Delicious Cashew-Flavored South Indian Upuma

Every country has its signature semolina, farina, or cream of wheat breakfast dish.  Simple to make and ever so popular in South Indian homes and restaurants, upuma is served for breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner and always accompanied with coconut chutney and spicy lentils (sambar).  You can also prepare upuma with vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, peas, coconut, cauliflower, and squash.  Always use coarse semolina to prepare this delicious, healthy meal!

1 pound coarse semolina
¼ cup corn oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon split black beans (urid dal)
½  cup raw, unsalted cashew nut pieces
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped fine
¾-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
2 small green chilies, chopped fine
¼ teaspoon asafetida
Salt to taste
4 cups water
2 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine

Heat the wok over high heat.  Add the cream of wheat and roast over medium heat, stirring constantly as it changes color to a light golden brown.  Transfer to a pan and set aside.

Heat the oil in the wok over high heat.  Add the mustard seeds and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the seeds start popping.  Add the black beans and cashew nuts and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they turn golden brown.  Add the onion, ginger and green chili and stir thoroughly for 3-4 minutes until the onions turn soft and golden brown.  Add the asafoetida and stir thoroughly for a few seconds.

Add the cream of wheat and salt and mix thoroughly for 2-3 minutes.  Add the water and stir thoroughly for 2-3 minutes until cream of wheat is cooked and most of the water has evaporated.  Add clarified butter and cilantro leaves and stir thoroughly.  Remove and serve  with tomato chutney and eggplant lentils.


Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your family and friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at


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