. It literally means salt+flour. In Tamil and Malayalam, Uppu=”salt”, Maavu=”flour” (of any kind).

Semolina is usually cooked with ghee (clarified butter), curry leaves, onions and flavourings to create many variations. Sometimes tomatoes and veggies are added – much like couscous.

For one, we don’t buy semolina. It is a refined product. Wholegrain cornmeal or fine cracked wheat (which is also wholegrain) are great substitutes. Cornmeal also has more flavour.

Bulgur/cracked wheat and cornmeal may not always be whole grain. Make sure it says ‘whole grain’ or ‘whole wheat’. (The Whole Grain Guide)

If you don’t get fine cracked wheat, get regular cracked wheat (bulgur) and run it through the food processor for a slightly finer grind.

In Hyderabad once, Bee ate ‘MLA pesarattu‘ (upma in a mung bean pancake) oozing grease, and was put off upma for a long long time. J’s upmas changed her mind, though.

In J’s creations, there are always one, two, maybe three totally unexpected ingredients.

So J made dinner and the guessing game began.

Bee got three of the four right.
Tomatoes – we could taste them.
Black olives – we could see them.
The green stuff – very aromatic and lemony. Had to be French tarragon. It’s the latest love of J’s life. He adds it to everything he can.
The round nutty stuff was a surprise – lotus seeds.

Left to right: French tarragon, fine cracked wheat, black olives, dried lotus seeds

We had a can lying in the pantry. We also had some dried ones (shown in pic). They need to be soaked before being boiled. High in protein, low in fat, sweet and nutty, they are a fantastic addition to any dish.

The tarragon came through clear and strong. The plant was a gift from our friend, and is the latest addition to our home garden.

It is a beautiful herb – very aromatic with notes of anise and lemon. We love it raw (it’s a great mouth freshener), or added to salads. Its delicate flavour makes it a popular addition to seafood dishes.

French tarragon is much more fragrant and flavourful than Russian tarragon, or the American variety called ‘Texas tarragon’.

A lot of crazy upmas get made in our kitchen. This was one of the best.


This is more a formula rather than a recipe. Usually, the herbs used are cilantro and curry leaves. Use 1:2 proportion of fine cracked wheat/cornmeal/semolina to liquid. If you like your upma gooey, add between 2.25 to 2.5 cups liquid.

1.5 cups fine cracked wheat, coarse cornmeal or semolina

in a skillet until nutty and fragrant and keep aside.

Meanwhile, dice 4 or 5 tomatoes.

To concentrate the flavour, cook them down in the stove top or microwave (HIGH on 5 minutes) until some of the moisture has evaporated and the tomatoes are mushy.

We need about 1 cup of this tomato sauce.

If using dried lotus seeds, soak overnight and boil for 15 minutes.

2 tsps oil

1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp chana dal (split yellow peas)
2 dried red chillies

When the mustard seeds pop, add a pinch of turmeric

3/4 cup chopped onion

Fry until transluscent.

1/4 chopped olives
a little salt (less than usual ‘cos the olives are salty)
a handful of finely chopped Frech tarragon
**or herbs of choice
2 cups soaked and boiled lotus seeds (or canned)
**or veggies of choice
the tomato sauce (1 cup)

Mix it all together and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil again. Taste for salt. It should be a tad salty.

Add the roasted cracked wheat in a stream and mix so as not to form lumps. Mix well, cover and cook on medium-low until most of the liquid is absorbed and the wheat is cooked You may need to add a half cup more of water.

Mix in another handful of finely chopped French tarragon.

Serve hot with chutney.

Upma scented with French tarragon is our entry for the Heart of the Matter event, hosted this time by Michelle @ Accidental Scientist.

Mango-Coconut Chutney

Sour green mangoes are really hard to come by in our neck of the woods. Recently, our Indian grocer has been stocking cut frozen green mangoes. They have a mushier texture than fresh green mangoes, and can’t really be enjoyed raw, but are perfect in dals (lentils) and chutneys, where they end up becoming a paste anyway.

4 ounces of grated unsweetened coconut (fresh, frozen or dry) and
4 ounces chopped green mangoes (we used frozen)

4 Thai bird chillies
1 tsp chopped ginger

to a smooth paste. You may need to add a tiny bit of water.

Add salt to taste.

Heat 1 tsp oil.

