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Uppumav/Upma (Spiced Semolina)

You know, as a kid I wasn’t really crazy about uppumav/upma. The sweet, salty, spicy crumbly and steamy plate my mom would serve with a banana had my tastebuds going wild. There was just so much flavor and texture that I wouldn’t have assumed to be in a dish. But the older I get, the more I find myself loving these old childhood dislikes because you can taste the layers of love that go into making it. Do you have any recipes you’ve found yourself liking over time?

Any way, upppumav/upma is a CLASSIC for breakfast/brunch. I personally like my uppumav/upma to be slightly soft with a little dry texture. If you’re a fan of the smoother type of uppumav/upma, just add about another 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water to this recipe. You can enjoy this dish with sliced up bananas, kadala curry, or, the kid-favorite, sugar!

If you have questions along the process of how to make this, head over to my instagram so I can connect with you and answer any questions you might have via DMs. @thefamiliarkitchen Happy cooking!



  • Semolina, Rava, Sooji, 1 cup
  • Coconut Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Urad Dal, 1 tsp
  • Dried Red Chilis, 2, broken
  • Curry Leaves, 2 sprigs
  • Green Chilis, 2, diced
  • Red Onions, 1, diced
  • Ginger, 1 inch, minced
  • Carrots, 1/2 cup, diced
  • Raisins, 1/2 cup
  • Cashews, 1/2 cup
  • Water, 1 1/2 cup
  • Grated Coconut, 1/2 cup
  • Salt, 1/2 – 1 tbsp


Roast. In a small pan on low to medium low heat, add in the semolina. Roast it until it turns slightly brown and releases its aroma. Set aside.

Season. In a large skillet on medium high heat, add in the coconut oil. Once the oil is melted and hot, add in the mustard seeds, urad dal, dried red chilis, and curry leaves. Be careful not to burn any of the spices and reduce the heat if need be.

IMG_5815Saute. Once the mustard seeds pop (and this will happen quickly), add in the green chilis, onions, and ginger. Saute this until they soften and lose their rawness. Once they soften, add in the carrots and cook until soft. Use you spatula to keep the ingredients moving so nothing burns. Finally, add in the raisins and cashews. Cook these until the raisins slightly plump up. Be careful not to burn the raisins or else they will taste bitter.

Mix. Now add in the water and slowly mix in the roasted semolina. Mix this so there are no clumps. Once everything is mixed evenly, reduce the heat to low and cover for 2-3 minutes. Now add in the grated coconut and mix evenly. Turn off the heat and cover for another 5 minutes to give the coconut a chance to soak in the flavor. Check for salt and done!

*If you prefer a smoother uppumav, add in about another 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water.



When I was a kid, one of the first things my mom taught me how to make was a hot cup of chaya (homestyle tea). It was like a rite of passage…and an invitation to her colorful, spice-filled kitchen. The most exciting part back then was daringly pouring the steamy, caramel-colored goodness from one steel cup to another so I could cool it down and get that classic, frothy texture to sit atop the tea. It’s a recollection of my childhood every time I do it. That same magical feeling still shines through my recipes, both new and old. There’s just nothing like creating a dish so full of evocative flavor and love. It’s what gives me joy and the inspiration to share this experience with you every day! It’s something I hope offers you adventure, a little piece of home, and maybe even something a little familiar.

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