upma ..... a savory breakfast cereal loaded with fiber ....

Sooji , semolina or cream of wheat , this is the wheat product which we all love in our halwa , upma , idlis and even instant rawa dosa , uttapams and vadas...

I try and make the semolina recipes loaded with good fiber , modifying the glycemic index . The fiber in the dish makes the glycemic load to come down , that is , the available carbohydrate per serving , if talking in a lay man's language........  this green idli is a very good recipe to make with semolina where the addition of lots of curry patta lowers down the glycemic load per serving ..

Upma and poha , both of them are the most popular breakfast dishes ... apart from the many variations of parathas for the punjabis of course .... I like my upma very much and get to make it very rarely . The husband had a pre-historic aversion to it ... from the time i didn't know him . Earlier he used to refuse for upma right away but now after tasting this one he eats well , can't say he likes it but it is acceptable as a breakfast .... i guess he might have had a really bad upma in his childhood or it could just be because he loves his sooji ka halwa a lot and used to say he didn't want a savory halwa.. Some food aversions have an interesting history . Some funny stories .

For this upma i add a lot of chopped onions and some whole lentils (daals) , so it becomes a nice combination of many textures hitting your palate . All these additives make the semolina upma fit for even a diabetic . Otherwise semolina is a refined wheat product , devoid of any fiber .


For two servings you need a cup of semolina and 4 cups of chopped onions .....
2 tsp each of chana daal and urad daal , 1 tsp of mustard seeds , 1 tsp of chopped green chillies , 2 dry red chillies broken and 2 tbsp of chopped curry patta ...
salt and pepper to taste and 1 tbsp of ghee....
lemon juice to taste ...


Heat the ghee in a kadai and tip in the mustard seeds and the daals , followed by the chillies , curry patta and then the chopped onions . Add the salt and stir fry the onions till they turn translucent and a few of them turn pink. You don't want any more fried onions as the flavor of the upma depends on this.
Add the semolina and black pepper and keep stirring the mixture till the semolina is lightly roasted .

 See how the semolina and onion ratio looks like while being roasted...

Add 3 cups of water and mix well .... keep cooking till the mixture changes from a runny consistency to a firm mash like thing . Add the lemon juice and serve immediately.

The frying of onion slices is instrumental in deciding the taste of this upma . If you want a caramelized onion taste it will be better to brown the onions , that will make the upma darker in color too . I like the onions to be translucent and sweetish , this is a light upma with nice textures provided by the fried daals . Addition of nuts like fried or roasted cashews and almonds makes this upma even better but i always prefer to make this lighter version...

Lightly fried onions are a good tonic food according to Ayurveda as it is rich in nutrients (as good as milk as it is said in Ayurveda) and easy to digest form of the onion...

Sometimes i like a hot chutney or a lemon or ginger pickle to go with an upma like this ...



  1. This looks really different but tasty. I'll have to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. A filling and healthy breakfast..

  3. Dear Sangeeta
    I make Upma twice a week, I love it. Never tried the method you have used, although the ingredients are same except that some times I put a bit of chopped ginger. Of course hell of a lot of ghee or ground nut oil ( 1/4th of suji) is also added for extra health..ha ha
    Have a nice day

  4. Looks perfect and healthy and filling :)

  5. this is very common to our breakfast table. I pre roast and fry the semolina with the tempering to save a lot of time.

  6. What a breakfast, I am keeping a list of all the food i got to eat :)


  7. looks great I was watching one of those chef shows and an Indian won it with upma and fish dish :-)

  8. I dint watch the show but yes , this upma is one flavorful dish and can be made to our taste too.

  9. Sangeeta, the same recipe till roasting, sans onion,replacing with finely chopped carrot and beans, loads of fresh dhania, added to curds when cooled along with salt and soaked for 5 mts and u grease the idli moulds or small cups with little ghee, atlast add some eno fuit salt to make to bubbly and steam to make lovely rawa idlies. try and t ell

  10. Thanks Nirupama...i make that rawa idli with lots of curry patta paste and some onions n peanuts and love that too...will post sometime. The curry patta idli has been posted earlier.

    With carrots, beans and loads of dhaniya sounds great too...will let you know.


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