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masala upma recipe south indian breakfast

Masala Upma - Indian Sooji Upma With Semolina & Spices

South Indian masala upma using semolina flour (sooji flour), vegetables and spices is so delicious, savory upma that makes a very healthy breakfast or dinner.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 211kcal


  • 1 cup sooji/semolina flour
  • 1 cup water for cooking sooji semolina flour
  • ½ cup water (for cooking potatoes)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cashew nuts or peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • salt as needed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil 2 to 3 tablespoons (or any other oil)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or mustard seeds
  • 1 string curry leaves a few optional


  • Peel the skin and chop the onion finely, keep aside.
  • Peel the potatoes and chop in small pieces, keep separately from onions.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin seeds are lightly fried, add the curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
  • Add the sliced onion and start sauteing.
  • Add salt and you can saute the onion till the slices are transparent and begins to brown ( no need to caramelize). You ca use medium heat but make sure you stir occasionally and keep watching so the onions won't get burnt at the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the onions are done, add the sliced potatoes and saute for another 1 minute.
  • Add the ½ cup of water just enough to cook the potatoes and add enough salt, keep in high heat and wait for the mixture to boil.
  • As the mixture starts boiling, mix everything well and close the pan and cook in low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and soft. (If needed you may add little more water to cook).
  • After 8 to 10 minutes, check if the potatoes are cooked and if all water is absorbed.
  • Add the spices - turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder to the cooked onion potato mixture and heat in low heat for another 1 minute so everything will blend nicely.
  • Now add the sooji semolina flour to another pan and dry roast the flour in low heat for about 3 minutes.
  • Make sure you keep stirring to avoid burning of the semolina flour. Keep the dry roasted sooji flour aside. If you are using roasted semolina flour, you don't have to roast it again.
  • Now add the 2 cups of water to the pan with onion potato masala mixture and bring it to a boil.
  • As the mixture starts boiling, immediately transfer the roasted sooji flour to the same pan with onion potato mixture, mix well and close the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to low heat and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes (don't cook more as the water will be absorbed and the dish will get burnt, also it is important to keep the heat in low to avoid burning).
  • After 2 minutes of cooking, switch off the stove and immediately transfer the pan from the stove and keep away from heat.
  • Now open the pan, gently mix everything well and your masala upma is ready to serve!


Enjoy the masala upma as it is as this is very delicious and really don't need any side dishes. But you can always enjoy upma with chutneys or any vegetable curry as you wish! As we are only using just enough water to cook the upma, you really need to be fast enough to stop cooking by 2 minutes and make sure you are cooking in low heat, or else there is a chance of burning the dish at the bottom. Also you need to transfer the dish immediately from the hot stove to avoid burning.


Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 400mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 16.1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 4.1mg