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Breakfast Upma

This traditional recipe from the Southern part of India is made from roasted wheat semolina. It makes a comforting breakfast with a filter coffee or a light lunch with added vegetables.

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 cup wheat semolina

  • 1 cup yogurt

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water

  • 2 tbsp channa daal (split chickpeas)

  • 2 tbsp urad daal (black gram lentils split and skinned)

  • 1/2 onion

  • 1 medium tomato

  • 1 chili pepper

  • 1 tbsp sambhar powder (we like MTR)

  • 2-inch ginger

  • 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds

  • 10 curry leaves

  • 1 tsp asafoetida

  • 1/4 cup cilantro

  • 1/4 cup grated coconut

  • 2 tbsp dry roasted or salted peanuts (or cashews)

  • Salt to taste

  • (if you want to add more veggies) 1/2 chopped red bell pepper, 1 carrot, 1/4 cup peas


  1. Dry roast the wheat semolina. Soak both daals in cold water for 10 minutes.

  2. In a 3 quart pot, heat up the ghee. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add asafoetida, curry leaves, ginger, chili pepper, and onion.

  3. Drain the water and add both daals to the pot. Stir for 3-4 minutes on low heat.

  4. (optional) Add chopped red bell pepper, carrots, and peas. Add salt and let cook for 2 minutes.

  5. Add tomatoes and let simmer for 2 minutes. Add peanuts.

  6. Whisk a cup of yogurt and add to the pot.

  7. Boil the water and add it to the pot. Add salt, sambhar powder, grated coconut, and cilantro. Bring to boil on high heat.

  8. While continuously stirring, add the semolina slowly. Reduce the flame to low and stir the mixture as it thickens out to porridge consistency.

  9. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot!

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