Delicious Upma Recipe: Burst of Flavors In 30 Min

Are you looking to add some zest to your breakfast routine? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the delicious world of upma, a traditional Indian dish that combines aromatic spices, vegetables, and grains. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a novice in the kitchen, this comprehensive guide will help you master the art of making flavorful upma recipe from scratch.

Delicious Upma Recipe: Burst of Flavors In 30 Min

Delicious Upma Recipe: Burst of Flavors In 30 Min

What is Upma?

Upma is a savory dish hailing from the southern regions of India. It is made with semolina or coarse rice flour, cooked to a thick porridge-like consistency, and infused with a delightful blend of spices. This versatile dish can be enjoyed as a breakfast staple, a light snack, or even a fulfilling meal.

History and Cultural Significance of Upma

Upma has a rich history dating back centuries. Its origins can be traced to the southern states of India, where it was traditionally prepared as a wholesome breakfast dish. Over time, it has gained popularity throughout the country and has become a beloved comfort food for many. Upma is not only delicious but also a reflection of the diverse culinary traditions of India.

Nutritional Value of Upma

Delicious Upma Recipe: Burst of Flavors In 30 Min

Upma is a versatile dish that can be customized with various ingredients, so the nutritional value may vary based on the specific recipe and ingredients used. However, here is a general overview of the nutritional value of a basic upma made with semolina, onions, and spices:

I. Calories:

A serving of upma (approximately 1 cup) contains around 200-250 calories, depending on the portion size and added ingredients.

II. Carbohydrates:

Upma is primarily composed of carbohydrates, with semolina being the main source. A serving may contain around 40-50 grams of carbohydrates, providing energy for the body.

III. Protein:

Upma typically contains a moderate amount of protein, with semolina and added vegetables contributing to the protein content. A serving may provide around 5-8 grams of protein.

IV. Fiber:

The fiber content in upma can vary depending on the ingredients used. However, with the inclusion of vegetables, upma can provide approximately 3-5 grams of dietary fiber per serving, aiding in digestion and promoting satiety.

V. Fat:

Upma is generally a low-fat dish, especially if prepared with minimal oil or ghee. The fat content can vary depending on the cooking method and added ingredients. A serving may contain around 5-8 grams of fat.

VI. Vitamins and Minerals:

Upma can be a good source of certain vitamins and minerals, especially when vegetables are added. It may provide essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, iron, and calcium, depending on the ingredients used.

It’s important to note that these nutritional values are approximate and can vary based on the specific recipe and serving size. If you have specific dietary requirements or are looking for a more detailed nutritional breakdown, it’s recommended to refer to specific ingredient labels or consult a nutritionist.


Recommended Cooking Pot/Utensils for Upma Recipe

Delicious Upma Recipe: Burst of Flavors In 30 Min

When preparing upma, it is important to choose the right cooking pot and utensils to ensure efficient cooking and a delicious result. Here are some recommended cooking pots and utensils for making upma:

I. Non-Stick or Hard-Anodized Pan:

A non-stick or hard-anodized pan is ideal for making upma as it prevents the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan and allows for even heat distribution. It also requires less oil or ghee for cooking, making it a healthier option.

II. Saucepan or Kadai:

A saucepan or kadai with a tight-fitting lid is useful for boiling water, especially when making semolina or other grains before adding them to the upma mixture. It allows for controlled cooking and prevents excessive moisture loss.

III. Spatula or Wooden Spoon:

A spatula or wooden spoon is essential for stirring the ingredients while cooking. It should be heat-resistant and have a wide, flat surface for efficient mixing and preventing lumps.

IV. Knife and Cutting Board:

A sharp knife and cutting board are necessary for chopping vegetables and other ingredients that are added to the upma. Choose a knife that is comfortable to handle and a cutting board that is stable and easy to clean.

V. Serving Bowl and Spoon:

Once the upma is cooked, a serving bowl and spoon are needed for serving and enjoying the dish. Opt for heat-resistant and food-safe materials that are comfortable to handle.

VI. Additional Utensils:

Depending on the specific upma recipe and variations, you may require additional utensils such as a strainer for rinsing ingredients like poha or vermicelli, a small frying pan for tempering spices, or a grater for grating ginger or coconut.

It is important to choose utensils that are suitable for the type of stove or heat source you are using, whether it is gas, electric, or induction. Additionally, ensure that the utensils are properly cleaned and maintained for hygienic cooking.