Add 1/2 tsp each mustard seeds and chana dal.

You can add some finely diced mango pieces for a bite.

Mix and serve.

Mango-coconut Chutney is our entry for Weekend Breakfast Blogging hosted by Arundati @ Escapades, where the theme is Mango.

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  1. sunshinemom says:

    You are really crazy! I would never have thought of this concoction. It looks so good…energetic. :)

  2. Happy Cook says:

    Beautiful picture and strange upma.

    :) I am sure it must be really fun to add all these ingridients and then come up with a wonderful upma.

  3. Vandy says:

    wow it looks delicious!! Great pictures as usual

  4. Kalyn says:

    French Tarragon was the love of my life last summer, and it’s turning into a long-term relationship!

  5. Sandeepa says:

    You have presented the upma so beautifully

  6. Uma says:

    What a unique combo for upma! I can tell it must have tasted great just looking at the amazing pictures. I liked the way you placed it on that beautiful leaf.

  7. Pritya says:

    lovely recipe !!!
    Kindly click on the link below. There is something for you there, a way to express our appreciation.


  8. Cham says:

    I hate upma but the way u presented tempt to give a different twist! :) Awesome pictures !

  9. Suganya says:

    Whoa! Weird enough for me. I guess your inspiration is RR’s Indian meal with olives :P
    I too buy weird stuff like Bee. Lotus seeds sounds interesting.

    haven’t watched tv for 2+ years…don’t have to worry about stumbling on RR 0.5 hr meals even while flipping channels. Ah! peace. although i must give credit to RR for being able to carry multiple things from the fridge without dropping. -Jai

  10. Sangeeth says:

    wow! that is wonderfuly captured….makes me drool…awesome….

  11. notyet100 says:

    ur picsare always good…nice post

  12. rashmi says:

    so those round white thingies I see eveywhere in stores here are lotus seeds! Thanx for discovering them. Do they taste anything like makhana( which is what I knew as lotus seeds)?

    i think they are the same as makhana.

  13. jyothsna says:

    :) You make upma sound exotic! It is so run-of-the-mill here that no one is “crazy” about it no matter what I put into it. I make mango chutney much the same way and when the season is over, it’s injimanga.

  14. jyothsna says:

    Btw, what’s that leaf you’re using as a serving plate? Chembu ela?

    swiss cheese plant. it’s a philodendron.

  15. arundathi says:

    Okay you two have taken upma to a whole new level. Did the olives really taste nice with the upma? i love the addition of lotus seeds! :)

    btw, thanks – didn’t know about the origin of “up” + “ma”. interesting.

    olives actually turned out fine… if you are using olives in brine (as here), adjust the salt accordingly. -j

  16. sushma says:

    hey Jai&Bee i always liked your combo of preparing food.. mango and coconut chutney is my all time fav but i can never think of adding olives to upma.. loved the presentation tooo

  17. Pelicano says:

    Fascinating synthesis Jai. My grandmother was quite taken with tarragon as well; in fact…(that’s a warning that a charming little story will soon follow) after she passed away and we were sorting through her house we came across an old glass jar with a little something contained within that rattled when the jar was shaken.

    Inside was a little piece of gold and a hand-written note that said: Evelyn’s gold filling. Apparantly, at some time, it…uh…fell out. :-) I later moved it into a smaller container, and used that jar for…you guessed it!…

  18. sra says:

    Outrageous! That’s probably why it came together!

  19. lakshmi says:

    Your upma looks very unsticky – what’s the secret?
    This also reminds me of the Lotus seeds I bought quite a while back.And I am guessing the addition of Olives had nothing to do with the “30 minute maladies”.

    non-sticky upma secrets:

  20. Mansi says:

    quite a range of “crazy” ingredients in there! I’ve never seen lotus seeds, nor the herb :)

    thanks for increasing my food GK J! :) the upma looks great!

  21. enjay says:

    That is crazy, and brilliantly so. I would never dare to do that to a upma, except now that you’ve shown me how. :)

    Bought my first packet of lotus seeds a week ago without any clue as to what to do with them. Thanks!

  22. Jayashree says:

    I like all that “crazy” stuff you’ve added to your upma…..haven’t come across lotus seeds before (not that I’d have recognised it anyways….)

