Suji Upma (Sooji Oopama)

Do away with the boring breakfast of toast and cereals and jazz up with some spice and flavour. This quick and easy Suji Upma recipe is tradiaonally served for breakfast but then there is no rule that you can’t enjoy it any other time of the day.


Coarse Suji/Sooji/Semolina – 1 cup
Oil – 1 tbsp +1 tsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Channa Dal – 1 tsp
Raw Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Broken Cashews – 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chili – 1
Asafoetida – pinch
Curry Leaves – few
Green Chili – to taste, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
Onions – 1 small, finely chopped
Peas & Carrots – 1/2 cup
Salt – to taste
Water – 1.5 cups
Yogurt – 1/2 cup, well-beaten
Cilantro – garnish, finely chopped


1. In a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat, pour in 1 tsp of Oil.
2. Add in the Suji and roast till it starts to get a little golden color and emits a wonderful aroma.
3. It is very important to keep stirring and Suji tends to burn.
4. Once done, transfer the Suji to another bowl to stop the cooking process.
5. On medium heat, in a non-stick pan, pour in the 1 tbsp of Oil.
6. Allow it to heat up and then add in the Mustard Seeds.
7. Once they start popping, add in the Cumin Seeds, stir and add in Channa Dal & Peanuts.
8. Cook for 30 seconds and add in Urad Dal and the Broken Cashews and allow them to turn light golden in color.
9. Add in the Dry Red Chili, Turmeric Powder and Asafoetida. Mix.
10. Add in Green Chili, Curry Leaves, Onions and Peas & Carrots.
11. Saute until the Onions till they are cooked but not browned (look in tips).
12. Also, add in salt at this time.
13. Meanwhile, mix the Yogurt with the Water. Pour into the pan. Keep mixing.
14. Add in Ginger and allow the liquid to come to a boil.
15. Once it comes to a boil, lower heat and add in the Suji little at a time.
16. Mix really well and make sure there are no dry lumps/spots of Suji.
17. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
18. Open the lid and mix and fluff up the Upma.
19. Turn the flame off, cover and allow it to rest for another 5 minutes.
20. Open and serve with Cilantro as garnish (lime juice optional).
21. Serves 4.


1. When you need to cook the Onions and not brown them, best thing to do is to sprinkle a little water. This adds moisture to the onons and cooks them without browning them.

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0 thoughts on “Suji Upma (Sooji Oopama)

  1. Hi! This is the 1st time im gonna make it.just wanted to know if i am using water instead of yoghurt,what will be the amount?is it 1/2 cup? Waiting for your reply.

    1. Hi Shazna,

      You will have to compensate for the yogurt as well – so 1.5 cups of water plus the .5 cup additional to make up for the .5 cup yogurt – total 2 cups of water.

  2. Hi hetal n anujaÒ€¦

    I lov all ur recipes.. But I tried dis 1 and it dint come out good. The yoghurt made it all sourÒ€¦ weird taste.. Though my yoghurt was fresh ..
    I think adding milk wud had been a better idea..

    1. Hi Ashu,

      Sorry to hear that. Usually, the yogurt adds only a hint of flavor to the upma so not sure what happened. If you don’t care for it, just use plain water…no milk.

  3. Hi ladies…does your yogurt/water mix separate as it nears boil? Mine did and I wonder if this is expected or I did something incorrectly? Thanks.

  4. it turned out delish! I will make it for my Punjabi husband. So inexpensive and a wonderful breakfast. I will look up the nutritional value, since I have heard Suji is not good for body sugar issues, as it absorbs fast into the blood stream. Either way, not everything that tastes good is good for you.

    thanks for the great recipe

    Faye from Toronto

  5. I had all the ingredients except for the nuts and the curry leaves, but even without them, it was delish! I can imagine that the peanuts especially would add to the flavor, but anyway! Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Fairy,

      Wow! We love to see non-Indians try their hand at Indian cuisine. Glad you enjoyed the upma. Let us know if you have any questions if you try any more of our recipes.