By using the recommended cooking pots and utensils, you can create upma with ease and enjoy the process of preparing this delicious dish.

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Common Ingredients and Their Quantities In Upma Recipe

Delicious Upma Recipe: Burst of Flavors In 30 Min

To make a basic upma, you will need the following ingredients in the mentioned quantities:

  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Asafetida (Hing)
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • A handful of cashews
  • A handful of Black Gram Lentils (Chana Daal)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups water


Benefits  of “Semolina” & “Curry leaves” In Upma Recipe

Delicious Upma Recipe: Burst of Flavors In 30 Min

A. Semolina:

Semolina is a coarse flour made from durum wheat, a hard variety of wheat. It has a gritty texture and is commonly used in cooking and baking. Semolina is often used to make pasta, bread, and various desserts.

In the context of upma, semolina is the main ingredient used to create the base of the dish. When cooked, semolina absorbs liquid and swells, resulting in a soft yet slightly grainy texture. It adds a nutty flavor and provides a substantial and satisfying consistency to the upma.

Nutritious Value of Semolina:

Semolina is a nutritious ingredient that offers several health benefits. Here is an overview of its nutritional value per 100 grams:

  • Calories: Semolina provides around 360 calories, making it an energy-dense food.
  • Carbohydrates: It is rich in carbohydrates, with approximately 73 grams per 100 grams, making it a good source of sustained energy.
  • Protein: Semolina contains about 13 grams of protein, which is beneficial for muscle growth and repair.
  • Fiber: It provides approximately 3 grams of dietary fiber, aiding in digestion and promoting a feeling of fullness.
  • Fat: Semolina is relatively low in fat, with around 1 gram per 100 grams.
  • Vitamins: It is a good source of several B vitamins, including thiamine (B1) and folate (B9), which are important for energy production and overall well-being.
  • Minerals: Semolina contains essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, which play vital roles in various bodily functions.


B. Curry Leaves:

Curry leaves are aromatic leaves that come from the curry tree (Murraya koenigii), which is native to the Indian subcontinent. These leaves are commonly used in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines to add flavor and aroma to dishes. Curry leaves have a distinctly citrusy and slightly bitter taste.

When heated or sautéed in oil or ghee, they release a delightful aroma that enhances the overall flavor of the dish. In upma, curry leaves are often used in the tempering process, where they are fried in oil along with other spices to infuse the dish with their unique fragrance and taste.

Nutritious Value of Curry Leaves:

Curry leaves are not only used for their aromatic flavor but also offer certain nutritional benefits. While the leaves are primarily used in small quantities for flavoring, they can still contribute to the overall nutritional value of a dish. Here are some key nutrients found in curry leaves:

  • Antioxidants: Curry leaves are rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
  • Vitamins: They are a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, which have antioxidant properties and are important for maintaining healthy skin, immune function, and eye health.
  • Minerals: Curry leaves contain minerals like iron, calcium, and phosphorus, which are essential for bone health, blood circulation, and overall well-being.
  • Fiber: They provide dietary fiber, aiding in digestion and supporting a healthy digestive system.

While the exact nutritional content of curry leaves can vary, incorporating them into your dishes adds flavor and a potential boost of beneficial nutrients.

Both semolina and curry leaves play important roles in the preparation of upma, contributing to its flavor, texture, and overall appeal.


Preparation and Cooking Time of Upma Recipe

The preparation and cooking time of upma can vary depending on the recipe, quantity, and the cook’s experience. Here’s a general overview of the time required for preparing and cooking upma:

A. Preparation Time:

The preparation time for upma typically involves gathering and prepping the ingredients, such as chopping vegetables, measuring spices, and rinsing any necessary ingredients like semolina or poha. The preparation time can range from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the complexity of the recipe and the familiarity of the cook with the process.

B. Cooking Time:

The cooking time for upma mainly depends on the cooking method and the specific ingredients used. Here’s a breakdown of the cooking time based on the primary components:

  • Sautéing onions and spices: This step usually takes around 3 to 5 minutes, as the onions need to soften and develop a golden brown color.
  • Cooking the semolina or other grains: The time required to cook the semolina or other grains can vary. It typically takes about 10 to 15 minutes for the semolina to absorb the liquid and reach the desired consistency.

