Semolina Upma is a quick and easy Indian dish that's full of comfort. Creamy, savory, and super yum.
What is Upma?
Upma is a tasty hot breakfast dish originally from South India but is now popular all over. It’s a semolina (rava or sooji) based porridge-like dish that is salty and lightly spiced.
Although originally a breakfast dish, it is also served for brunch, lunch or just snacking. I’ll admit I’ve even made it for dinner when I’ve been in a hurry to whip up something fast.
It’s fast, easy, filling, and goes down quick because it’s so warm and creamy. I quickly realized this was a great meal for a toddler who would otherwise take hours to eat his meal.
Variations to Upma
I like to keep mine simple so there are fewer complaints. You can add whatever vegetables you want to them. I prefer to use peas and carrots because I always have them on hand.
Don’t be scared of the other ingredients on the list! All of it can be found at your local Indian grocer, and if you don’t have one of those, try calling up an Indian friend and borrow some.
You can also skip those ingredients too and still have a flavorful dish. If you can’t find semolina, Cream of Wheat works just as well and is easily available at grocery stores.
How to Make Soft Upma
The trick to making good upma is keeping it soft. This took me some practice but I think I have it down now. Basically, you have to work quickly, stir, and add a generous amount of yogurt at the end.
The yogurt works to keep it soft and adds a nice bit of sourness too. This is not a dish that does well as leftovers and is best served immediately. But it’s so fast to make that you won’t ever need to make it in advance!
I first shared this upma recipe on Food Fanatic so be sure to visit it there along with other delicious recipes.
- ½ tablespoon Olive Oil
- ¼ teaspoon Indian Mustard Seed
- ½ teaspoon Urad Dal
- 4-5 Curry Leaves
- ¼ cup Onion, diced
- ¼ cup Carrot, finely shredded
- ¼ cup Frozen Green Peas
- ½ cup Fine Semolina
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup Plain Yogurt
- roasted cashews Cashew Nuts, fried, for optional garnish
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium to high. Add the mustard seeds and urad dal. Once the seeds start to pop, add the curry leaves.
- Quickly add the onions and stir to let the onions soften. Add the carrots and peas and stir for a few more minutes. Lower the heat slightly, and cover for a few minutes so the peas finish cooking with steam.
- Add the semolina and stir to roast the flour for a 1-2 minutes.
- Add 1 ½ cups of water and salt. Stir as it thickens keeping the heat to medium. This should only take a minute.
- Once it is getting thicker, stir in the yogurt and remove from the heat.
- Garnish with cashews and serve immediately.
- Urad dal is a specific type of black lentil without skin that you can find in Indian groceries. If you can’t find them, it’s okay to skip it. It adds a slight crunch but not much flavor.
- If you don’t have the mustard seeds or curry leaves, you can omit them too, especially if you are making this for a toddler.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 839mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 9g
This nutrition information is only an approximate provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. Information comes from Nutritionix, an automated nutrition calculator.