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All About Upma: A Traditional South Indian Breakfast

Upma is a traditional breakfast dish that originated in South India.All About Upma: A Traditional South Indian Breakfast It is a savory and wholesome dish that is made with semolina or cream of wheat, vegetables, spices, and herbs. Upma is an easy-to-make and filling breakfast that is perfect for those who are always on the go. In this article, we will explore the history of upma, its nutritional benefits, different variations of the dish, and how to make it at home.

History of Upma

Upma has been a staple breakfast dish in South India for centuries. It is believed to have originated in Tamil Nadu, where it is known as upper made or upper hitch. The dish was traditionally made with rice flour, but over time, semolina or cream of wheat became the preferred base ingredient. Today up is enjoyed all over India and has even gained popularity in other countries.

All About Upma: A Traditional South Indian Breakfast
All About Upma: A Traditional South Indian Breakfast

Nutritional Benefits of Upma

Upma is a nutritious breakfast dish that is rich in carbohydrates, protein, and essential nutrients. Semolina, the main ingredient of upma, is a good source of energy and dietary fiber. The vegetables used in upma, such as carrots, peas, and onions, are rich in vitamins and minerals. Spices and herbs used in upma, such as turmeric, ginger, and curry leaves, have anti-inflammatory properties and aid in digestion.

Variations of Upma

Upma can be made in a variety of ways, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Some popular variations of upma include:

Rava Upma

Rava upma is the most basic version of upma and is made with semolina, water, vegetables, and spices. It is a simple and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed by itself or with chutney, sambar, or yogurt.

Vegetable Upma

Vegetable upma is a nutritious and filling dish that is made with a variety of vegetables such as carrots, peas, beans, and potatoes. It is a colorful and flavorful dish that is perfect for breakfast or lunch.

Tomato Upma

Tomato upma is a tangy and flavorful dish that is made with ripe tomatoes, semolina, and spices. It is a great way to use up ripe tomatoes and is perfect for a quick and easy breakfast.

Poha Upma

Poha upma is a variation of upma that is made with flattened rice flakes instead of semolina. It is a light and fluffy dish that is perfect for those who are looking for a gluten-free option.

How to Make Upma

रवा उपमा – सुबह का टेस्टी पौष्टिक नाश्ता | Healthy , Nutritious & Tasty Upma | Quick&Easy Rava Upma

Making upma at home is easy and requires only a few ingredients. Here’s a simple recipe for rava upma:


upma Recipe
upma Recipe

Before we start, let’s take a look at the ingredients you will need to make upma:

  • 1 cup of semolina (also known as sooji or rava)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of chana dal (split Bengal gram)
  • 1 tablespoon of urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • A few curry leaves
  • 2 cups of water
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice (optional)


  1. Dry roast the semolina in a pan until it turns light brown in color and gives off a nutty aroma. Set it aside.
  2. Heat the oil or ghee in a pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Then add the cumin seeds, chana dal, and urad dal. Fry until the dals turn golden brown.
  3. Add the chopped onion, green chilies, grated ginger, and curry leaves. Fry until the onion turns translucent.
  4. Add the roasted semolina and salt to taste. Mix well.
  5. Add 2 cups of water and stir continuously to avoid lumps.
  6. Cover the pan and let it cook for 5-7 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the upma is cooked.
  7. Remove from heat and add a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.
upma Recipe


Upma can be customized to your liking by adding vegetables such as carrots, peas, or beans. You can also add cashews or peanuts for crunchiness, or grated coconut for a sweet flavor. Experiment with different spices to suit your taste.

Health Benefits

Upma is a healthy breakfast option that is low in fat and high in protein. Semolina is a good source of carbohydrates, while the dals and nuts provide protein and fiber. The dish is also rich in vitamins and minerals.

upma Recipe
upma Recipe


  1. Is corn upma gluten-free?
  2. No, corn upma is not gluten-free as it contains semolina, which is made from wheat.
  3. Can I use frozen corn kernels to make corn upma?

Yes, you can use frozen corn kernels to make corn upma. Just thaw them before adding them to the dish.

  1. Can I substitute semolina with another grain?
  2. Yes, you can use other grains like couscous, quinoa, or bulgur wheat instead of semolina to make a different variation of upma.
  3. How long does it take to make corn upma?
  4. Corn upma can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, making it a quick and easy breakfast option.
  5. Is corn upma spicy?
  6. Corn upma can be made as spicy or mild as you like by adjusting the amount of green chilies or adding other spices.
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