“. . . a meal for a King – Uppuma”


Breakfast is unarguably the most important meal of the day.

I was raised in Germany on the old saying “….Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper” – something which I adhered to on and off over the years.

Like most of us I too rushed out in the morning far too often without a bite to eat, just a cup of coffee “on the run”, lunch often was a sandwich or two and come evening it was either a visit to a restaurant or pub, eating food which I should not eat, especially late in the evening. In Germany we normally try not to eat a full calorie-laden meal after 7 pm!

But, over the years, and with gained experience and with accumulated ‘wisdom’ I tried to eat more sensibly and healthy – not always succeeding, mind you!

So living here now, my eating plans simply had to change – and they did. I do not have what we call ‘European’ breakfast any longer, except when I make a small bowl of oats with a few raisins and a small spoonful of honey for myself to see me through till lunchtime. In the last 14 years, I have quite happily adopted to my new eating routine.

I love breakfast – and I so enjoy occasionally starting an often quite hectic day with one of South India’s most common and popular breakfast dishes.


I do like ‘to ring the changes’ when it comes to our meals and therefore I find it a little bit difficult to talk about my favourite choice for a good Indian breakfast – after all I do like nearly all varieties of dhals, potato curry, Idlies with chutney and sambar, masala dosa etc etc and of course then there is UPPUMA – made from Wheat rava (semolina) with a few items added to suit our own personal taste bud. There are of course once again numerous slight variations on the same theme – but what I present to you today is, as usual, what we would serve you if you happened to join our breakfast table.

All measurements given are for 2 portions.

I like to buy pre-roasted Rava (Semolina) – so no need to fry this in your own kitchen any longer.


1 x cup pre-roasted Rava (semolina)
½ x cup of Ullis (shallots) – sliced
2 x long green chillies, cut into 2-3 pieces, seeds not removed!
4 x cloves of garlic, sliced
1 x Tbsp Cashewnuts (or shelled Almonds)
1 x Tbsp Kismis (Raisins)


½ x tsp of black mustard seeds
½ x tsp of black pepper
½ x Tbsp of Uppu (Salt) (you may want to adjust this)
2 x sprigs of Curry leaves
1 x Tbsp of vegetable oil
2 x cups of water (boiled)

Heat up a large wide vessel, add oil, when hot add mustard seeds (remember – those little sneaky ‘bullets’ will fly all over your stove – so keep pot covered for a couple of seconds), when they have stopped ‘popping’ add chillies, Ullis, garlic, raisins, nuts, curry leaves, salt and black pepper. On medium heat stir all this and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.


Now turn down heat even more and add Rava in a stream all over this mixture, stir again and again for another 2-3 minutes before adding the water.


Mix well – making sure nothing sticks at the bottom or the sides of the vessel. Keep stirring before covering with a lid for another 3 minutes.


This is usually the time when I have a quick sip of coffee!!

Switch off your flame, using a fork I break up any possible little lumps.


Since I make Uppuma this way, I never ever have burnt bits at the bottom or sides of my vessel, just beautiful fluffy delicious Uppuma.


This is normally served with a steamed banana.


That’s it – all done – enjoy!



33 thoughts on ““. . . a meal for a King – Uppuma”

  1. Sounds like a tasty breakfast … but let’s skip the banana. 🙂

    I haven’t had uppuma since I was in my late 20’s and visited an Indian friend and her husband in Kitchener, Ontario before we drove to Montreal and Quebec City on vacation. It was my first exposure to goat curry too. However, I rarely eat breakfast and at 60, my habits aren’t likely to change without a darned good reason.

    • it really is a quite tasty breakfast – quick and healthy, too.
      Re banana – I let you into a little secret: …..come closer so I can whisper …..I skip the banana as well!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 But as far as I know most Indian will have the banana with this.
      The next tip is, sometimes, if and when I have some Uppuma left I poach an egg (or two) and have it with my re-heated uppuma and a fresh salad on the side – I like it!

  2. Ha!! I am very Austrian AND N European with my breakfast choices: ‘Erstes Frühstück’ and ‘Zweites Frühstuck’ [first and second breakfast as used to be had in Austria] – rather boring but it suits me 🙂 ! A light Scandinavian breakfast of an open face sandwich with everything in the fridge piled atop a slice or two grainy bread and heaps of black coffee at about 7 am . . . and then a full lunch with wine at about 11am – 12 noon! Yes, have had ‘uppuma’ and enjoyed it: perchance should make one slow morning . . . funnies: ‘uppuma’ means ‘to drown’ in Estonian . . . just as an aside 🙂 !!!

    • my goodness, talk about international breakfasts here. My problem is, I can not eat anything first thing in the morning – just coffee to wake up first. Lunch with wine! Not in our mutual hot hot sticky climate, surely but back in Europe? – Y E S! may I join you? – no, make this two place settings, please.

  3. Semolina has gone out of fashion in Britain over the years, Carina – but it was never used for many dishes anyway, other than for making milk puddings and perhaps adding to some biscuit recipes. I’ve never seen it cooked as you have done here, but it certainly looks delicious. I have to say, it would take a lot to make me forsake my breakfast porridge (oatmeal). I love it, and miss it a lot when we go abroad and they don’t serve it. Yes, I’m and old stick-in-the mud, but perhaps, if I came to India one day, I just might give uppuma a try. 🙂

    • Millie, nice to see you in my kitchen again! I know, Semolina in the UK mainly for milk pudding (especially at boarding schools 🙂 ) – but Uppuma is very much a south Indian breakfast dish and now I have it occasionally in between my (Quakers) Oats – love both, of course. So try it out back home and let me know, please 🙂 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s