Upma is a simple breakfast dish predominantly made in South India. It is made with rava or sooji and can be put together very easily and quickly. There are many varieties of upma- some are made with vegetables, others are made with sambar powder as seasoning called Khara bhaath, corn upma, tomato bhaath etc. But the traditional upma still rules the roost in most parts of South India even now.

Upma has been a part of our childhood breakfasts numerous times. The soft, mushy, savory and spicy upma combined with specks of roasted lentils and cashew nuts make this humble dish irresistible. It can be served with coconut or green chutney.



Prep Time

5-10 minutes

Cook Time

15 -20 minutes

Total Time

About 30 minutes


  • 1 cup sooji or cream of wheat
  • 3 cups hot water water
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp urad dal
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 8-10 cashew nuts, roughly cut
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 4 tbsp onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp sugar, optional


Step 1
Take a pan, add sooji and roast for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep aside.

Step 2
In the same pan add ghee, when it melts add mustard, urad dal, red chilies, cashew nuts and cumin seeds.

Step 3
When mustard splutters add green chilies, curry leaves, onion. Saute until the onion is light brown. 

Step 4
Now add coconut and roasted sooji. Mix well and roast for 2 minutes. Add water, salt and sugar. Mix well with a whisk if needed. Be careful when you pour hot water to the sooji mixture as it can be scalding hot and the mixture will sizzle.

Step 5
Add cilantro and cook until the water evaporates and everything forms to a soft mass. Turn off the flame and serve hot with a steaming cup of filter coffee.


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The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.

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