Upma: A Delightful South Indian Breakfast Choice

Upma is a traditional South Indian dish that has gained popularity across India and even worldwide for its simplicity, versatility, and delicious taste. This humble dish is not only easy to prepare but also offers a range of variations and nutritional benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the world of upma, including a basic upma recipe, the concept of upma alankar, and the calories it packs.

Upma Recipe: A Flavorful Start to the Day

Upma is typically made from semolina, also known as rava or sooji, and can be customized with various ingredients to suit your taste. Here’s a basic recipe for making a delectable up:


  • 1 cup semolina (rava)
  • Two tablespoons of cooking oil or ghee
  • One teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • One teaspoon urad dal (black gram lentils)
  • One teaspoon chana dal (split chickpeas)
  • A few curry leaves.
  • 1-2 green chilies (finely chopped, adjust to your spice preference)
  • One small onion (finely chopped)
  • Half a cup of mixed veggies, such as bell peppers, carrots, and peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Freshly chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)


  1. Dry roast the semolina in a pan until it turns slightly golden and releases a nutty aroma. Set it aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat oil or ghee and add mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
  3. Add urad dal and chana dal. Sauté until they turn golden.
  4. Add curry leaves, green chilies, and chopped onions. Sauté until the onions become translucent.
  5. Add the mixed vegetables, turmeric powder, and salt. Simmer the veggies for a few minutes, or until they start to get soft.
  6. Pour the roasted semolina into the pan and mix it with the vegetables.
  7. Slowly add the water while stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the upma is cooked and the water is absorbed.
  8. If desired, squeeze some lemon juice and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot, and enjoy your homemade upma.

Upma Alankar: The Art of Garnishing

Upma alankar, also known as upma garnish, is the practice of creatively decorating your upma to make it visually appealing. While upma is traditionally a simple dish, upma alankar allows you to add a touch of artistry to your plate. You can use ingredients like grated coconut, pomegranate seeds, fried cashews, and fresh herbs to decorate your upma.

Upma Calories: A Nutritious Breakfast Option

Upma is not only a delightful dish but also a nutritious one. The number of upma calories can vary based on the ingredients and portion size, but it’s generally considered a healthy choice for breakfast.

Moreover, you can customize your upma by using ingredients that fit your dietary preferences, such as making it vegan by using vegetable oil instead of ghee and omitting any dairy-based garnishes.


Upma is a flavorful and customizable South Indian breakfast option that has made its way into kitchens worldwide. With its simple preparation, versatility in ingredients, and the opportunity for creative upma alankar, it’s a beloved dish that caters to various tastes and preferences.

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