Upma is a humble breakfast, made very easily, with few ingredients, no fuss, and quickly.

Upma is made with cream of wheat, also known as rawa or sooji.

When I make upma it is not by default but because I love it. It is not usually dressed up and presented and I wanted to change all this and so up there, you see my ‘upma’ in its glorious avtaar. It is my favourite breakfast, and when made rightly it tastes so good. The recipe below is the basic version.

Recipe: Upma | A kedgree made with cream of wheat
Serves 5


For the seasoning:
Vegetable oil / Sesame oil / Til ka tel – 2 tbsp.
Mustard seeds / Rai – 1 tsp.
Split bengal gram / Chana dal – 1 tsp.
Ginger / Adrak – 1inch (chopped fine)
Green chillies – 2 (chopped fine or slit lengthwise)
Hing / Asafoetida – 1/4tsp.
Curry leaves – 1 stem (Clean and chop the leaves)
Halved cashewnuts or raw peanuts – 10 to 12nos.

After seasoning:
Bombay rava/fine semolina – 1 and 1/2 cups (roasted till aroma is released – best done in an oven but faster on stove top)
Water – 3 cups (twice the quantity of rava)
Tomatoes – 1 medium (chopped roughly)
Onions – 1 medium (chopped fine)

Coriander – 8 to 10 stems (cleaned and chopped)

1. Heat the oil. Season with rai. Add ginger, chillies, hing, chana dal, curry leaves and cashewnuts / peanuts and fry till the chana dal and cashewnuts / peanuts try slightly brown.

2. Add the chopped onions and fry till transparent. Add tomatoes and salt and fry for a minute.

3. Add the water and salt to taste and let it come to a boil. Pour in the rawa gently in small amounts while still stirring to avoid lumps. Alternatively, you may add the rawa to the tomatoes, and pour boiled, salted water while stirring.

4. Put on the lid and cook on slow fire for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove lid and mix the ingredients slightly. The upma is ready to be served.

Upma should have a soft but grainy mouthfeel. It should not have a soggy, lumpy or dry consistency.

If the upma is;
– soggy – It indicates that the water is too much;
– hard – the water is too little or the rava is not roasted well;
– lumpy – the rava was not stirred properly when the water was poured;
– dry – the water may be less or rava may be roasted to browning point.


Add vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, peas, beans etc., diced very small so that it cooks in minimal time.

Add a tsp. of vangibhath powder to the water. It imparts a different taste and aroma.

1 Comment

Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

Previous Post
March 8, 2008
Next Post
March 8, 2008

1 Comment

  • PG

    Upma looks great! Haven’t made it in ages. Hubby is not so fond of it, but maybe mine also needs this good looking new avattar! 😉

Leave a Reply