Khara Bath: Have You Tried This Unique Upma Breakfast Yet?
Image Credit: Biutifulmess/Instagram, The roasted masala powder or vangi bhat is the special ingredient here.

When you get up early in the morning and have to rush to work, do you really have the time to make an elaborate breakfast? We doubt. Often, people tend to skip these meals because they don’t have the time or energy to enter the kitchen right in the morning. In each part of our country, you would find a plethora of breakfast dishes. Take Maharashtra for instance. The delicious poha or beaten rice is a staple breakfast dish. The flat beaten rice is cooked along with vegetables and spices. Potatoes, onions, peas, corn and a plethora of other things are added to the dish. In fact, there’s one special poha called kanda poha which is loaded with onions or kanda. Similarly, in South India, upma is a commonly eaten dish. There are a variety of ways in which upma is also made in different parts of the country. 

For those untouched by the phenomenon, upma is a type of thick porridge that is filled with vegetables usually. The flavours of upma are usually savoury and it is also known as uppittu in the southern parts of the country. The rava or semolina is coarsely roasted to make the upma and this is popular on the breakfast table in regions of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. While my mother doesn’t know how to make upma, it is my grandmother who preps up a yummy upma dish on several mornings. Today, you would find upma being cooked in several North Indian households too, with its fanfare spread across the country. 

An interesting kind of upma that is commonly prepared in Karnataka is Khara Bath. While at first sight, most of you would mistake it for upma, there is a slight difference between the two. Khara Bath can be looked at as a variant of your regular rava upma. The roasted semolina and vegetables might remain the same but it is the addition of a special masala that adds to the flavour of the bath. It is the vangi bhat powder. A popular spice blend of roasted masalas that can be easily found in the region, Khara Bath is a Karnataka-special upma that is commonly eaten for breakfast. 

Apart from Khara Bath, there are plenty of other variations like tomato baath, kesari baath and others. Kesari bath is a sweeter version of upma that is often paired with Khara bath to give you a complete meal. To make Khara Bath at home, you need to begin by making the vangi masala. This includes urad dal, chana dal, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, asafoetida, red chilli and grated coconut. All these ingredients are dry-roasted in ghee. Remove this from the pan and add rava to the pan to dry roast it too. Once it becomes brown, remove it and put in chana and urad dal along with mustard seeds, ginger-garlic paste and curry leaves. Mix it all together and add in your veggies like tomatoes, capsicum and onions. 

Throw in some salt and turmeric along with carrots. Now pour some water and add your semolina to the pan. Combine all of this together and sprinkle some lemon juice on top. Serve with some sliced tomatoes and lots of ghee.

Here’s a recipe of an orange kesari bath that you can try too.