Kirng or Samo seeds rice is often used in India to cook ‘fasting foods. Also known as Bhagar or Moraia , Samo seeds are a kind of wild rice (seeds), hence named as ‘Jungle rice’. Botanically known as Echinochloa colona, it is actually a weed growing in rice fields. Samo is widely used in India, to prepare rice, sweet porridge and Upma. The samo flour is also used to make unleavened flat breads and is generally consumed during fast, when one needs to avoid grains like rice and wheat.
I cooked it as a regular upma, replacing semolina with samo seeds. Also, I have used onions in this preparation, but you can use chopped vegetables instead, if you need to avoid onions. ( Indian ‘vrat ka khana‘ is generally satvik, wherein ingredients like garlic and onion are to be avoided). Also, for Ekadashi food, many avoid use of green chillies too, so in that case you can use black pepper powder, but the flavors might turn out to be bland.
- Samo ¾ th of a cup
- Onion 1 medium
- Mustard seeds 1 tsp
- Curry leaves 5-6
- Salt as per taste
- Green chillies 2
- Oil 2 tbsp
- Hot water around 2-3 cups (more or less)
- Coriander leaves
- Roasted peanuts, a handful (optional)
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
- Check the samo seeds for grit or tiny worms.
- In a pan with thick bottom, dry roast the seeds till slightly toasted. Do not let it turn brown.
- Empty the pan and then add around 2 tbsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add curry leaves, followed by mustard seeds and allow seeds to splutter. Add chopped onion and saute till translucent.
- Add the toasted samo seeds, chopped green chillies and mix well. Add some chopped coriander leaves and mix again.
- Add hot water and salt, and allow the mixture to come to a boil. While adding water, beware of the spluttering of the mixture.
- Cook on medium to low flame, stirring it intermittently, till the mixture is thick and is cooked well. Samo needs more water and more time to cook, as compared to semolina. Add some more hot water if samo is not yet cooked properly.
- Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and squeeze a freshly cut lemon/lime over it. Fluff with a fork and serve right away!.
2)You can add around half cup of beaten curd to the samo preparation, along with water.
3)My mother used to add turmeric powder to the upma, to make yellow coloured upma. Since she always added some tamarind paste to it, the colour would change to muddy white. Hence the turmeric was added to give it a lovely yellow hue, masking the unappetizing pale brown colour of the upma.
4) Some believe that toasting seeds will result in coarse textured upma. You can skip the toasting and add raw soma seeds to the translucent onions.