How to Make Upma for Breakfast

Upma is a "porridge" made from toasted semolina and spices. It is a common breakfast item in South India. It is full of flavor and you can customize it according to the vegetables you prefer. It also is quite satisfying and can please a crowd (just double or triple the recipe below).


  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Small amount of finely diced onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds, optional
  • 1 cup vegetables (your choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Garam masala, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Green chilies or pinch of red chili powder, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  • Sesame seeds
  • Diced green onions
  • Cilantro (fresh coriander)
  • Crushed nuts (peanuts, cashews or almonds)


  1. 1
    Place a non-stick pan over low medium heat, add the semolina. Dry roast it. When golden brown, remove and let the semolina cool down.
  2. 2
    In the same non-stick pan, pour in the oil. Saute the small amount of finely diced onions with the black mustard seeds (optional).
  3. 3
    Wait till translucent. Then add any choice of vegetables.
    • For the vegetables, you may choose to add frozen vegetables such as corn, carrots or peas. You may also add lentils such as Lima beans, or kidney beans.
    • If you have any leftover vegetables from a stir-fry, these may be incorporated.
    • If you wish to add spinach, kale or Swiss chard, chop finely first.
  4. 4
    Season with the salt, garam masala, and black pepper. You may add green chilies or a pinch of ground red chili powder.
  5. 5
    Add the toasted semolina with 1 and 1/2 cups water. Continue to stir once the mixture has reached a consistency that you prefer. Remove from the heat.
  6. 6
    Add garnish, if wished. You can garnish with sesame seeds, diced green onions or cilantro or crushed nuts. The garnish is optional, but it does add another level of flavor.
  7. 7
    Serve hot.


  • Use common sense precautions with food and allergies.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-stick pan
  • Wooden spoon for stirring
  • Plates for serving

Article Info

Categories: Breakfast | Recipes