Stellini 'Upma' with Roasted Cauliflower Couscous

Photo by: Tricia Martin

by panfusine

over 2 years ago

Testing Notes From Whole Foods:

Pasta can become boring very quickly. Sometimes, all it takes is a few simple techniques to bring it into a whole new light. Panfusine does just that by toasting "stellini" pasta first to add a nutty flavor, then boiling second. She transforms cauliflower into "couscous" in a snap by grating it into tiny little beads, creating a novel texture -- a technique we can see using in a myriad of ways. The result is a pitch perfect combination of spicy and texture: upon each bite, the peas and mustard seeds pop in your mouth while the onions (caramelized and slightly sweet), are enveloped with a heat from the fresh chili, ginger, and unique asafetida flavoring. Make sure to finish each plate with the fresh lime juice before serving, as this adds brightness and acidity that cuts through the heartiness of the cauliflower. If you're not keen on heat, you may want to reduce or eliminate the fresh chili -- it packs a punch! - Helen Hollyman

Upma may be described as the South Indian equivalent of Grits. Traditionally made from semolina, It makes for a nutritious tasty and quick breakfast. The .semolina is toasted to prevent it from getting mushy in the cooking process and is cooked along with a variety of vegetables. A variation on the traditional version is the 'semiya' upma made from vermicelli (probably the most well known type of pasta in India.
This recipe makes use of stellini pasta, a shape traditionally used for soup, but works wonderfully for a kid friendly breakfast.

Serves 2-3

  • 6 ounces Stellini pasta
  • 1/2 a small cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 small green chilli (finely sliced)
  • 1 inch piece Ginger finely chopped
  • 1 pinch asafetida
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder(optional)
  • Juice of one lime/lemon
  • Salt to taste
  1. Toast the pasta on a skillet on low heat till it begins turning golden. Keep stirring the pasta while it changes color since they can get burnt quite quickly. Remove from fire.
  2. In a large container, boil sufficient quantity of water (with salt added). add the pasta & cook (toasting tends to lengthen cooking time, it takes about 2-3 minutes more than the time listed on the packaging for regular water & Once cooked, rinse off the starchy water drain and set aside. Add a tsp of oil to keep the shapes from sticking. Once the pasta has been strained out, use the starch water to boil the peas till they're done. Set aside.
  3. Using the fine side of a box grater, grate the cauliflower florets. This shreds the florets down to the size of couscous ( a fine middle eastern pasta in the shape of tiny beads).
  4. Add 2 tbsp of oil and the red chili powder to the cauliflower, spread on a lined baking sheet & roast at 400 C till golden. (~ 10 min), remove, transfer into a bowl & season with salt.
  5. In a skillet, Add the remaining oil, heat till near smoking, Add mustard. and allow to sputter & pop.
  6. When the mustard begins sputtering, add the onions, chopped green chilli, ginger, asafetida & salt. and saute till the onions turn translucent. add the pasta, peas & roasted cauliflower and toss till all the elements are well combined. Transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with lime juice prior to serving.

Nutrition Info:


  • 560 calories
  • 23g total fat
  • 3g saturated fat
  • 0mg cholesterol
  • 34mg sodium
  • 79g carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 8g sugar)
  • 14g protein
13 Comments Add a Comment
  • Missing_avatar

    vc84 says: Hey congrats on winning!!! :) :) :) Now I HAVE to taste it when I visit!

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
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    panfusine says: Thanks vc84!! Definitely will make it for you when you visit!

    over 2 years ago
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    iBake says: Unique and creative! It's making my mouth water:)

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
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    panfusine says: Thank you iBake!

    over 2 years ago
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    sangeeta says: It turned out very well. keep up the good work

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
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    panfusine says: Thanks Sangeeta!

    over 2 years ago
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    Fanny says: worth the try....congrats!

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
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    panfusine says: Thanks Fanny!

    over 2 years ago
  • Img_4020

    gingerroot says: I love this! Sounds amazing, and I can't wait to try this. Congratulations!

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
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    panfusine says: Thanks gingerroot!

    over 2 years ago
  • Img_5024

    mary mary qc says: Shredded cauliflower! Maybe now I can get my husband to eat it! Great recipe! Congratulations!

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
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    panfusine says: Thanks.. it was the best way I could think of to keep my 5 yr old from creating a pile of cauliflower florets on the dining table!

    over 2 years ago
  • Sunflower_profile

    Burnt Offerings says: Yum - I love the flavors and the technique!

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »

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