Masala Upma

This quick and simple preparation and a comforting one-dish meal is wholesome and perfect for a satisfying breakfast, brunch or a yummy snack and easy to take delight in. So when I returned home today tired and exhausted after a trip to the grocery mart and the Jumah salah, I thought of whipped up this instant masala upma and it was pure bliss.

Semolina/Sooji/Upma rawa (fine variety)

Idli, Wada, Sambar, Upma, Dosa are all famous South-Indian dishes, that are my absolute favorites too. And there exist many variations of each of them. This particular variation of Upma is one of my favorites. I enjoy my upma along with shallow fried peanuts, the way my Ammi used to serve upma to us all. Those peanuts really add a lot of flavor and crunch to the delicious upma.

Usually the coarser variety of semolina is preferred for upma, but I managed with the fine variety, which is used in the preparation of sweets, and it turned out fine enough.

Masala Upma – Savory Breakfast Semolina
Serves: 2


Semolina/Sooji/Upma rawa- 1/2 cup
Canola oil
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs, fresh
Mustard seeds – 3/4 tsp
Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
Chopped Onion – 3 tbsp
Small green chillies – 3, finely chopped
Tomato – 1, finely chopped
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
MDH Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp
Water – 1 1/2 cup
Groundnuts, with skin – 1/2 cup
Cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Masala Upma, served along with shallow fried groundnuts

1. Heat a skillet at medium heat and as soon as it is warm add the upma rawa and dry roast it stirring constantly and attentively until you see and slight variation in color to a light brown and you get a wonderful aroma. Immediately remove from heat and transfer the roasted rawa to a platter and keep aside.
2. In the same skillet, pour 1 tbsp oil and add the mustard seeds. As they start spluttering, add the onions, green chillies, curry leaves and urad dal. Stir fry for a minute. Now add the tomatoes, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, sambar powder qnd salt. Mix well. Pour in about 1 1/2 cup of water, reduce heat, cover and let cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are mushy.
3. Meanwhile, in a frying pan at medium high heat add about 2 tbsp oil and as soon as it warms up, add the groundnuts and stir fry until lightly browned. They burn easily, so be careful and attentive. Once done, using slotted spoon transfer the shallow fried groundnuts to a platter.
4. Now add the roasted rawa to the cooking tomato mix ture in the skillet while stirring constantly so as to avoid forming lumps and mix well. Cover and let it cook on low heat for 2-5 minutes until the rawa has absorbed all the moisture and it is mostly dry. Add chopped cilantro, mix well. Cover and let rest for 1-2 minute. Serve immediately along with shallow fried groundnuts and a mango or lemon pickle, or any chutney that you fancy.


13 thoughts on “Masala Upma

  1. Salam Mona,Please advise if “cream of wheat” can be used instead to prepare this dish or even Suji halwa etc?
    Thnx !

    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Sheeba. Cream of wheat ≠ suji/semolina. However, if sooji is unavailable, you can use cream of wheat in its place. There wont be much difference in taste, but cream of wheat takes a little longer to cook when compared to suji. ~Mona

  2. Assalamu alaikum Mona

    Delicious upma with fried groundnuts………..
    Apart from all the South Indian dishes, Dosa is my most favorite.

    I would like to try your version of Dosa too.I Would be much thankful if you share it with us. Eagerly waiting for your post. Allahafiz.

  3. Wow i have been make upma and rava bath for eons now but why did it not ever occur to me to use sambar powder !!! Brilliant.I am sure it’s gonna taste great.. Will try it for tomorrow’s breakfast.

  4. assk mona
    nice recipe. i like the idea of adding sambar powder. i usually do upma ur way, except also add ginger garlic paste, canned cashews sans red mirchi powder. i also like bambino vermicelli upma a lot that i make.

    i miss so much kamat hotel upma i used to eat in hyd.
    i used to enjoy all veg food from kamat hotel near nampally road in hyderabad during my chilhhood. oh those days.

    mona i need to know what brand of corse semolina u use. i used to get swad brand earlier, but i am not able to find swad brand these days at my place.
    i keep trying other brands but not satisfied still.

    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Rizruby, there are not many brands for desi foods that are available here for me to choose from. I usually buy ‘Quality brand’ desi food products. ~Mona

  5. assalamualaikum mona
    this looks so mazedaar
    i will surely try this
    mona iam having a small request for you
    can you tell me the receipies of currys which requre less time to cook becoz i am having a kid mashallah n he is so naughty n i can’t spend much time in kitchen..becoz i need to look after i want the receipies that require less time.jazakallah. allah hafeez

    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Humera, most vegetarian recipes take less time to cook compared to non-vegetarian recipes. I have posted quite a few recipes that are quick to prepare, but inshallah I will definitely keep in mind to post more and more of those types in the future. ~Mona

Leave a Comment