Broken wheat upma (Dalia upma)

upma photoI remember the days I used come back home from school tired, hungry and wondering what tiffin mom had made. It would usually be idli, dosa, or upma but sometimes my mom would make us noodles, poori, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, cutlets or some chaat. Though I was ok with eating upma, my sister just hated it. She would sometimes go on a hunger strike saying she wouldn’t eat anything unless mom made something else for her. But my mom would not give in to her theatrics and so she would be forced to eat what was made 🙂 I was a much less picky eater compared to my sister! But surprisingly she was ok eating broken wheat upma which I just hated! When mom made broken wheat upma, it would be my chance to whine and complain! But now that I am married, cooking on my own and realizing the importance of eating healthy food, I have started including broken wheat in my diet. Why? Because it is rich in fiber. It includes the outer bran and germ of the wheat making it nutritious than rice.

I made this upma few days back for lunch. Me and RB had recently checked our weight and found we had both gained some extra pounds!! That got me into panic mode and RB into lecture mode saying it was all because of my sweets/snacks that I had made during diwali! So I decided to skip rice completely and eat salads a lot and stop baking muffins and breads (none of which I followed :D) Feeling guilty about not following my plan, I made this broken wheat upma the next day and had it with mor kuzhambu!! (I know its quite an unusual combination. But we liked it ). I must say, I eat this upma quite often these days… I have also started liking it. So here goes the recipe:


  • 1 cup broken/ cracked wheat ( godhuma rava)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped finely
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dhal
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 or 2 green chillies slit length wise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil /ghee
  • 2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped corriander leaves


In a pan add a tsp of oil and roast the cracked/broken wheat for 2 minutes in a medium flame and set aside.

Add the remaining oil in the pan, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dhal, green chillies, curry leaves and let the mustard seeds splutter.

Add the chopped onions and saute until the onions turn translucent.

When the onions are done, add chopped tomatoes, turmeric, asafoetida, chilli powder and saute till the tomatoes are cooked well. (Adjust chilli powder as per your taste)

Next add peas. You can add extra veggies if you wish ( carrots, beans, corn, capsicum). Add the water, salt and bring it to a boil.

Make sure you add the right amount of salt in the water because it will be difficult to adjust later on.

When the water comes to a boil, add the roasted broken wheat, chopped coriander, mix well and let it cook in a closed pan, in a low-medium flame. Stir them in between to prevent the formation of lumps.

You will know the upma is done when all that water is absorbed and they become soft.

Serve hot with chutney/pickle or sambar of your choice! This makes a healthy breakfast or dinner recipe


For people who do not like broken wheat but still wish to include it in their diet, you can add half cup of broken wheat and substitute the other half with rava (sooji ). I do this sometimes and it tastes better 🙂

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