South Indian Breakfast Upma

Upma is a popular breakfast dish from South India made out of Suji or Semolina. Traditionally, tomatoes are not a part of this recipe but personally, I love tomatoes and I find it really works with everything. Another traditional aspect which I do not follow is the use of yellow split peas or chana dal which is typically used in this delicacy.

I hope you find this recipe tasty and have found a new dish which you can learn more about, have it the traditional way or make it your own just how I have. I'm sure whatever you do, you will end up with something you will be proud of!


  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger/1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro and lime juice for garnish
  1. Heat a pan on medium heat and roast your semolina for about 5 minutes until dry. Set aside and let cool down on a plate.
  2. In the same pan, heat oil on medium heat and add mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add in curry leaves, onions and ginger powder. Sautee until onions become soft and the mixture is fragrant
  3. Add it tomatoes and stir, adding some salt and red chilli powder. Cook until tomatoes become soft
  4. Add 1 1/4 cups water and bring to boil. 
  5. Slowly add your roasted semolina while continuously stirring. The semolina will get puffed up which is going to cook it. Once all the water is absorbed and your upma is thick, turn off the heat, put a lid on and let it sit for 1-2 minutes
  6. Finish with a generous squeeze of lime juice and cilantro. Serve hot with toast. 


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