Simple Uppittu (Upma)

Some of you might wonder, why am I posting upma here? This is one of the most famous and extremely easy breakfast. I think this is the recipe learnt by most of the people in their early days of cooking. But I am an exception to this. Though I knew the recipe for upma very long back, I prepared the most horrible upma until recently. I even stopped making it, because every time I prepared it, it became like cement :D.

Two years back when I was staying with by brother and cousin, I tried this many times. Each time when I prepared it, all used to run away. So after my marriage, I never tried making it. Then after repeatedly forced by my hubby, I gave him the warning, ‘I will prepare it and you HAVE to eat it, does not matter if it is good or bad’. Somehow, that day it came out well :).

My mom prepares 3-4 types of upma. I am going to post all of them here this week. Hope you all enjoy the upma week. BTW…I used to wonder, how a person can like upma until recently. Now I have started liking it.

I will start with the most basic upma. It is usually prepared in temples or during functions at home (when there is a lot of things to do for lunch, so usually people make something simple like upma for breakfast) or during wedding. This does not have onion in it. Usually served with sev.

1 cup sooji (upma sooji or wheat rava)
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn urad dal(optional)
A pinch asafoetida
1/2 tea spn sugar
2-3 green chillies
4-5 curry leaves
1 tbl spn fresh/frozen coconut
A pinch turmeric

Roast the sooji on a low flame till a nice aroma comes out. Take out on a plate.
Heat oil and add mustard, urad dal(optional). When mustard starts popping and urad dal turns slightly brownish, add curry leaves(cut the leaves into two to enhance the aroma). Add asafoetida, turmeric and green chillies. Now add sooji(rava) and fry on a low flame for around 6-7mins (take care not to burn the rava). Add salt and sugar, mix well.
In a separate bowl heat 2 cups of water. When it starts boiling, transfer it to the rava mixture. Cover and cook till all water is absorbed. Mix well. Add coconut.
Serve hot with or without sev.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 20mins

PS: The sooji can be roasted in bulk and saved for future uses.

56 thoughts on “Simple Uppittu (Upma)”

  1. My hubby calls this cement too,so I had stopped making it for a while. Then I came across a recipe to make upma/khara bath in a pressure cooker …..and it turned out well,so we now have it often ! I pair it with daal vada/chetto ambado and make a meal of it.

  2. Hi Shilpa,
    Adding vinegar to oil is new idea.My mom do make variety of upma and i do her recipes.. I am the only one to say “yes”always for this q.breakfast in my family.
    thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi shilpa upma urf conceert is our families fav breatfast.In my first pregnancy I used eat everyday upma,after my child was born I can not eat upma I dont no why:(

  4. Shilpa,

    That is a totally new way of making upma for me. I roast the sooji first(no oil). Do the tadka, add water and when boiling add roasted sooji. The trick is to stir the sooji in the boiling water without letting it form into lumps. And I do know what you are talking about when you say cement 😉 have had those versions as well.

  5. Sudha, I have seen upma served with chutney in Bangalore, I think it is because upma is in some semi-liquid state there. But at our native it is never served with chutney.
    Preeti, upma in cooker. Never heard it before :).
    Vineela, I used to throw a tantrum whenevr mom prepared upma. But these days I like upma :D.
    Thanks a lot Tanuja, vaishali,Krithika, Arnuja.
    Nav, I have seen my mom making like that sometime back. (Now I am confused which method she uses). But somehow, whenever I used that method, I screwed up upma :).

  6. Lathabasappa, you need not fry rava before preparation. As I mentioned, you can put it in mustard, curry leaves seasoning directly and then fry till a nice aroma comes out. For better results, use hot water for cooking. Use a thin variety for a paste like upma and thick one for more drier version.

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  8. Hi Shilpa,
    Thanks for all the inputs…this is a good breakfast option for us bachelors..but try as I might, I never seem to get the taste like those udupi restaurants give to their upma…i think the salt sugar ratio needs to be just right and amount of ghee probably….i always remember the restaurant upma as havins a lot of ghee (almose semi liquid) and lot of taste too :)…dunno how exactly to get that..

  9. You can also try adding some dahi or yogurt to this recipe which should not be sour, it adds great taste.. I also add some cashews and raisins.

  10. Darshan Prabhu

    Try this receipe also for Upma / Uppit.

    same like rava but after seasoning instead of adding rava add water with mixture of bit sour buttermilk or curd. once this is boiled then add rava/sooji to eat. It tatess wonderful..

  11. Hi Shilpa,
    I tried this upma recipe and it turned out great. i added sum peanuts and onions too and mixed little buttermilk to water. I think adding little beaten curd or buttermilk to water does enhance the taste of upma. But the only problem was i used coarse suji so upma became little dried. probably i should have added more water. Shilpa the best thing i found in ur site is that u have personally tried these recipes and then put them together and not copied and compiled. I appreciate ur genuineness and efforts.

  12. hey hi…
    i am shefali…..i am pregnant and now a days i really like to eat sada khana without masala and all…i found this site …and food over is reall like aai ke haath ka khana really i am enjoying it…i will be happy if u send me recipes of varan…without garlic….

    thank u


    Shilpa: Its already on the site Shefali. Please search “varn” in searchbox or check under “gravies and dals” category.

  13. Hi.. This is the first recipe I tried frm your site. I tried this even though i disliked upma.. It turned out grt. From then, I prepare upma once in a week 🙂 n I keep telling my mother that the upma I make tastes better than what she makes 😉

  14. Perfect and yummy!! i cooked it for the first time referencing your procedure!

    In absence of my mother, i could make the dish and that is an achievement!! not as tasty as she makes, but quite close… i just put some peanuts in it..

