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A photo of Upma.jpg
Alternative names Uppuma, Uppittu, Uppumavu, Uppindi, Kharabath, Upeet, Rulanv
Course Breakfast
Place of origin India
Region or state South India, Western India
Main ingredients Wheat rava (semolina) or coarse rice flour.
Cookbook: Upma  Media: Upma

Upma, uppumavu or uppittu is a common South Indian, Maharashtrian, and Sri Lankan Tamil breakfast dish, cooked as a thick porridge from dry roasted semolina or coarse rice flour. Various seasonings and/or vegetables are often added during the cooking, depending on individual preferences. Today it is popular in most parts of India and is prepared in various ways.


In many Dravidian languages, the word uppu means salt and pindi, mavu or hittu means flour, hence the name uppindi, uppumavu or uppittu. In North India, it is called upma.

Language Roman Transliteration Native Unicode
Kannada Uppittu, Kharabath ಉಪ್ಪಿಟ್ಟು, ಖಾರಬಾತ್
Tamil Uppumavu, Uppuma, Upma உப்புமா
Telugu Uppindi, Upma ఉప్మా, ఉప్పిండి
Malayalam Uppumavu ഉപ്പുമാവ്
Marathi Uppeet, Upma उप्पीट/उपमा
Konkani Rulanv रुलांव
Hindi Upma उपमा
Bengali Okma ওকমা
Nutritional value per 120 gm
Energy 1,046 kJ (250 kcal)
Dietary fiber 3.2 g
Saturated 0.916 g
Monounsaturated 1.54 g
Polyunsaturated 0.944 g
223 mg
190 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.


Upma is usually made with Semolina (called Rava or Suji in India). There are many ways Upma is prepared; indeed, every upma cook usually will incorporate variations in flavour when making Upma. This variation is obtained by varying or emphasising particular spices. A typical recipe includes:


  1. Semolina (Rava) (1 cup)
  2. Cooking oil (3-4 tbsp)
  3. Mustard seeds (1/2 tsp)
  4. Cumin (1 tsp)
  5. Asafoetida (1 tsp)
  6. Curry Leaves
  7. Garam masala
  8. Chopped onions (1 med, chopped)
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Vegetables of choice: Peas, carrot
  11. Grated coconut (3-4 tbsp, optional)
  12. Lemon juice (2 tsp, optional)

Method of preparation[edit]

  1. Dry-roast Semolina (rava) until it just begins to turn brown, then keep aside.
  2. In a large saucepan/wok, heat the cooking oil.
  3. Add mustard seeds and wait for them to sputter. Then add cumin, ginger, green chillies and chopped onions and fry until onions caramelise.
  4. Add vegetables, salt and 2 cups of water, and bring to boil.
  5. Add the roasted rava, turn down the heat, and mix quickly to avoid lumps forming.
  6. The upma is done when all the water is absorbed by the rava.
  7. Garnish with grated coconut, chopped cilantro leaves and lemon juice.

Major variations[edit]

Sooji upma[edit]

Upma made from Sooji

The most popular version with wide variations of Upma are made with whole or refined ground wheat and rice of varied grain size, Vermicelli. Sometimes a wide range of vegetables may be added, and may be garnished with a variety of beans (raw or sprouted), cashew and peanuts. For a variation called masala upma (known as 'Kharabath' in Karnataka), sambar masala or garam masala is added along with red chilli powder, instead of green chillies. This variety is more popular in Karnataka, Maharastra, Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh and is usually served in South Indian restaurants.

Whole wheat upma[edit]

Wheat Upma

Whole wheat or wheat dalia (cracked wheat) is known for its nutritional benefits. In Tamil Nadu Samba Wheat rava (Traditional Wheat) is used and is very popular in Coimbatore region where it is had as breakfast or dinner. Usually eaten with Banana and Ghee or Curd and pickle and also served with chutney and sambhar. Some times cooked with vegetables like peas, carrots, and beans for a fulfilling meal. It is also high in glycemic index and is good for diabetics.

Rice upma[edit]

Broken rice upma & coconut chutney

The Rice Upma, which is mainly popular in Tamil Nadu and southern parts of Karnataka is referred to as Akki Tari Uppittu (Rice coarse flour uppittu). Another variant of upma is prepared with grated coconuts instead of onions, especially on holy days, when onion is avoided. This type of upma is generally smeared with ghee at the end of preparation. Dishes similar to upma can be made by substituting small crumbs of leftover bread or Idli instead of flour. Upma made from coarser rava known as Sajjige is a dish of Udupi cuisine. It is sometimes served along with snacks such as sauted and spiced poha or Chevdo.

Corn upma[edit]

Corn Upma

Another variation is Corn Upma which serves as a healthy breakfast due to the ingredients like corn, milk & nuts, Curry Leaves are added for flavour.[1]

Kesari bath[edit]

In Karnataka, Upma is also served with another popular sweet dish of Karnataka Kesari bhath(ಕೇಸರಿ ಬಾತ್), both in equal quantity in one plate which is very popularly called as the "Chow Chow Bath".

Aval upma / Atukulu upma[edit]

In Andhra Pradesh, flattened rice used in place of semolina for upma, called Atukulu upma (అటుకులు ఉప్మా). Also known as Aval Upma in Chennai region when used with rice flakes similar to poha.

Vermicelli Upma[edit]


Another version made with Vermicelli and tomato, peas and carrot. A popular light snack in the evening.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Dalal, Tarla. Healthy breakfast. Mumbai: Sanjay. p. 9. ISBN 9788186469811.