Upma (Savory Semolina Breakfast)

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A to Z Challenge (Letter U): Upma


Also pictured: Onion Chutney

Pronounced “oop-mah,” upma is a breakfast dish popular in south India. It’s eaten in a similar fashion as idli and served with sambhar or chutneys (such as onion, coconut, or tomato). It is made with rava/sooji flour, more commonly known in the US as semolina flour. I don’t really have much more to say on Upma, it’s like a mix between a savory pancake and mashed potatos. Delish!

Special Ingredients: semolina flour, mustard seeds, urad dal,
Special Tools: n/a

Savory Semolina Upma

In a pan on medium-high heat, dry roast:

  • 1 cup semolina

When it gives off a pleasant aroma and has turned a light golden brown (10-12 minutes), remove from heat and set aside.

Return the pan to the heat and add:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed

When mustard seeds pop, add

  • 2 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tbs ginger, finely chopped
  • 4-5 curry leaves (NOT powder)

When the urad dal is golden brown, add

  • 1 onion, finely diced

When onion is lightly browned (10 minutes), add

  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup green beans, cut (small)
  • 1/2 cup chopped, raw cashew nuts

Mix well, then add

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    (not traditional, but a personal preference)

Mix well until everything is coated, then add:

  • 2.5 cups water

When water is hot, add the roasted semolina.

Mix really well and when all the water is absorbed, it’s ready to serve.

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