Upma by Famidha


Upma – Simple South Indian Semolina Breakfast

I’m away from blogging any new recipes right now, due to a few issues I have with my tech.

Here is an updated recipe for Upma from the lovely Famidha of My Life In Yanbu Blog.

The original guest post is from last year when I first moved here….

Assalamu Alaikum dear readers of Halal Home Cooking! As you all know my beloved fellow blogger is spending great time with her family in Algeria and has left an open invitation to take over her space in her absence. As I have never done guest posting for anyone and I am just a beginner in food blog world, I got thinking on what to cook for UmmHamza and her readers. What to cook is a terrifying question that I ask myself every day even if I have a meal planned for the week – 😛 I am sure you too would have such dilemma!

After a lot of (2 weeks?) contemplation, here I am sharing a simple recipe that is South Indian (which is now had all over India) breakfast made with Semolina. This is quick recipe that does not involve any soaking or grinding etc. Oops! Did I forget to introduce myself? Oh! I hate to do that About Me thingy even in a job interview… but well here it is – I am Famidha Ashraf from South of India and I blog at My Life in Yanbu which I started after I moved to Yanbu, KSA with hubby dear. My space is just over a year old with handful of recipes and lot other posts on life as such. I do not own an oven so my recipes are all made on stove-top. Yikes! That is all about my blog right? Okay, I am a married stay-at-home wife who is ardent foodie like hubby and so I cook and we eat! That’s it.

Back to the recipe of the day, it is called Upma or Uppmav or like one of my uncle who actually translated it to “Salt Mango Tree” because Upp is salt and mav is mango tree in Malayalam! – that was a joke btw. So Upma is nothing but cooked roasted semolina. If you do not get roasted semolina pack then just roast before you start the cooking. This is served with chutney, chammanthi, pickle, and even sugar. Or like my family, with leftover meat curry.

The Internet has millions of variations on Upma and chutneys, and every recipe is different because there are endless opportunities to spruce this up. Here I am sharing a very basic one for beginners! When I said this is a quick recipe, it really needs speed. So ensure to keep all your ingredients ready before your start the cooking process.



Serving Size: 2

Upma – Simple South Indian Semolina Breakfast


For Upma:
    • 1 tablespoon ghee
    • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon channa dal (split bengal gram) (optional)
    • 2 to 3 split and chopped cashew nuts
    • 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped finely
    • 2 green chillies, chopped finely
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
    • a few curry leaves
    • 2 cups of water
    • a pinch of turmeric powder (optional, for the colour)
    • Salt to taste
    • 1 tablespoon of lemon/lime juice or as per taste
    • 1/2 cup roasted coarse or fine semolina
For Coconut Chutney (optional step, you can avoid making this and still have the upma):
  • 1/3 cup fresh or desiccated coconut (if using desiccated like me, drizzle a few tablespoons of water to puff it up)
  • a few slices of onion
  • a very small piece of ginger
  • 1 green chilli or 1 dried red chilli
  • A few curry leaves
  • Lemon juice as per taste
  • Salt
  • Water – if you want to make it thin


  1. Dry roast the semolina until fragrant and transfer on to a plate or bowl and keep aside. – this is to stop it from cooking further and browning
  2. Then, keep all the ingredients of upma ready – chopped, etc.
  3. Heat ghee in a kadai or deep pan
  4. Add mustard seeds, and let it splutter. Reduce the flame and add the split Bengal gram (if using), curry leaves, cashew nuts, onions, green chillies, ginger and turmeric powder. Sauté for a few minutes and pour in the water.
  5. Add Salt and stir
  6. Increase the flame to medium high and bring the water to rolling boiling state
  7. Reduce the flame to lowest, and take the roasted semolina and start adding into the water little by little while stirring it continuously with the other hand. This is to prevent it from forming lumps.
  8. Keep stirring until all the water is absorbed, then close and let it cook in steam for another 2 minutes
  9. Switch off and keep covered.
  10. If you want to make the chutney – add all the ingredients in a small sized blender or spice mixer and blend it until a coarse paste. You can add water to thin it and adjust the taste as per your liking.
  11. Serve hot – you can add the prepared Upma into a bowl and unmould it over the serving plate – just for aesthetics. This is how restaurants serve!


Start eating with the chutney, or pickle or I am sure this will go well with any tajines too. Just before the last few spoons I prefer to sprinkle some sugar and finish off! 😛 Back home, my mom makes this for weekend breakfast with any leftover curries of the week. Especially, we love this with beef or goat meat curry! So as you see there isn’t much rule of what pairs with it!

Note: This is my mom’s recipe and I was doubtful of her ratio of water to semolina but went ahead and tried with the same ½ cup semolina needs 2 cup of water. This results in Upma that stays soft. Right after it is cooked, it will look too watery but do not panic as it gets cold, it gets tighter.

As this is a basic recipe, you can spruce it up by adding veggies like carrots, beans, peas etc. You will have to add this right before adding the water to boil. The rule is all stuffs, then water, boil and end with semolina.

So, that is it. I hope you all would try this dish and make it part of your meal plan! JazakAllah Khair UmmHamza for having me around…love.

Upma by Famidha {Guest Post}
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Upma by Famidha {Guest Post}

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