Upma Recipe

By | January 28, 2016

I’m posting another recipe in my attempt to learn to cook like my mother. She makes unbelievably tasty Indian food from scratch that is also cheap and vegetarian. Winning!

Today’s dish is a breakfast dish that reminds me of Sunday mornings. It’s called upma (pronounced oop-ma) and it’s pretty freaking delicious.

IngredientsIMG_20151229_121928 (1)

  • 1 cup of cream of wheat
  • 1 medium onion
  • Hot pepper to taste
  • A few sprigs of cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of peanuts
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 3 tsp yogurt (not pictured, sorry)


  • 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp white lentils


  1. Dry roast the cream of wheat in a pan on the stove for five minutes over medium heat.
  2. Stir periodically.
  3. Dice the onions and the hot pepper and the cilantro.
  4. In a separate pan, add some oil and the mustard seeds and cook over medium heat.IMG_20151229_123711
  5. When the mustard seeds pop, add in the cumin seeds and white lentils.
  6. Let cook for a minute.
  7. Add in the diced onions and hot pepper.
  8. Let cook until the onions are translucent.
  9. Add in the peanuts and curry leaves.
  10. Let cook for a minute.
  11. Add in the roasted cream of wheat.
  12. Add in three cups of water.
  13. Add in the cilantro and the teaspoons of yogurt.
  14. Stir continuously for a few minutes.
  15. I eat this with a side of yogurt.
  16. I eat everything with yogurt.

Acceptable Deviations

  1. You can ditch the peanuts.
  2. Or you can grind the peanuts.
  3. You don’t have to roast the cream of wheat separately beforehand.
  4. You can skip the white lentils.
  5. You can skip the cilantro.

Price: $0.81

I gasped when I calculated this price. If you add in a couple of cups of homemade yogurt, the price runs to $1.30. $1.30 for breakfast for a family of four. Insane! You can buy cream of wheat in the American cereal aisle or in the ethnic grocery aisle. If you buy it in the American cereal aisle, you don’t have to dry roast it. Oh, and the white lentils are called urad dal in the Indian grocery aisle.

  • 1 cup of cream of wheat – $0.12
  • 1 medium onion – $0.10
  • Hot pepper to taste – $0.15
  • A few sprigs of cilantro – $0.15
  • 1/4 cup of peanuts – $0.16
  • A sprig of curry leaves – $0.05
  • 3 tsp yogurt – $0.01 (if you make your own)
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds – $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds – $0.01
  • Salt to taste – $0.01
  • 1 tbsp white lentils – $0.04

6 thoughts on “Upma Recipe

  1. KangSik Seo

    My morning meal has been usually the milk and bread. Even dinner time, I just eat the salad. However, I will try your recipe someday, then I will be the qualified people to live alone or marry.

    I like curry!! Thanks-

  2. EL @ MoneyWatch101

    Hey this sounds really good. I will try it soon, thanks for the recipe and the price break down. I like seeing what the total is for prepared meals, keep them coming.

  3. Meg

    Ok, I don’t cook. But I could probably handle this. Honestly though, I probably won’t attempt it because…I don’t cook. 🙂 But I LOVE that you are trying new things and this reminds me to try new things too (just not cooking). Please keep sharing your inspiring stories!

  4. Ram

    I love Upma! It is a great comfort food for me. Upma+Yogurt+ChutneyPudi will brighten up any dull day for me. Reminds me of home :3 Thanks for sharing!
    P.S: The minimalists brought me here

  5. Eatie Gourmet

    How refreshing! My family always ate our cream of wheat savory, usually just butter, salt & pepper. These days I’ll add a little of … whatever: A couple of crayfish* or mussels* cut up, or winkles*, some sesame seeds, dried sea kale*, fresh parsley*, chard* … whatever’s leftover.
    (* These we forage for, or grow in the garden.)


Say something!