If you’re from India, you know that breakfast, more often than not is like a synonym to South Indian Cuisine. Among the most popular dishes is upma. A simple, soothing, quick and filling porridge made of dry-roasted semolina (rava or sooji) with choice of vegetables and authentic South Indian ingredients. Although upma is widely considered to be a dish from the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, it is also a very common choice of breakfast in Maharashtrian, Gujarati, Odia and Sri Lankan Tamil households.

Upma has been a part of all our childhood at some point or another. Everyone has their own variation, with an extra spice or two, or a handful of different vegetables, or basic plain onion upma. When those aromas of ghee and crackling curry leaves and mustard fill your home early in the morning, you can’t help but wander down memory lane.


Now who wouldn’t want to begin their day with something light, yet flavourful, quick and healthy? Along with being an extremely simple, minimal and delicious dish, upma is also a very healthy choice for breakfast and has a whole list of benefits. A bowl of upma has fibre, vitamins, and healthy fats. It is low in cholesterol and calories which make it a healthy meal and help you have a balanced diet.  Upma keeps you full for longer helping you avoid the unnecessary unhealthy snacking. Semolina (Rava/Sooji) which is used to make upma is a rich source of protein, vitamin B and iron. Adding vegetables to your upma can escalate the health as well as taste factor; increasing your fibre intake and helping you stay active all day long. No wonder it is India’s hot-favourite breakfast.

Even though upma can come across as a very easy recipe, let me tell you it took me quite a while to perfect the recipe. While it may seem like the simplest of the recipes, the smallest things like the ratio of sooji to water, the spices, the timing, and heat make all the difference.

Why Upma for Breakfast?

  • Super easy and quick
  • Delicious
  • Vegan
  • Packed with nutrition
  • Keeps you full for longer
  • Low in cholesterol
  • Assists Weight loss
  • Minimal ingredients


Note this recipe down, try it for yourself and you’ll never have to search for another recipe and get the perfect upma every single time. I promise!

Preparation time – 10 minutes

Cook time – 20 minutes

Serves – 3 people


  • 1 cup Sooji (Semolina)
  • ¼ cup raw peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon Chana Dal
  • 1 tablespoon Urad Dal
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • 6-8 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • ¼ cup chopped carrot
  • ¼ cup raw green peas
  • 1-2 slit green chillies
  • 2.5 cups hot water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar(optional)
  • Salt to taste  


  1. Heat some oil/ghee in a pan and add the raw peanuts. Keep stirring to prevent the peanuts from burning. Keep aside once roasted.
  2. In the same pan, throw in the sooji and roast till its colour slightly starts to change.
  3. In a clean pan, add ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
  4. Now add the chana dal and urad dal and stir and cook for a few seconds. Don’t let the mustard seeds burn.
  5. Once you start smelling the roasted pulses, add the finely chopped onions and fresh curry leaves.
  6. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally till translucent. Do not brown the onions.
  7. At this point add the finely minced ginger and slit green chillies (skip if you want to avoid the slight heat). The minced ginger adds freshness to the upma.
  8. Add sugar and mix well. You can avoid this step; however, sugar helps in balancing the flavours in the upma.
  9.  After the raw smell of ginger is gone, add chopped carrots, raw pees and any fresh vegetables of your choice.
  10.  Cook the vegetables to a point where the rawness is completely gone, however a bite is still there. Nothing complements a soft soothing porridge better than some fresh crunchy veggies.
  11. Add hot water and salt and stir well.
  12. Add the roasted sooji and keep stirring till your desired consistency is achieved.
  13. Finally, add the roasted peanuts right before turning off the heat and mix well.
  14. Serve hot! 



Additional tips:

Even though Upma is one of the healthiest breakfast choices in its authentic form, there are ways to make it healthier, such as-

  • Replacing Sooji with Oats, Wheat or Quinoa .
  • Adding more vegetables or choice.

Do try out this recipe on hasty mornings or a lazy Sunday, because such a quick, easy, filling, wholesome and healthy breakfast is always a go-to.

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