Upma | Uppuma | Savoury-Semolina Breakfast

Interestingly, this dish had many names, such as Uppuma, Uppumavu, Uppitu, Uppindi, etc. However, it is most commonly known as Upma. The name has its origin from the combination of the word uppu meaning salt and mavu meaning flour. Its origin in the Indian sub-continent has made this dish the most common breakfast in the Indian states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Orissa. It is also very famous as a Sri Lankan Tamil breakfast. However, it can be prepared and eaten at any time of the day, and most importantly, it is easy on the stomach.

It is cooked as a thick savory porridge using dry-roasted semolina, also commonly known in northern India as sooji. It has various seasonings, and certain vegetables can be added depending on the individual palate. It has become popular in most of India and can be prepared in various ways. Here, we present an easy, simple and quick way of preparing the famous ‘Upma’.

Do check them out for more breakfast recipes on the blog. You may like them. If you try this recipe, we would love to know how it turned out. Please tag your picture with #tangyhoney on my Instagram or connect with me on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. Thank you so much for visiting. See you very soon in the next healthy recipe. Stay healthy…

Prep. Time: 3 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Serves: 4


  • Semolina (coarse): 1 cup
  • Onion: 2 medium size (thick sliced)
  • Green Chillies/Green Peppers: 2 (finely chopped)
  • Tomato: 1 (finely chopped)
  • Fennel Seeds: 1 tbs
  • Chana dal (split Indian chickpeas): 2 tbs (raw)
  • Peanuts (Optional): 2 tbs (raw)
  • Whole Urad Dal (without skin): 2 tbs (raw)
  • Mustard seeds (Black): 1 tbs
  • Curry Leaves: 8-10 individual leaves
  • Dried Red chilies: 2 (whole)
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Cooking Oil/Ghee (Clarified Indian Butter)/Butter: 4 tbs (Use cooking oil of your choice for the vegan option)
  • Hot water: 4 cups

Let’s Cook:

  • Pre-boil 4 cups of water in a kettle and keep it aside.
  • Cut the onions, tomato, and green chilies/peppers.
  • Put the pot on the stove on medium-high heat and add the cooking oil/ghee/butter.
  • After the oil is heated, add the mustard seeds, fennel seeds, chana dal, urad dal, peanuts, and dried red chilies to the oil in the pot.
  • Stir well for 30 seconds, and the mustard seeds will begin to crackle. Be watchful here.
  • Add the chopped onions and the green chilies/pepper to the pot and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and the curry leaves and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the salt and mix it.
  • Add the semolina to the pot and mix it well.
  • Stir fry the semolina for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Stir continuously, else the semolina will start getting overcooked and partially stick to the base of the pot.
  • Carefully and slowly, add the hot water to the pot while stirring continuously.
  • Keep mixing and stirring well for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat. The water may seem to be a lot initially but will soon be absorbed, and the mix will get thick.
  • Turn off the heat when the mix gets thick like a porridge. Remember, the mix will thicken further as it cools on the plate or serving bowl.
  • Woolah…!! It’s ready. Plate it and eat it…!!


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