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

Upma or Uppuma or Uppittu is a common South Indian 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. These days, it is popular in most parts of India and is prepared in various ways. Cheap in cost and very filling, it is truly a common man's dish.


  • Etymology 1
  • Preparation 2
    • Ingredients 2.1
    • Method of preparation 2.2
  • Major variations 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6


In many Dravidian languages, the word 'Uppu' means Salt and the word 'Mavu' or 'Hittu' means flour. Hence the name Uppumavu or Uppittu. In North India, it is called Upma, short-form for Uppumavu.

Language Roman Transliteration Native Unicode
Kannada Uppittu (A spicy variant is known as Kharabath) ಉಪ್ಪಿಟ್ಟು, ಖಾರಭಾತ್
Tamil Uppumavu, Uppuma, Upma உப்புமா
Telugu Uppindi, Upma ఉప్మా, ఉప్పిండి
Malayalam Uppumavu ഉപ്പുമാവ്
Marathi Uppeet (derived from the Kannada name, the linguistic regions being neighbours) उप्पीट
Konkani Rulanv रुलांव
Hindi Upma उपमा


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. Ginger root (1/2 tsp, grated)
  6. Green chillies (3-5 med, chopped)
  7. Chopped onions (1 med, chopped)
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Vegetables of choice: Peas, carrots, tomatoes, capsicum, etc.
  10. Grated coconut (3-4 tbsp, optional)
  11. Lemon juice (2 tsp, optional)

Method of preparation

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.
  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

Chow Chow Bath

A huge number of variations of Upma are made with whole or refined ground wheat and rice of varied grain size, vermicelli, Durum wheat semolina or pearl sago. 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.

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.

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.[2]

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

See also

External links

  • Vermicelli Upma - Masala Semiya


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