Tomato Upma

Tomato Upma

Upma is popular breakfast or “tiffin” dish in South India. It is easy to make and quite filling. It basically consists of roasted semolina boiled in water that has been seasoned till it is solid. I know, I know that does not sound appetizing, but believe you me a properly seasoned upma is a delight.

Upma has many forms: simple upma or then upma with vegetables such as carrots and peas, or then upma with tomato.

Tomato Upma is a great favourite with my father because it is a bit more tangy and spicy than regular upma.


  1. Rava or Semolina – 1 Cup
  2. Tomato – 1 Large
  3. Onion – 1 small (optional)
  4. Peas – 1/4 cup (optional)
  5. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  6. Udad Dal/Husked Black Gram – 1 tsp
  7. Grated Ginger – 1/2 tsp
  8. Green Chillies – 2 or 3
  9. Turmeric – A large pinch
  10. Curry Leaves – 3 or 4
  11. Oil – 1 tbsp
  12. Ghee – 1 tsp
  13. Salt to Taste
  14. Water


  1. In a wok/kadai, dry roast the rava till it just starts to turn brown.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Finely chop the onions and tomatoes separately.
  4. In a wok/kadai, heat the oil.
  5. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  6. Add the udad dal and fry till brown.
  7. Add the onion and fry till transparent.
  8. Add the tomato and fry till the tomato is stewed.
  9. Add the peas, slit green chillies, ginger and curry leaves.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  12. Stir in salt and turmeric.
  13. Turn the heat to low.
  14. Slowly add the rava to the water while stirring all the time.
  15. Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
  16. Turn the heat to medium.
  17. Let the rava cook completely, while mixing occassionally.
  18. Turn off the heat.
  19. Add the ghee and mix well.
  20. Serve hot with Kobbari Gulla Senaga Pappu Pachadi, Nimmakaya or Avakai.


  • Be sure to add the rava slowly to the boiling water. Otherwise, it will form lumps.
  • When you add salt to the water, the water should be slightly salty (just like your tears, as my grandmother used to say dramatically.)
  • You could add about 1 tsp of lemon juice at the very end.


  1. Pingback: Spring Onion Semiya Upma | Keli Paan
  2. We stayed at the Blr Club and they made a mean upma there. Mine is much drier…is the right proportion 1:2? My husband loves the spoonable upma and I’ve never had success…

  3. That would be very different from my typical oatmeal for breakfast, but different can be wonderful. Celeste 🙂

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.