Sunday, June 23, 2013

Seyal Bread- or Bread Upma

The very first childhood friend I can recall was a very pretty little girl who lived two doors down from us. She was a year older than me. We met when we hadn't even started school, and remained friends till her marriage right after graduation. Those early years, we were inseparable. She was Sindhi, and I loved her mom's food. Around 4pm, her mom would stand on the balcony and call me- that was her tea time, and she always made a warm "tiffin" to go with it, which I devoured.

Those early years, all our dolls married each other....until that last time......

My uncle brought me a life-sized baby doll that could walk, talk and blink her eyes from some far-away land. The day after I showed off my "Rosie" to my friend, she fished out an old moth-eaten bean-bag doll and declared that we should have a massive wedding for them. All aflutter, I agreed. we set up a roof-top tent on a warm summer evening. My mom stitched up a red dress for Rosie, while my friends' doll got boys' clothes and a turban. The menu included those little sweet Sindhi rotis that I think were called Loli; and my mom's chole-chawal. We were happy enough to invite our younger siblings to the wedding, and serve food in my "real" China dinner set- again a gift from my sailor uncle from some mysterious land.  Our brothers provided music by beating out-of-sync on their drums, while my friends' younger sister was the designated gypsy dancer. All went smoothly.  My bride arrived in my brother's prized, battery-operated car. We sang, danced and had a very fun wedding. 

And then, all hell broke loose.

My friend demanded that her bride come to her house with the groom- forever. That's what weddings meant.

She also demanded dowry - the delicate kitchen set we'd used for reception, and my brother's car. Since  these things were used during the wedding, they now rightfully belonged to the bride, who now belonged to her.

We ended that day with a lot of hair pulling, scratching and crying.

And never had another wedding again! Rosie and everything else stayed with me, even though my friend appealed to my dad- the lawyer....who only sat there scratching his head and not saying anything :-)

Bread Upma / Seyal Bread

Old bread- 3-4 slices, shredded into bite sized pieces
Frozen vegetables- I used carrots and peas
Potato- 1 small
Onion 1 small
Tomatoes 1 large chopped
Chill 2-3 chopped
Ginger 1 inch piece grated
S& P to taste
Curry leaves, mustard seeds and 1Tbsp oil for tempering.

  1. Temper mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil, then sauté onions in it till translucent.
  2. Add the ginger, green chillies, tomatoes, salt and pepper and a dash of water. Cook till the tomatoes cook to a sauce like consistency.
  3. Add the vegetables, cover and cook till the potatoes are fork-tender.
  4. Now add the old bread, mix to coat. Heat through for a couple of minutes. Then serve warm with  your afternoon cuppa....
My two cents: This is a recipe from my Sindhi friend's house. They called it Seyal bread, my mom called it bread upma. Both my mom and I learned to love it, and it became quite a staple for us. This is also a good way for me to use up the heel of a bread loaf,  or stale bread, which would otherwise get wasted. If the bread is too dry, you might want to add a splash of water or stock to moisten it through. 

I often make it for a weekend brunch...and whenever I do, I wonder where my friend and her family might be now...some memories are truly priceless.

Linked to
What's with my cuppa 2 @ UK, rasoi N Me
Breakfast Recipes