I’m going through a phase right now where I eat this about 3 times a week. It’s cheap, healthy and versatile. There are many different ways to make it but I’m going to use a simple standard recipe here. Semolina can be substituted for quinoa, cous cous, bulgar wheat…whatever you fancy. Upma is traditionally served as a breakfast food in South India. I generally eat this for lunch and it comes to 300 calories. This recipe serves 1


  • 40g Semolina
  • Mixed veg – I prefer frozen carrots and peas out of laziness.
  • 1 tbsp Sambhar masala
  • A bunch of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 onion
  • a bit of oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • Red chilli powder
  • peanuts/cashews (optional)
  • Namkeen (I prefer 10g Haldiram’s Plain Bhujia)
  • Lemon juice
  • salt

1) Fry mustard seeds and curry leaves (+ green chillies if you want) and leave to cook (off the heat)

2) Cut and fry half an onion in the same oil.

2) Roast semolina in a seperate pot. Or prepare cous cous, quinoa etc

3) In the fried onions/curry leaves/mustard seed mix add turmeric powder, coriander powder and sambhar masala.

4) Add the semolina, mixed veg and some boiling water. If you’re using nuts then chuck them in here. It’s a good idea to add the salt and chilli powder at this point and stir continuously

5) Keep stirring or you’ll get lumps and that is gross.

6) When it’s ready add a copious amount of lemon juice and serve with namkeen sprinkled on top. As this is a breakfast food it’s gorgeous with orange juice. Flipping love upma.

If you don’t have sambhar masala then it’s not imperative. I think traditionally this is eaten with just green chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves. I don’t think this is a traditional recipe but this is how I eat it and it keeps me so so happy.

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