Other grains like poha or vermicelli may have different cooking times, typically ranging from 5 to 10 minutes.
Tempering and seasoning: The tempering of spices and seasoning the upma usually takes a few minutes, around 2 to 3 minutes, to infuse the flavors into the dish.

Overall, the cooking time for upma can range from 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the specific recipe and the cooking speed of the individual. It’s important to note that some variations of upma, such as vegetable upma with a larger quantity of ingredients, may require additional cooking time.

To ensure a smooth cooking process, it’s helpful to have all the ingredients prepped and ready before starting to cook. This saves time and allows for a seamless transition between the different cooking steps.

Remember, the cooking time may vary based on the specific recipe and personal preferences, so it’s always advisable to follow the instructions provided in the recipe you’re using.


Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Upma Recipe

Delicious Upma Recipe: Burst of Flavors In 30 Min

Now that we have the necessary ingredients, let’s go through the step-by-step process of making a delicious upma:

  • Heat the ghee or oil in a pan on medium heat.
  • Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add the curry leaves, cashews, Channa Dal, Hing, chopped onions, green chilies, and grated ginger. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  • Add the semolina to the pan and roast it on low heat until it turns light golden and releases a nutty aroma.
  • In a separate saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  • Gradually add the boiling water to the roasted semolina while stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes or until the semolina absorbs all the water and reaches a thick, porridge-like consistency.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the upma rest for a few minutes.
  • Fluff the upma with a fork before serving.


Exploring Variations In Upma Recipe

While the basic upma recipe is delightful on its own, there are several variations you can explore to add more diversity to your upma experience. Here are five popular variations:

1. Vegetable Upma:

Vegetable upma is a delightful variation of upma that adds an array of colorful and nutritious vegetables to the dish. By incorporating vegetables like carrots, peas, bell peppers, and beans, you not only enhance the visual appeal of your upma but also increase its nutritional value. The addition of vegetables provides vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making it a wholesome and balanced breakfast option. Here’s an example:

  • To make Vegetable Upma, follow the basic upma recipe mentioned earlier. After sautéing the onions and spices, add a handful of finely chopped carrots, peas, bell peppers, and beans. Stir-fry the vegetables for a few minutes until they become slightly tender. Then, proceed with adding the semolina and water as instructed in the recipe. The result will be a colorful and nutritious upma packed with the goodness of vegetables.
2. Rava Upma:

Rava upma is the traditional form of upma, where semolina (also known as rava or sooji) is used as the main ingredient. Rava upma offers a unique texture and is perfect for those who enjoy a slightly coarse and grainy consistency. The semolina gives the dish a hearty and satisfying feel. Here’s an example:

  • To make Rava Upma, you can follow the basic upma recipe with a slight modification. Instead of using the fine variety of semolina, opt for the coarse variety. The coarse semolina provides a distinct texture and adds a pleasant graininess to the upma. The cooking process remains the same; however, the result will have a more robust and substantial texture compared to the classic upma.
3. Poha Upma:

Poha upma is a lighter alternative to the classic upma. In this variation, flattened rice flakes, known as poha, are used instead of semolina. Poha upma is quick to make and has a delicate, fluffy texture. It is a popular choice for those seeking a lighter breakfast option. Here’s an example:

  • To make Poha Upma, you’ll need to replace the semolina with poha. Start by rinsing the poha in water to soften it. Once the poha becomes pliable, drain the excess water and set it aside. In a pan, sauté onions, green chilies, and other spices. Then, add the drained poha and gently toss it with the spices until well-coated. Cook for a few minutes until the flavors meld together. The result is a light and fluffy upma with a delicate texture.
4. Vermicelli Upma:

Vermicelli upma is a creative twist on the traditional upma recipe. Instead of semolina, roasted vermicelli is used as the main ingredient. Vermicelli upma has a delicate taste and pairs well with coconut chutney or a side of yogurt. Here’s an example:

  • To make Vermicelli Upma, you’ll need roasted vermicelli, which is readily available in stores. In a pan, heat oil or ghee and temper mustard seeds, curry leaves, and other spices. Then, add the roasted vermicelli and stir-fry for a few minutes until it turns golden. Add water and cook until the vermicelli is soft and fully cooked. The result is a flavorful and fragrant upma with a light and thin texture, thanks to vermicelli.
5. Oats Upma:

For those looking for a healthier alternative, oats upma is an excellent choice. By replacing semolina with oats, you create a wholesome and nourishing breakfast option packed with fiber and nutrients. Oats upma is not only delicious but also helps in maintaining a balanced diet. Here’s an example:

  • To make Oats Upma, begin by dry roasting the oats in a pan until they turn slightly golden and aromatic. Set the roasted oats aside. In another pan, sauté onions, green chilies, and spices. Then, add water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the roasted oats, stirring continuously until the oats are cooked and the mixture thickens. The result is a nutritious and fiber-rich upma that is both satisfying and beneficial for your health.

