Upma is an ideal food for yoga practitioners when consumed in moderate quantity. Favorable for all constitutions and is tridhātu sāmya, balancing all doshas. Upma can also be served as a light food on half fasting days. Serve fresh and hot, as it will become heavier to digest after cooling. If using more than once a week, omit the nuts, which may cause sleep disturbance.

Use heaped measurements except when stated otherwise.

Preparation – 30 minutes

Serves – 3


1 cup/170g medium-ground wheat semolina (ravā)

2½ cup/625ml hot water


⅓ cup/80ml peanut or coconut oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 Tbsp split channa dāl

1 tsp split urad dā

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

10 cashew or peanuts, cut in half

1 medium-mild red chili, chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

10 fresh curry leaves

1 large/140g carrot, finely grated

1 tsp ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

1 tsp lemon juice

¼ cup/20g shredded dried coconut

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped


1.  Dry-fry the semolina over medium heat, stirring continuously for 6 -7 minutes until the semolina turns golden-brown and has a toasted smell – set aside.

(You can dry-fry semolina and store for up to 2 weeks.)

2. Pour into a bowl and set aside.


3.  Finely grate the carrot using the finer side of a box grater – measuring 1 cup. Measure out the remaining ingredients – set aside.


4.  Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat, add mustard seeds, channa and urad dāl, asafoetida powder, cashews and chili, when mustard seeds turn grey and both dāl are golden-brown, add cumin, turmeric and curry leaves – fry for 10 seconds.

5.  Add grated carrot, boiling water, ginger, salt, sugar, lemon juice and coconut – bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute.

6.  Lower heat, add semolina

7.  Stir continuously – until the water evaporates and semolina doesn’t stick to spoon – approximately 2 minutes.

8.  Turn off heat and add coriander.

9.  Serve fresh and hot, drizzle with 1 – 2 teaspoons of ghee for taste and aid digestion.



Two – three times a week with carrot Halva or kaseri bāth, pickle or chutney puri.


Upma can be made using a combination of green beans, carrot and capsicum – 1 cup in total.