Bored with breakfast? Try Upma!

Upma is a traditional South Asian dish - Sri Lankan Tamil and Maharashtrian. Having spent a bit of time in the city of Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, I do enjoy this dish for breakfast every now and then. It is often eaten as a breakfst food but can also be used as a snack to take to work or on the go as it's quick light and yet filling since it's made with Semolina, a wheat grain found in cereal, pasta and couscous that is slow to digest. I hope you try it out and enjoy this recipe (courtesy of my mom). 


Savoury Upma Recipe

  • 2 cups (fine grain) semolina/ cream of wheat/ sooji (Indian name)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 cups (1-2 medium) purple-skinned onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • Half cup cashew nuts or peanuts, dry roasted and chopped coarsely
  • Half cup coarsely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan till it shimmers, and is fairly hot.  Sautee onions & mustard seeds till onions are translucent. Mix in chopped green chillies, and fry for a minute.
  2. Add semolina. Mix well until the semolina absorbs the oil. Sprinkle half a tsp of salt, and tsp of sugar.
  3. Next, add a cup of warm water to the mixture. The semolina will soak up the water immediately.
  4. Add another half cup of water. Stir well.  Test for completeness - The semolina grains should plump up and feel soft to the touch.  If not, add balance half cup of water. 
  5. Lastly, sprinkle the crushed cashew nuts and coriander leaves.
  6. Serve warm & enjoy!