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


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