Total Time
25mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins

This is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish, savory and very good with a cup of good coffee. This is the way it was made at home all through my childhood and the way I make it now. Edited 5/8/09 - I'm changing a couple of things to make this a bit healthier. Reduced oil from 2 tsp to 1, eliminated 1 tsp ghee to fry semolina, put coconut and cashews under optional additions and changed the servings from 2 to 4. I'm also going to try substituting quinoa for the semolina one of these days (soak, rinse, toast quinoa)

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Heat a wok or kadai, spray with butter flavored cooking spray and add semolina. You can also use 1 tsp ghee instead of cooking spray for a more fragrant (albeit higher fat) version.
  2. Roast, stirring occasionally until fragrant (about 7-8 minutes).
  3. Take out semolina and keep aside.
  4. After wiping off the hot pan to remove leftover semolina grains, add the oil.
  5. When oil is hot, add the tempering ingredients - mustard seeds, cumin seeds. If you wish you may also add spilt urad dal.
  6. When mustard seeds sputter, stir in chopped onions, ginger, curry leaves and green chilies. Note that you can deseed the chilies if you don't want any heat.
  7. In the meantime, bring the 2 cups of water to boil and add salt to it.
  8. Back to your wok, stir regularly and when the onions are transparent add diced tomatoes and let cook for a couple of minutes.
  9. When tomatoes are cooked, add the roasted semolina you kept aside earlier and mix well.
  10. Pour boiling salted water over this mixture, give a quick stir and cover with lid.
  11. Let it cook for 3 minutes on low flame. Then take off lid and add chopped cilantro, cashews and 1 Tbsp grated coconut. Mix well.
  12. Take off heat, and serve hot garnished with the remaining tablespoon of grated coconut and a sprig of fresh cilantro.
  13. NOTE 1: Don't over-roast the semolina or it won't cook well.
  14. NOTE 2: Possible additions - grated carrots, fresh green peas, roasted peanuts. You could also add 2 tablespoons cashews (roasted pieces) and/or 2 tablespoons coconut (grated fresh) along with the cilantro.
  15. NOTE 3: If you try to add salt after you take the upma off heat, it won't incorporate very well. So I suggest tasting the upma just before you add cilantro etc. and add more salt if you wish. Make a note of how much salt your family prefers, and next time add the entire amount to the water.

Reviews

(2)
Most Helpful

This has become one of my favorite breakfasts! I make it with polenta or millet to make it gluten free, which requires some more water, and I have to omit the tomato, but that's the lovely thing about it: It's so versatile! As I'm always freezing, I love something hot and spicy in the morning :) Thanks for posting this!

Mia in Germany July 20, 2009

Tastes great. Add a little less water, though and cook the semolina for only about 5 minutes if you use an electric range. The peas make a nice addition. I did not add coconut. It contains a lot of the saturated fat you see listed (more than what the ghee has because coconut is more dense).

lerandia January 10, 2008

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