Upma is an another Indian dish which can be had as a snack or can even be had as a filling breakfast.  

Tip: Indian cuisine is versatile. Simple techniques and and a marriage of various kinds of spices and flavors makes the Indian cuisine flexible and sapid. Indian women know very well to use the left overs and whip up delicious meals using them. One such dish where I usually use the leftover curries is Upma. If the left over curry is a dry dish, I often mix it in the preperation of the Upma which makes it even more delicious and healthier. And if the left over curry is thin (soupy) in consistency, then I use it to serve along with Upma.  

Upma – Semolina cake, served along with leftover Colocasia/Arvi in a tangy sauce

Upma is comfort food for me. It is a filling healthy breakfast to start a new day, quite easy to prepare and gets prepared swiftly. Upma Rawa or Semolina or Sooji is available at many Indian stores very easily.

Serves – 4

Upma – Semolina cake


  • Semolina/Sooji/Upma Rawa – 1 1/2 cups
  • Canola oil – 3 tbsp
  • Black Mustard seeds – 2 tsp
  • Whole dried red chilli – 1 
  • Small Green chillies – 4, finely chopped
  • Fresh grated ginger – 1 tbsp
  • Fresh or dried Curry leaves – 10
  • Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  • Moong Dal – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Yellow Onion – 2, large, finely chopped
  • Salt – 2 tsp or to taste
  • Water/Chicken or Lamb Stock – 3 1/2 cups
  • Lemon juice – 3 tbsp
  • Cilantro – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
  • Fried Cashewnuts – 1/2 cup, chopped


  • In a non-stick saucepan at medium heat, pour oil and as soon as it gets warm, throw in the mustard seeds. Cover the saucepan with a splatter screen and as soon as the seeds begin to pop, add in the green and red chillies, dals, ginger, turmeric and curry leaves. Saute them for 3 minutes and later add the chopped onion and salt to it. Let the onions sweat out a little. Fry them all for about 5 minutes stirring it continually. Add the Upma Rawa and fry the whole mixture for 5-8 minutes more again stirring frequently (if you have any dry curry left-overs, you can add it too at this stage, read the notes above)
  • Now pour the water/stock and mix throughly to that no lumps form. Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Let it cook for 3 minutes more. 
  • Remove from heat and add lemon juice, cashewnuts and cilantro. Fluff and mix it all using a fork and spoon the mixture into whatever molds you like, press the mixture well. Invert them onto warm serving plates and serve them for a yummy breakfast. 

Suggested Accompaniments: I and my family enjoy it along with Lemon/Lime or Mango pickle prepared Indian style, or with any thin (soupy) leftover Curry/Saalan. I also love to savor it along with Khatti Dal. My Mother used to serve it us when I was a kid along with a handful of shallow fried groundnuts. 

This goes as an entry to the event, Click Yellow for Bri, being held this time as a Cancer Fundraiser by Jai and Bee for Briana Brownlow.

This also goes all the way to Raaga of The Singing Chef for the WBB#23 Express Breakfast Event she is holding this month.


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14 Responses to “Upma”

  1. Upma looks divine, lovely presentation too!!!


  2. yummy upma mona

  3. And it looks so elegant as well as tasty Mona.

  4. Hi Mona, I love the way you use up your leftovers in this dish, It’s such a nice idea… I will try it next time I have leftovers… looks so good 🙂

  5. My first time here.. You have a lovely blog, Mona! I love your presentation of Upma… great photos.. Thanks for stopping by my blog and your sweet comments 🙂

  6. YUmmy! Lovely presentation!

  7. Looks really good. I made it recently and ate the stuff for breakfast lunch and dinner!

  8. hey mona , u made a simple dish like upma look so gourmet…love it 🙂

  9. I like the sound and look of this. I shall mark this on my to do list.

  10. Mmmmm…this is beautiful. I love savory, spicy breakfasts. Much easier to make than I would have thought. I had seen these elsewhere but thought they actually required a special mold, like idlis need to have. Now I see that it isn’t necessary.

  11. Assalaamu Alaikum,

    Today, i made Upma for Breakfast & it came out Tasty… Alhumdulillah !

  12. Looks delicious, nice presentation. I have some pictures of making upma on my blog. I used sweet potato and peas this time, but you can do many variations. Please look, if you are interested: mangosoup.blogspot(dot)com/2009/08/semolina-upma.html

  13. Mona,,

    try the same upma with Wheat ravva or dalia …

  14. I love the photo and there is so much to learn on your site!

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