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Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamil Culture - the Heart of Tamil National Consciousness > Tamil Cuisine  > Breakfast Dishes - Upma - Uppumaa


Vegetable Masala Upma - Marakari Uppuma

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Upma Kozhukattai 


Upma - Uppuma


Courtesy: Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils - Edited by Nesa Eliezer, Compiled by Rani Thangarajah


1 cup semolina, roasted well
2 cups water
2 dessertspoons ghee or gingelly oil
1 dried red chilli, broken into pieces

1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp split black gram (urad dal)
I medium onion, chopped
3 green chillies, sliced fine
5-8 curry leaves, cut fine
1 tsp salt
1 tiny piece asofoetida, dissolved, or 1/4 tsp powdered asafoetida (optional)


1. Heat oil in a pan. Add dried chilli pieces, mustard seeds and split black gram.
2. Add chopped onion, green chilies and curry leaves. Stir for a minute or so until onion softens.
3. Add water, salt and asafoetida. Bring to boil.
4. Add semolina, a little at a time, stirring constantly so as not to form lumps.
5. Cook, turning mixture over constantly to prevent burning.
6. Remove and transfer to a serving dish. Press and cover for about 5 minutes. Lift the lid and give the uppumaa a stir and serve warm.
7. Sometimes the uppumaa can be pressed into small bowls and overturned onto a plate to form little mounds before serving.


2 teaspoons of lime/lemon juice can be added to the uppumaa to give it a delicious tang.

Vegetable Masala Upma - Marakari Uppumaa

1 cup roasted semolina
2 cups light coconut milk
2 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tsp salt
3 dessertspoons oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
I tsp split black gram (urad dal)
1 tsp Bengal gram (channa dal)
1 cup young egg plant (brinjal), chopped fine
1/4 cup carrots chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped leek (optional)
1/4 cup potatoes chopped small
4-6 green chillies, chopped fine
1 medium-sized onion, chopped fine
1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger

6-8 curry leaves, chopped fine
A pinch turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
A tiny piece asafoetida soaked in a tsp warm water or 1/4 tsp powdered asafoetida
1 dessertspoon ghee


1. Mix together coconut milk, tamarind pulp and salt. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Sauté mustard seeds, split black gram and Bengal gram.
3. Add all the vegetables, green chillies, chopped onion, ginger, curry leaves, turmeric and chilli. Turn constantly and cook till aroma rises.
4. Add coconut milk mixture and asafoetida. Bring to boil.
5. Add semolina, a little at a time, stirring constantly to prevent it from forming lumps, till cooked.
6. Remove from the stove and add ghee. Mix well.
7. Transfer to a serving dish and cover for a few minutes.
8. Remove the lid and stir before serving warm.


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