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Moms of Kids Baking Championship Season 6: Indian Upma Recipe from Indu

Below are the original notes from the recipe Indu uses, with my own modifications added since I made a bigger batch to feed 6 of us, which includes 3 hungry men.  :)
(Plus you know me, I'm always playing with recipes!)  This has a little spicy bite to it but not too much, it's just bursting with delicious flavor.
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Indu via Kelly the Kitchen Kop


  • 4 Tablespoons oil, I used sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed, I used 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal/split chickpeas, optional (Indu didn't use these and neither did I)
  • 1 Tablespoon lentils <-- those are the ones I used, but I omit nowadays, I can't seem to get them to cook all of the way and soften.
  • 2 dried red chilis, I found a bag of them at the store.
  • A few curry leaves <-- those are the ones I used, I threw in about 6 of them.
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon cumin/jeera, but Indu didn't use this and I liked it without too -- I loved the Indian taste of this dish and think cumin would make it taste more like a Mexican dish.
  • 2 teaspoons ghee/clarified butter, I used 3 Tablespoons because oh how I love my healthy fats, especially this kind of ghee
  • 1/2-1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 inches ginger root, peeled and finely chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried), add more if you'd like
  • 3 green chili peppers or poblano peppers, very mild on the heat scale, finely chopped -- Indu just cuts them open down the middle. I often use 2 jalepenos if that's what I have, they give a little more zip!
  • 6 cups water, I used bone broth for extra nutrition, but Indu's family is vegetarian so they use water. You made need a little more liquid at the end.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, I used a bit more
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, or more to your taste.
  • 2 cups cracked wheat/bulgar <-- that's the kind I used
  • Juice of 1 organic lemon, plus more to your taste if desired.
  • 4 Tablespoons of chopped cilantro or 1 T. dried coriander


  • I made this in my big 16" frying pan or Indu made it in a large skillet on the stove.  The amounts below are enough to fill my 16" pan and fed all 6 of us with just a little bit of leftovers, but we ate it as a side dish for dinner with some chicken so as a main dish you may need more.  As I said, Indu's family eats it for breakfast! Read more about my FAVORITE pan here--or snag one here.
  • Heat the oil, mustard seed, optional chickpeas, optional lentils, red chili, curry leaves, and optional cumin.
  • Sauté until the mustard seeds pop a little, then add in ghee, onion, ginger, and split green chilis. Sauté well.
  • Pour in water/broth and bring to a low boil as you stir in the sugar, and salt.
  • Keeping the heat on low and slowly add in the cracked wheat, stir continuously to prevent lumps from forming until mixed well.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes or longer until the grain is cooked well and completely soft (taste-test to be sure).  Stir occasionally and keep the heat high enough so it bubbles a bit, but don't let it burn. You may need to add a little more liquid toward the end if it's starting to stick but the grain isn't all the way softened yet.  It'll sort of have the consistency of a very well-cooked rice dish.  You'll LOVE the wonderful flavors.
  • Before serving, stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
  • Let me know what you think!  By the way, get someone to help you with the chopping and the time it takes to actually whip up this recipe is pretty fast.


Adapted from Upma's recipe and this recipe.