  6. I used sour cream in place of yogurt.Is that ok? Sorry,was looking for something quick and didn’t have any in the refrigerator.It tasted a bit khatta though,duh!

  7. OMG, where is your print button??? I have looked for it for more than five mins on this page and can’t find it. You guys are great, your recipes are great, but finding things on your site is extremely frustrating!!!!

    1. Hi Pinal,
      The print button is in the box that says “Share the knowledge or Print Recipes” right under the Recipe title. There is a printer icon in that box πŸ™‚

  8. Hey ladies
    I was a hard core upma-hater for the last 20 yrs..until i tried out your recipe!! It came out delicious and my husband too loved it! I love upma now after trying out ur recipe.. way to go ladies! thanx

  9. hey…..thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe…am not one of those people who love to cook…but ur upma recipe is too good…..i cant stop makin it ….even my husband loves it…..thanks a ton…

  10. Hi,

    I think you ladies are doing a great job. I just wanted to mention that the suji can be baked in a toaster oven for about 15 minutes at 300F. It reduces the cooking time by few minutes.

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.

  11. Another quick question – I am trying to cut down on the time it takes to make this dish.

    I have read some recipes where the sooji is not roasted beforehand, but just added into the liquid. What effect do you think this would have on the outcome?

    1. We think that the Upma will be a little on the mushy and paste like side…a little different texture but still good.
      A suggestion we have is that you pre-roast all your suji at one time. This will serve 2 porposes- cut down on your cooking time and it will reduce the chances of the Suji attracting bugs.

      1. What a good idea ! Thanks for that.
        Also – I’m still trying to get to the bottom of the different grain sizes. As mentioned, I have only had cous cous to hand when I have made it recently. However I have found an Indian grocer near me where they sell a ‘coarse grain’ semolina (to me, it still has the consistency of powder). The owner hasn’t been in recently for me to ask, and the guys who run the place in his absence say they have no idea, as their mothers/sisters do all the cooking. No comment.

        So what is the most desirable consistency for sooji ?

        1. At Indian grocery stores, sooji comes in 2 varieties — coarse and fine. When compared to cous cous, even the coarse one will seem like powder. Only when you compare the fine to the coarse, you are able to “see” the difference. For upma, the coarse one works best and will give you a good texture. The fine one will turn too pasty.

      2. ok, so I tired Upma today with your recipe and it turned out excellent.
        I was mostly taking pride in the fact that my Upma had nice texture and it was not paste like.
        But now I know looking at you response, that it was not ma style of cooking, it was your tip about roasting sooji that did the trick… lol

        thanks for a nice recipe.

  12. And I just answered my own question – kind of – I was really curious so I just went ahead and used couscous. Came out great. I had no dal, peanuts, veg or yogurt, so I just used cashews, dried currants, and I used creme fraiche instead of yogurt. I also added cardamon and fenugreek. An expert might spot the difference in grain size but the taste is pretty close to what I remember.

  13. so delicious. I just made it today for breakfast and it was like I remembered it from India. A very tastful, healty dish that I’ll definately cook again.

  14. At the moment, I can only put my hands on Italian semolina, which is very fine ground (like flour) and cous cous (which is also semolina and seems to have a similar consistency to the sooji I’ve had. Do you think it would work?

  15. Hi Rachel,
    Another oops on our part, thanks for bring it to our notice. The Curry Leaves go into the Oil along with the green chillies and the Onions (step 10)
    I have fixed the recipe directions but unfortunately, it will take a while for us to fix the video.
    Take care.

  16. I followed this recipe and it came out amazing. One question- I see Curry Leaves in the ingredients, but I do not see them in the directions. At what point should I put the Curry Leaves in?

    1. Hi hetal n anuja…

      I lov all ur recipes.. But I tried dis 1 and it dint come out good. The yoghurt made it all sour… πŸ™ weird taste.. Though my yoghurt was fresh πŸ™

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