Upma (Uppuma)


  • 1 cup semolina (rava/sooji)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 small leek
  • ½ inch piece ginger
  • 3 – 4 dried red chilies
  • 1 strand curry leaves
  • Few cashew nuts broken into small pieces (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • Roast semolina in a kadai for about 10 minutes in a very low flame (stir continuously to make sure semolina does not get burned or become golden)
  • After roasting, leave the semolina on a tray to cool
  • Slit the carrot lengthwise and then chop them into thin slices.  Chop onion into very small pieces.  Also slice the leek into very thin pieces
  • In the same vessel, add oil and add mustard seeds
  • When the mustard seed start splattering add onion and carrots and fry until the onion start turning light brown on the edges
  • Add leek, cashew nuts and fry for another 3 – 4 minutes
  • Add ginger, dried red chilies, curry leaves and fry for another two minutes
  • Add roasted semolina, salt and fry for about 3 – 4 minutes
  • Add boiling water little at a time and stir the semolina mixture continuously with a wooden spoon
  • Close the vessel with a lid and leave it on a very low flame for about one or two minutes and then stir well
  • Serve with any pickle, coconut sambol or any gray (tomato gravy goes best with this)

Note: To make the Upma spicier, you can add a little bit chili powder just before adding the semolina to the vegetable mix.

Yields: 2 – 3 servings as main dish


4 thoughts on “Upma (Uppuma)

  1. Sutharsan June 27, 2017 at 1:48 pm Reply

    Hmm… Quite different from my recipe. I wonder if people living in different areas in Jaffna cooked Uppuma differently.

    • Chelvi S June 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm Reply

      Must be different in different parts of Jaffna, My m-in-law does not add a lot of vegetables. Also my mother makes in 2 ways. Either she uses the sesame seed (Gingelly) oil or uses vegetable oil but if she uses vegetable oil, at the end she will add some Ghee for flavor and taste.

      • Sutharsan June 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm

        I can share my recipe with you. See if it works for you. I made it into PDF file, so I’ll share with you in a Facebook message. Let me know what you think, if you do use it.

      • Chelvi S June 28, 2017 at 8:10 am

        Yes, I saw the recipe. Thanks for sharing. I will download it and see.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: