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Alternate name(s) Uppittu, Kharabath, Upeet, Rulam
Place of origin South India
Region or state South India
Dish details
Main ingredient(s) wheat rava (semolina

Upma (Tamil: உப்புமா), also known as Uppindi (Telugu: ఉప్పిండి), Uppittu (Kannada: ಉಪ್ಪಿಟ್ಟು), Kharabath (Kannada: ಖಾರಭಾತ್), Uppeet (Marathi: उप्पीट), and Rulam (Konkani), is an Indian dish made of rava. The name of the dish is an amalgam of Tamil "uppu" (உப்பு) and "maa(vu)" (மா(வு)), meaning "salt" and "flour," respectively.

Upma is a South Indian breakfast dish. It is usually made with refined wheat grains, which Indians generally call suji and is also known in the south of India as rava. A variety of upmas can be made with either vermicelli and thick, brown wheat grains. Upma is easy to prepare. For taste, vegetables may be added. Upma may also be garnished with a variety of beans (raw or sprouted), cashew and peanuts.

Rava is often translated as Semolina in cook books and by various authors on the Internet. While this is not wrong, it is not entirely accurate either. Semolina is most commonly made from Durum wheat, which is thicker and yellow in color with a higher protein and gluten content than Rava. Rava on the other hand is specifically semolina made from soft wheat also known by the trade name of Cream of wheat or farina (food), which is a softer white cereal.



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 would include:


  • Wheat Rava (Cream of Wheat / Semolina) (1 cup)
  • Cooking oil (3-4 tbsp)
  • Mustard seeds (1/2 tsp)
  • Cumin (1 tsp)
  • Ginger root (1/2 tsp, grated)
  • Green chillies (3-5 med, chopped)
  • Chopped onions (1 med, chopped) (some people may omit this for cultural reasons)
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetables of choice: Peas,carrots,potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes,
  • Grated coconut (3-4 tbsp, optional)
  • Lemon juice (2 tsp, optional)

Method of preparation

  • 1. Dry-roast 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.


This originated in Colonial India and was used by the British and Indians alike.

Major variations

Apart from Rava, Upma is widely made with Rice Rava, Vermicelli and Durum wheat semolina also. The Rice Upma, which is mainly popular in the southern parts of Karnataka is referred to as Akki Tari Uppittu (Rice coarse flour uppittu). Since rice is easier to digest than Wheat is, akki tari uppittu has also become a recommended edible for patients along with Idli and Ganji. Recipes for these dishes are linked here:

A variant of upma is prepared with grated coconuts instead of onions, specially 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.

External links

Upma recipe 1[1]

Upma recipe 2 [2]


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