South Indian Upma

This is a really great breakfast and snack. I like to add extra veggies to make sure I'm getting the best out of this recipe. In the South India state of Kerala, this upma is paired with mashed banana for a sweet and savory breakfast. Picture is served with mango pickle, green chutney, ghee and slice of lemon and of course, yogurt.

Course: Breakfast, brunch, snack 


1 cup semolina, dry roasted

Tempering for the Upma 

2 T. oil or ghee

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon urad dal 

1 teaspoon channa dal

2 T. peanuts

8 cashew pieces

1 sprig curry leaves

pinch asafoetida/hing

Other ingredients 

1 small onion, chopped

2 green chilis, slit down the middle

1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced

2 1/2 cups water

1-2 teaspoons ghee

cilantro, chopped 

lemon juice 

How to make the recipe 

Heat a pan and add 1 cup semolina. Dry roast until lightly browned and then keep aside. 

Chop onions, green chili and ginger.

Add oil to a hot pan and add mustard seeds, cumin, urad dal, channa dal, peanuts and cashews. Fry until lightly browned. 

Add asafoetida, green chilis, ginger and curry leaves and stir until curry leaves are crisp. 

Add onions and fry until translucent. *Add 1 cup vegetables of choice (peas, corn, chopped green beans, chopped bell pepper, chopped carrots or tomatoes). Make it your own and add the veggies you like.

Pour water and add salt. Mix until boiling. 

Set the burner to medium and while stirring add in the roasted semolina. Stir and remove any lumps. Turn the burner to low and cover for about 2-4 minutes. 

Remove the lid and add ghee, lemon juice and cilantro and give it a quick stir. 

Can be served with chutney, pickle, curd.


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