Sooji Upma (Cream of Wheat)

Sooji Upma (Cream of Wheat)


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About this recipe: This recipe is commonly found as a side dish on Southern Indian tables. It's a spicy mixture of lentils and semolina. The texture is extremely soft and spongy in texture.


Serves: 4 

  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 dried red chillies, broken into pieces or crushed chillies to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cashews
  • 1 tablespoon skinned split black lentils (urad dal)
  • 1 teaspoon split Bengal gram (chana dal)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 pinch asafoetida powder
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • salt to taste
  • 335g semolina (sooji rava)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)

Prep:10min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:35min 

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the dried red chillies, cashews, urad dal, chana dal and mustard seed in the hot oil until the cashews are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the asafoetida powder into the frying pan. Add the onion, green chillies and curry leaves to the mixture; cook and stir until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the water into the frying pan along with the tomato, ginger and salt; bring to the boil. Gradually pour the semolina into the mixture in a thin stream, stirring continuously. This is very important. If you add the semolina too quickly or do not stir quick enough, you will get lumps. Cook and stir until the mixture begins bubbling; reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook 10 to 15 minutes. Stir the lime juice and ghee into the mixture. Remove from heat and allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.


Skinned split black lentils (urad dal), split Bengal gram (chana dal), asafoetida powder and fresh curry leaves can be found in Indian/South Asian grocery stores.

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