  23. Linda says:

    Now there’s an herb I wouldn’t have thought of for upma. Looks really interesting. I am especially eyeing the chutney. I have frozen green mango.

    BTW farmer’s market stuff looks great!

  24. Kay says:

    Wow! That upma looks delightful. ? I didn’t know sooji is refined. TY. We’ll avoid buying it from now on. We prefer to use whole grains at home (other than rice. White rice is one of those ‘Can’t live with it, Can’t live without it’ for us.) We just discovered samba rawa (looks like cracked wheat in finer consistency) and has very ‘Whole’ taste. so, I guess we’ll stick to that from now on.

    The guess-game that you guys play, we do it too. Not me and my hubby (he is just turning into a foodie, maybe someday!), but me and my mom. She is a total foodie and can usually guess all the ingredients when we eat out or at a friend’s place. She got me into the game pretty young. She’d make something and I’d try to guess. These days I make something and she tries to guess. It’s total fun! Your post brought back the memories. Thanks! I’m glad to see somebody else play that game.

  25. dee says:

    Upma is has been a sat morning breakfast every week since we got married …I shoud definitely try this… though Im not a big fan of olives , can u suggest some other substitute ?

    try crushed yogurt chillies.

  26. Johanna says:

    this looks v interesting and helps shed some light on what upma is – have seen it around and been tempted by a recipe with oats and veggies.

  27. Maryann says:

    We could tuck into a few of those ;)

  28. Madhu says:

    Upma looks great, beautiful presentation on leaf. Mango-coconut combo yummy. Thanks for the tips on deleted posts.

  29. To backdate the post, there is a button to edit the date. In mine, it is just above the save/publish button. Even tho the post is published, you can still change the date and time.

    Thanks for the info. will look for it. -j

  30. Srivalli says:

    thats really sad that you deleted and wonderful that you got back!..:)

  31. Rashmi says:

    Thanks to you, i finally figured that lotus seeds: makhana is like corn: popcorn..and hold on to those posts..we need them!

  32. lakshmi says:

    I am guessing you’ll have the old admin screen since you’re using the open source version.

    There should be something called Post Timestamp on the right hand side bar. You can edit this to back date a post.

  33. coffee says:

    If you are using WLW then you can back date it. Where you post there is a “set publish date” option. So you can set any date you want. Otherwise as lakshmi mentioned…….

  34. Maheswari says:

    Loved the pic.s.seeing that combo and ingredients .that’s so unique.Saturday morning wheat/rava upma and sunday morning kanji, a ritual at our home…

  35. Purnima says:

    Retrieval of post-very informative!! In blogger, just below the publish key, date of post appears where we can backdate it..wordpress no clue! :D

  36. jayasree says:

    You have presented the ordinary upma as an exotic dish. up+ma explaination reminds me of a malayalam movie where in Mohanalal translates ‘upmavu’ to English as salt-mangotree

  37. Happy Cook says:

    Well thankyou for the tim i have kept the info in a map in case i loose my post. When it comes to computing i am really dump so all the help counts.

  38. Anjali says:

    Hey B & J good you could retrieve it. :)

  39. Hi!!!
    You have given a useful tip regarding retrieving the deleted post!

  40. Mythili says:

    Click on “edit” to edit the post; in the right hand panel there should be time stamp field. modifying that should do the trick.

    let me know how that works out.

  41. Anita says:

    If only I could have had this tip when I deleted my ‘contact’ page this March! :-( It had some special notes – two from CYG (Gopium!)- and many other encouraging words… Thanks for this tip; it is bound to come in handy for I am bound to repeat such accidents!

  42. dhanggit says:

    delicious idea!!! mango and coconut chutney..

    btw backdating posts on wordpress i will have to ask my hubby.;probably he knows

  43. Brian Cook says:

    Glad that I could help point the way to retrieve your post. This recipe and the others on your site look delicious and I’ll be sure to keep checking them out!

  44. [...] Jugalbandits from where else….Jugalbandi send in this mango and coconut chutney that accompanied their crazy [...]

  45. UjjU says:

    This is really crazy dish! I love the recipe, will surely try it soon. Thanks for sharing it.

  46. [...] can be used in recipes the same way you would use rice, couscous or cornmeal. The texture is like upma, but much better, and so is the taste. (Admittedly, Bee the upma-hater is biased.) Unlike semolina [...]

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