Goan Bread Upma (or Pavacho Sano in Konkani) is perfect for days when you want to repurpose day old (stale) bread. This home-style Goan breakfast staple is quick to put together, requires minimum prep and tastes great.
A lot of how I think about food, the kind of cook I am and my values in general are largely a result of my upbringing. I was raised by hard-working parents who ensured that while we had the best of everything, we also stretched every penny further. It’s not just how we lived, but also how we ate. As a family, food wastage was always frowned upon, we always took home leftovers from big restaurant meals and re-purposed leftovers. Its a principle I’ve lived by in all of the years away from home – never take food for granted.
My mum’s a pro at best-overs aka making something great using leftovers and the recipe I share today is a classic example of that. In Goa, bread is just as common in a household as rice is. Every home has a neighborhood bakery that we get our bread from – usually family run small businesses. Most Goan bread is crusty on the outside, soft on the inside so it lends itself perfectly for this dish. Goan-style Bread Upma (Pavacho Sano as we call it in Konkani) was part of our breakfast anytime we had leftover bread that wasn’t part of the menu for the day after. It’s the perfect savory breakfast that can be made quickly with ingredients you are most likely to have in your pantry any given day.
The dish is sort of like the Italian Panzanella (bread salad). Bread is torn up roughly, mixed together with a few spices and some milk to soften. It is then stir-fried in a pan so it forms these crusty bits that add texture. I highly recommend you do not try this recipe with sliced bread, it simply doesn’t work as the bread gets soggy. Any baguette-style crusty bread works best. So go ahead and add this to your easy-to-put-together breakfast arsenal and get cooking!
- 4 cups crusty bread (tear into rough chunks)
- 1 cup milk lukewarm
- 1 onion (finely sliced)
- 1 green chilli (slit lengthwise)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsps vegetable oil
- 2 tsps raw sugar (or jaggery)
- 1 tsp coriander leaves (finely chopped)
- to taste salt
In a cup, mix together the lukewarm milk, sugar, turmeric powder and a pinch of salt. Add this to the crusty bread and mix nicely so the bread soaks up all the milk. Set aside.
In a pan, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Then add the green chilli. Add the sliced onion and fry lightly until softened.
Now add in the soaked bread and toss together well. Turn up the heat slightly so the bread gets nice and crisp which adds great texture. Adjust salt/sugar and turmeric powder as necessary. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Turn off the heat and serve immediately.