By exploring these variations, you can experiment with different flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles to find the upma that suits your preferences and dietary needs. Enjoy the process of trying out these variations and discovering your favorite way to enjoy upma!

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Bursting Flavors: Add-Ons and Seasonings In Upma Recipe

Upma is incredibly versatile when it comes to flavors and add-ons. Here are some popular choices to enhance the taste of your upma:

  • Coconut chutney: Serve your upma with a side of coconut chutney for a refreshing and tangy kick.
  • Tomato-onion topping: Sauté finely chopped tomatoes and onions with a pinch of salt and sprinkle them on top of the upma for added texture and flavor.
  • Lemon juice: Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the upma just before serving to give it a zesty twist.
  • Cashew garnish: Roast some cashews separately and sprinkle them on top of the upma for a delightful crunch.
  • Fresh herbs: Garnish your upma with freshly chopped coriander leaves or curry leaves to add a pop of freshness.


Tips and Tricks for Perfect Upma Recipe

To ensure your upma turns out delicious, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:

I. Roast the semolina:

Before cooking, lightly roast the semolina to enhance its flavor and prevent it from turning lumpy.

II. Tempering spices:

Properly tempering the spices, such as mustard seeds, curry leaves, and cashews, in ghee or oil adds a burst of aromatic flavors to your upma.

III. Water proportion:

The ratio of water to semolina is crucial. Use approximately two cups of water for every cup of semolina to achieve the desired consistency.

IV. Stirring technique:

While cooking the semolina, ensure you stir continuously to avoid clumps and achieve a smooth texture.

V. Resting period:

Allow the upma to rest for a few minutes after cooking. This helps the flavors to meld together and results in a more flavorful dish.


Serving Suggestions

Delicious Upma Recipe: Burst of Flavors In 30 Min

Upma can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or as part of a complete breakfast spread. Here are some serving suggestions:

I. Serve hot:

Upma is best enjoyed when it’s hot and fresh off the stove. Serve it immediately to savor the flavors and textures at their best.

II. Accompaniments:

Pair your upma with a cup of a hot tea or coffee for a satisfying breakfast experience. You can also serve it with coconut chutney, tomato chutney, or sambar for a complete South Indian meal.

III. Variation platter:

If you’ve prepared different variations of upma, create a platter with a selection of vegetable upma, rava upma, poha upma, vermicelli upma, and oats upma. This allows your guests to try different flavors and find their favorites.

IV. Breakfast on the go:

Upma is a convenient option for breakfast on busy mornings. Pack it in a tiffin box or wrap it in a warm tortilla for a delicious and portable meal.



Upma is a delicious and versatile dish that brings together flavors, textures, and the cultural heritage of India. By following the steps outlined in this guide about the upma recipe, you can master the art of making upma in various forms and enjoy a burst of flavors in every bite. So, put on your chef’s hat, gather the ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure to create the perfect upma tailored to your preferences.



Q. Can I make upma in advance?
A. Yes, you can make upma in advance and reheat it when needed. However, freshly cooked upma has the best texture and flavors.

Q. Can I use other grains instead of semolina?
A. Absolutely! While semolina is the traditional choice, you can experiment with other grains like couscous, quinoa, or broken wheat to create unique variations of upma.

Q. Can I make upma without onions and garlic?
A. Yes, you can omit onions and garlic from the recipe if you prefer. However, they do add a depth of flavor to the dish.

Q. Can I freeze leftover upma?
A. While it’s possible to freeze leftover upma, it may alter the texture slightly. It’s best to consume upma within a day or two for optimal taste and texture.

Q. Can I customize the spice level in upma?
A. Absolutely! Adjust the quantity of green chilies or add red chili powder to control the spice level according to your taste preferences.

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