Sooji Upma (Serves: 2, Preparation Time: 30 minutes)

Cereals, eggs and toast  are the easiest  breakfast option for most office goers – the busy morning hours leave no time to cook and enjoy an elaborate breakfast. At the same time, one does get bored with the predictable menu and needs something different and refreshing to kick start that Good Day!

Sooji (Semolina) Upma is one of my favorite breakfast choices for its a quick and delicious option –  specially on a  wet or cold morning when you want something hot and tangy! One can  also roast Sooji and keep it’s premix for later use. The Upma has also doubled up for many of my dinners on evenings when I am tired after a hectic day and don’t feel up to cooking an entire meal.

If you add veggies to Sooji  and keep the red chillies and peanuts out, it could turn out to be a superbly nutritious breakfast for babies (9-10 month +), toddlers and kids.


  • 1 cup Sooji (rawa/semolina)
  • 4-5 curry leaves, finely chopped (if the leaves are sizable, take only 4-5)
  • ½  tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Bengal gram (Chana Dal)
  • 1 tsp black gram (Urad Dal)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 dry red chilies, whole (optional)
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • ½ cup peanuts, roasted and coarsely ground (check out this interesting link)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • A handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon’s juice (or, to taste)


  • In a pan/wok heat the oil; add mustard seeds and when they crackle, add the curry leaves followed with bengal gram, black gram and red chilies (optional). Allow it to roast and then introduce green chilli and chopped onions (make sure you add onions quickly enough, else the dal will burn out)

  • Once the onions turn light brown, reduce the flame, bring  sooji into the mix and roast the mix till it turns light brown (You could store this mix in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for later use – this premix can  last  good 3-4 days. To prepare Upma from this mix, just add hot water mixed with salt and lemon and Upma will be ready to eat in just a few minutes!!)

  • Boil water with salt in a separate pan (the ratio of sooji to water is 1:4)

  • Gradually, introduce the boiled water to the roasted sooji mix and keep stirring such that no lumps form; add the roasted peanuts, cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes; then turn off the gas

  • Squeeze one lemon’s juice, mix well and garnish with coriander leaves
It tastes best with coriander chutney!!

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