    Thanks!! I really was hungry and all i had ready was sooji. Hurray i know my first dish!! Girls… invited to taste 😛

  15. Hi!
    Some tips for ‘non-cement’ Upma
    OIL: especially if you’d like to impress your wife/hubby (you may be in a vengeful mood & then can forget this)-Use 20 ml oil for 100 g Rava. Believe me, it will be still less oily than the restaurant version.
    WATER: Different batches of Rava need different quantity due to the Gluten content. Tweak proprtions given by Shilpa accordingly. Use 1:3 for soft upma to be had as comfort food.
    GARNISH: Even if all fails, top upma with fried cashewnuts, green peas, chopped tomatoes, Sev etc.
    I always add 2.5 ml ghee after uoma’s done but still hot, so you get the taste but less cholesterol.

  16. I saw a few recipes to make upma, but yours one is the easy and simple. I saw peanuts in the upma.
    But I am not sure if sugar is added into upma or not.
    We Bengali people use Suji to make Haluwa.
    I was a bit surprized when first time I saw Suji Haluwa but no sweet, then asked one person and came to know that this upma and south indian dish.
    Thank you.

  17. Wow..great recipe..I used to ask my mom to make it for me..and even now when am at home. Now I have a recipe which helps me make as good an upma as my mom’s. This has become a regular for me..i make it at least once a week.Thank you Shilpa.

  18. i want to get a semi liquid rava upma as we get from retaurants..what should i do? i have been hunting for a long time to get a good tip for this…could you help me plz?

  19. Dear Shilpa,

    What do we do with the coconut? You have them in the ingredients… but not used anywhere…


  20. Bharathi Ganesh

    Hi, I saw this query, of making upama semiliquid.I love restaurant uppittu .I got this tip, and accidentally discovered it myself as well. It is neither more oil nor more water makes it soft.
    I take away the kadai from the flame earlier , that is when it is more liquidy than you would want. It slowly settles down to semisolid consistency. Also if you like it, adding tomatoes to the recipe just after onions and keeping it a bit liquidy helps to get the desired consistency of the final product.
    Hope this

  21. In order to get upma properly(not cement type) add water after frying mustard, urad dhall,curry leaves and turmeric and allow it to boil. The water quantity should be 2 times the quantity of sooji. Now add the roasted sooji slowly and simultaneously stir continiously.


  22. For variety i sometimes add coarsely ground pepper, cumin, chopped coriander when i fry the seasonings – tastes exciting! Also important to ‘sit’ the upma for a few minutes after switching off the stove for a few mins, not too long and not too soon for the best soft, fluffy, frehest tasting upma. ‘Remember the upma is done when you see thickish white fumes curling up from the kadai lid’ was my grandmother’s tip to me, so that’s when you switch it off and sit it so all the flavourful liquids get re-absorbed into the receptive rava and the volatile flavors get best. Sprinkling grated coconut, lemon juice, coriander, dash of ghee make it fit for gods!

  23. Hi,

    Very nicely explained recipe Shilpa. I make the Khichdi version i.e. with onion, tomatoes, peas and sometimes grated carrots added with half a lemon (lemon-after removing from gas). As seems the case with most first timers, I had disasters initially.
    A funny thing that happened was, we hired a maid when I got married and the arrangement was breakfast and chai for her to make her come at 7 a.m. Inevitably in my hurry to leave for office, whenever I made Upma… either I put in too much water or too less or (the worst) roasted the rava in high flame and got it partly burnt and partly raw. After the third such calamity, she left us after giving us a big scold about inedible food and her surprise at how we survived and vague threats about medical treatment for her stomach and bills….

    Took me long time to take up the kadai again.. but whenever I make upma I remember her and make sure I am giving it the attention it deserves.

  24. Thanks, pre-roasting the suji was a very good tip, this is what upma should be like, in fact i even avoid the coconut, all those Sanjeev Kapoor like embellishments of saffron, cashew, etc. actually turn this simple, light and delicious traditional breakfast dish into an unrecognisable mess.

  25. Shilpa,
    I came across your site today and enjoyed reading the recipes, comments and suggestions from everybody. Thanks for taking the trouble to put up all recipes. I am going to try some of them.


  26. And my mom thought the cement thing was limited to her upma!

    Can’t wait to share this to mom and make it myself.

    Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  27. Hi,
    I am from Sri Lanka and absolutely adore Upama 😀 I can eat it any time of the day… I use Dried Red Chillies cut roughly to add some zing. My only issue was the water and semolina ratio. Mine most often turn out soggy 🙁 So it looks like it’s 1:2…. Fingers crossed and I will make it tonight . Thanks a bunch!

  28. Fiesta Hot Chocolate

    1/2 c Cocoa
    1/4 c Dark Brown Sugar; Packed
    3 ea Cloves; whole
    2 tb Powdered Sugar
    Whipped Cream
    1 tb Flour; Unbleached
    4 c Milk
    1 ea Cinnamon Stick;Broken In 1/2
    1 1/2 ts Vanilla
    4 ea Cinnamon Sticks

    Mix cocoa and flour in 2-quart saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, milk, cloves, and 1 stick cinnamon. Heat just to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes (DO NOT boil). Remove from heat; remove cloves and cinnamon. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat with molinillo, wire whisk or hand beater until foamy. Pour into 4 cups or mugs. Serve with whipped cream and cinnamon sticks.

    Fiesta Hot Chocolate is ready….!
    recipes, for recipes

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