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Uppuma -- South Indian style

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

This recipe is from a cookbook by Mrs B. F. Varughese. It was one of the books I picked up at random in Cochi, Kerala, and have used it a lot. The book is not organized, and not well written, but the recipes are fabulous and wonderful. A great book for the flavours from Kerala.

For more recipes from this book, click here.



1 cup semolina, coarse cut, lightly toasted on a pan

1 large onion finely diced

1-3 chillies diced.

2 tablespoons split dried chickpea lentils (Chana dal)

1 tablespoon split black lentils (urad dal)

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 stick whole cinnamon

5-6 whole cloves

7-8 whole peppercorns

8-10 curry leaves

Salt to taste

1/2 can of coconut milk

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, the ready pack with green beans, carrots, corn, peas etc. or any combination.

Lime juice from 1/2 a lime

Fresh cilantro leaves, a generous handful

3-4 tablespoons olive oil. Ghee would be better!

Heat oil, add the lentils, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and cloves and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add mustard seeds, and cumin seeds and sauté 1-2 minutes until lightly brown. Add onions and chillies and sauté until light golden brown, 5-10 minutes. Add curry leaves and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add coconut milk and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add lime juice, cilantro, salt and frozen vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes. Add semolina slowly, stirring continuously, careful not to form lumps. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Add additional water as required. Traditionally, the uppuma should be light and fluffy, with well-separated grains, but do not over-dry it. Can garnish with additional cilantro and lime wedges.

Serve with a sweet mango pickle (Deep Gordon Keri) or hot mango pickle (MTR mango thoku) or cilantro chutney.

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