Upma a popular breakfast dish from Indian(South Indian Cuisine) made with Rava/Sooji or Semolina.

Upma is a very popular breakfast dish from Southern Indian States. Upma,also known as Uppumavu or Uppittu, is prepared from Semolina or Sooji. Also known as Rava. There are many variations of Upma as per the ingredients and spices used depending on the region and one’s preferences.

Upma is a filling and nutritious breakfast option especially for busy weekday mornings. When you are bore of eating bread toast or paranthas for breakfast, make a bowl of Upma. We love cashew nuts, finely chopped carrots and peas. I like to make it on weekends for breakfast or quick evening snack when we come back from outings. With or without veggies and nuts, Upma is a great breakfast or quick meal and even lunchbox option. Best enjoyed with  coconut chutney. Today I am here with basic Upma recipe.

Nutrient Value of Semolina

Upma is made from semolina , which is very light and easily digestible. It is low in fat and high in proteins. It has low glycemic index that makes it a great option for those on low sugar and weight loss diets. It is rich in minerals like Selenium  and Zinc that strengthens the immune system, Calcium for strong bones. The rich minerals and nutrient value of semolina gives every reason to you to include it in your everyday meals. Other breakfast options  where you can include Semolina your meals is Instant Idllis, Sooji Halwa  and many more or substitute with white flour in breads,cakes , cookies and pizza base.

How we make Upma

To make perfect Upma we need a good quality Semolina/Sooji. Fine Semolina or fine Rava, also known as Bombay Rava is used for making Upma. To make it, roast Sooji/Rava in ghee and then temper with mustard seeds(rai), curry leaves and lentils like Chana Dal and Urad Dal. Add water and cook to a thick porridge like consistency. One should be careful in adding water to sooji.

Tips on how to make Perfect Upma..

  • Fine Sooji/Rava should be used.
  • Roast Sooji well before cooking it. You can also roast Sooji in bulk and store it in an airtight container and use it whenever required.
  • The ratio of water to sooji is 1:3 the same ratio that we follow in Sooji Halwa recipe. The water content may vary from 2.5 cups to even 4 cups depending on  how you like the texture.
  • Add sooji in batches and keep in stirring the mixture after adding water. This keeps the upma lump free.
  • Uee desi ghee to cook Upma, it lends a beautiful aroma to upma. Vegans can use a good quality , flavourless vegetable oil.
  • Cover and keep upma for 2-3 minutes off flame before serving.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro/coriander leaves and serve hot.

Let’s see in detail how I make Upma


Upma is a savoury dish made from Rava or Sooji, tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves and lentils like chana dal urad dal, and cooked to thick porridge like consistency. Learn how to make basic Upma or Uppittu.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 4


  • 3/4 Cup Sooji/Rava/Semolina
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
  • 1 tbsp Mixed Lentils(Chana Dal and Urad Dal)
  • 7-8 Cashew nuts(roughly broken)
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds(Rai)
  • 1-2 Whole Red Chillies
  • 1-2 Green Chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ghee


  • Dry roast Sooji/Rava in a heavy bottom pan or kadhai, till it gives out the aroma and turns light brown in color. 
  • Take out in a plate/bowl and keep aside..
  • In the same add ghee, when it is warm enough, add mustard seeds(rai). When the seeds splutter, add dals/lentils, whole red chili, saute till the lentils start turning light brown.
  • Add onions and finely chopped green chillies and saute till onions are light pink. Add broken cashew nuts and fry for a minute. 
  • Add water and then add sooji in parts, few tbsp at a time, keep stirring to avoid any lump formation.
  • Cook upma till it has a thick consistency and water dries up.
  • Garnish with finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot.


Adjust the spice level as per your taste.
You can also add all the sooji at a time and then add water, but keep on stirring it, else lumps will form.
Keyword Easy Lunchbox Ideas, Semolina, Sooji, Upma

So do make Upma for a light, filling and nutritious breakfast. This is the basic upma recipe without any veggies or additional spices. As I mentioned earlier also, there are many variations to it  shall be posting gradually as and when I make.

Enjoy Upma with a cup of Chai or Coffee. In South it is traditionally served with filter coffee and fresh coconut chutney.  You can have any spicy chutney with it or even ketchup goes fine with it for some people like my dad!!

Do visit my social media accounts.. FB, Pinterest and Instagram. Whenever you make this, do post on my FB page or tag me on Instagram.  Pin the recipes for later use.

If you like my work, then do hit the follow button and subscribe to the blog to get notifications on new posts and share the blog with your loved ones. I promise won’t spam your mailbox 🙂.

This is 16th in my series of A-Z Biryani/Pulao/Khichdi dishes, that I am taking to Mega Blogging Marathon April ’19.

Day 21. U. Umpa

This is an event where I along with a group of fellow bloggers are blogging everyday about Biryani/Pulao/Khichdi dishes this whole April, with Sundays off.

My earlier posts for the event..

Day 1. A.. Aloo Matar Ki Tehri

Day 2.  B..Broccoli Mushroom Pulao

Day 3 . C..Chana Dal Khichdi

Day 4. D..Dhaniya Pulao

Day 5. E.. Easy Steamed Rice in Instant Pot with Pot in Pot Method

Day 6. F.. Fresh Mint and Peas Pulao

Day 7. G.. Gatte Ka Pulao

Day 8. H.. Hari Moong Dal Khichdi

Day 9. I.. Iyengar Puliyogare(Instant)

Day 10. J.. Jeera Rice

Day 11. K.. Kashmiri Pulao

Day 12. L.. Lucknowi Veg. Dum Biryani

Day 13. M.. Mixed Veg Pulao

Day 14. N.. No-Onion No-Garlic Kadhai Paneer Pulao

Day 15. O.. Oats and Moong Dal Khichdi

Day 16. P.. Pearl Pulao

Day 17. Q..Quinoa Pulao

Day 18. R.. Rajasthani Kabuli(Jodhpuri Pulao)

Day 19. S.. Spicy Chilli Garlic and Bell Pepper Rice

Day 20. T.. Tomato Corn and Basil Pulao


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#99


Author: Swati

Some who believes 'EAT WELL, READ DAILY, TRAVEL OFTEN AND LAUGH KHUL KE'!!! Hi!! Swati here!!! Chef, Chocolatier, food admirer, reader, love to travel, listen to music, Bollywood and shoot nature and food pics!! Welcome to my Foodtrails and join me in my food adventure!!

15 thoughts

  1. Interesting. I always make the upma with the coarser variety, would try your version soon. Upma bowl looks delicious.

  2. That is a very flavorful version of upma. I use the regular rava as Suma mentioned and whether we add any vegetables or not we love it for any meal of the day 🙂

  3. A classic breakfast from the south. Upma is usually made with regular semolina in South unless one is very particular about using fine semolina. As Gayathri mentioned, upma is welcomed in my home too irrespective of what goes into it or whether it is of dry or mushy consistency. I tend to cook it for quick dinners too.

  4. From a simple, just onion version to loaded with vegetables, upma is so versatile. I can have it daily without getting bored. Yours looks so inviting..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.