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Chef Ali Loukzada, formerly of NYC's Buddakan and Tabla, heads the Himalayan-inspired Cafe Serai at the Rubin Museum of Art. His homestyle take on upma — similar to grits or polenta but cooked with semolina wheat and plenty of coconut milk and butter — is definitely a dish to add to your Indian repertoire.

Chef Ali Loukzada, formerly of NYC's Buddakan and Tabla, heads the Himalayan-inspired Cafe Serai by Steven Starr Events at the Rubin Museum of Art. His homestyle take on upma — similar to grits or polenta but cooked with semolina wheat and plenty of coconut milk and butter — is definitely a dish to add to your Indian repertoire.

"Upma is a common dish in southern India, especially for breakfast," says Loukzada. "It is usually cooked as a thick porridge with semolina. You can throw in various seasonings or vegetables while the upma is being cooked. It just depends on the individual’s preferences."

Try it as a side for a spicy Indian chicken dish, or as a bed for a poached egg