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In the kitchen: Savory Indian breakfast porridges

In the kitchen: Savory Indian breakfast porridges
Upma (a porridge with green chiles, cashews, and fresh herbs) served with yogurt and a bright green salsa. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

It would seem everyone has an opinion when it comes to breakfast. For some of us, breaking the fast is a daily ritual; for others, it's a waste of time during a busy morning. Some of us prefer a sweet start to the day; still others prefer savory, or perhaps simply a coffeehouse beverage. This week, we turn to savory Indian breakfast porridges, flavorful bowls that might leave you rethinking how you start your day.

We also check out the seasonal offerings to be found at farmers markets. This week, we focus on lima beans, along with some of our favorite recipes.

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A DIFFERENT WAY TO START YOUR DAY

Imagine sitting down to a light bowl of porridge, perhaps made from coarsely-ground wheat or flattened rice flakes, flavored with fresh curry leaves and ginger, lime juice, cilantro and sliced chiles, the texture enhanced with toasted nuts or bits of cubed potato. Food writers Michelle Huneven and Kannan Mahadevan each returned from recent trips to India — Huneven to the south; Mahadevan to the west — to share their new favorite breakfast recipes for upma and poha.

Kanda batata poha (pounded rice with onion and potatoes) served with yogurt.
Kanda batata poha (pounded rice with onion and potatoes) served with yogurt. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LIMA BEANS SHOWING UP IN THE MARKETS

One of the oldest beans to come out of the New World, lima beans, named for Lima, Peru, are known for their buttery, almost meaty texture and plump kidney shape. We check out the varieties to be found at farmers markets, as well as some of our favorite recipes.

Succotash.
Succotash. (Los Angeles Times)

RETHINKING LEFTOVERS

Recognizing and combating food waste is one of the biggest issues in the food world right now, as farmers, shoppers, grocery stores and restaurants are working to curb and eliminate excess. BuffetGo, a company working to help eliminate waste by selling leftover restaurant food, recently launched in Los Angeles. The company purchases food at participating restaurants before they close; BuffetGO customers can then buy that food online, discounted at prices from 75% to 90%, and pick it up.

BuffetGo, a company that lets diners purchase restaurant food that's about to be thrown out, has just launched in Los Angeles. Pictured is food from a Hokkaido Seafood Buffet.
BuffetGo, a company that lets diners purchase restaurant food that's about to be thrown out, has just launched in Los Angeles. Pictured is food from a Hokkaido Seafood Buffet. (BuffetGo)

YES. MEASURING BY WEIGHT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director Noelle Carter suggests measuring by weight, especially when baking, to ensure the greatest accuracy.

CHECK OUT THIS CURRIED CHICKPEA RECIPE

Judging by the complexity of flavors. you might never guess how easy this curried chickpea dish is to prepare. And as simple as it is to make, the flavors only improve with time. No wonder the recipe, from Joan's on Third, is a longtime reader favorite.

Curried chickpeas.
Curried chickpeas. (Los Angeles Times)

Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants, the authoritative annual guide to local dining, is online for subscribers. And because you're probably wondering, Gold's 2016 Best Restaurants list will be out online Oct. 25, the same evening as our annual Bite Nite celebration. The print copy is out Oct. 30.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter

Check us out on Instagram @latimesfood

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Check out the thousands of recipes in our Recipe Database

Feedback? We'd love to hear from you. Email us at food@latimes.com.

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