Upma. Savory cream of wheat/rice with nuts and veggies. Vegan breakfast.glutenfree option

Upma is another one of the favorite savory breakfast served in different ways in several parts of India. It is flexible to taste and refreshing on cold says as a snack too. We made upma, poha(savory rice flakes), chilla (chickpea flour and veggie crepes/omelettes) and some other very indian breakfasts with mom around. I will post each and then round them up in one breakfast collection post!
This dish can be made with cream of wheat- wheat semolina, cream of rice- rice semolina/rava, cracked wheat, vermicelli -semiyan, other quick cooking cracked grains. The cooking time and water needed for cracked grains might be a little more than regular semolina. Use glutenfree cream of rice(Rice Rava) for a glutenfree version. Add as many veggies and nuts to make this one balanced breakfast/snack!

  • In a pan, dry roast the semolina/rava on low-medium heat till the color changes to a light gold(3-4 minutes for half a cup).We usually dry roast and store the semolina in an airtight container for a few weeks. to reduce prep time. Use 3/4 cup to serve 2.
  • In another container, add double the quantity of water( 2 cups water for a cup of semolina) and heat it to bring it to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, remove the roasted semolina and Heat 2 tsp of oil in the pan at medium heat.
  • Add half a tsp mustard seeds and allow them to sputter.
  • Add the daals-a teaspoon each channa(bengal gram) and urad(split black gram, use both or just urad) and a few curry leaves and mix for half a minute. Add 2-3 Tbsps of chopped cashew pieces and cook till the daal and cashew start to change color(another half minute)
  • Add chopped onion, ginger and green chili. Sauté for a minute.

  • Add vegetables(finley chopped carrots, bell pepper, peas), and salt to taste and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the roasted semolina and boiling water, mix well, cover and cook till all water is absorbed. 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve hot with some lemon juice and chopped cilantro for garnish. Other garnishes can be roasted peanuts, shredded coconut or sev(chickpea flour broken noodles).
  • For fusion versions, add zucchini or olives, tomatoes, corn, raisins, cranberries or any fave veggie! Use Cream of rice(Rice/Idli Rava) for a glutenfree version.
This simple breakfast is headed to Hearth and soul blog hop, Slightly indulgent tuesdays and Ricki’s Wellness Weekend!
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  1. says

    Thanks Caitlin:) all my breakfast shots are like.. wait.. stop eating.. let me take a quick picture whever it is.. .. ok now u can eat!:)

    Thanks Aarthi.

    Thanks Alpana. we love all kinds of upma here too!

  2. says

    Aside from the fact that this sounds delicious, I’m loving the video game controller shot :) hahaha. Now that is a morning that I want in on. Gluten free, please :) xo, Cara

  3. says

    If I had to pick one kind of Indian food to eat forever – I’d pick Upma. It’s so yummy and versatile – and I love that you added nuts and veggies to it. I’ll definitely try it that way. :)

  4. says

    You know when I saw your FB update I just laughed. I sometimes feel it and took few snaps in the mid of eating. Love this evergreen recipe.

  5. says

    Thanks Krithi,Panchmrutham!

    Thanks Valerie, i usually dont make it other times, so its really a rush job taking pictures inthe morning:)

    Tbanks Cara. You can make it gf with cream of rice!

  6. says

    hi Richa, Where can i get gluten free semolina. Which brand should i look for? Any indian exporters? This is my hubby’s favorite. I add cabbage and peanuts too, and serve with fried eggplant. Yum!

    I’ve stopped taking them coz i’m trying to go gluten free wherever possible. so i’d luv to make it with gluten free upuma

  7. says

    Ami, the indian stores might have it as idli rava(coarse ground rice, brands might be laxmi or deep), but make sure it is only rice. If you are gluten intolerant, then get Cream of rice hot cereal which should be available in regular supermarkets.
    Hope this helps!

  8. says

    This looks so yummy! I’m going to have to book mark it and try a GF version of this. Yum! Thank you for yet another amazing recipe! I can’t believe how much you cook, photograph & blog without getting exhausted. You’re amazing! xox

  9. says

    Vegangela, it should work with quinoa too. just adjust the water and cooking time. or you can use some cooked quinoa and saute it and cook on low for a few minutes to help absorption of the spices for a quicker breakfast/snack.


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