Bread Upma

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Bread upma is a quick, easy and tasty Upma variation made with bread cubes, onions, tomatoes, spices and herbs. This savory bread upma comes together in 30 minutes and makes for a quick breakfast, brunch or evening snack.

bread upma in a white bowl

I should have shared this recipe earlier, since this recipe is one of our favorite snack recipes made with bread. I have had some nice memories associated with bread upma.

One of the first recipes I learnt to make was this dish. In fact during my school and college days, I would make this bread upma for myself and my sister.

I have been making this recipe for years now. It is a much loved breakfast or snack at my home. Quick to make when you are short of time.

I suggest to use homemade bread or you can use any bread – Whole wheat Bread, multi grain, Brown Bread or White Bread. But make sure that the bread that you use is soft, so that it soaks up the flavors of the spices and herbs. This makes it very flavorful.

You can use fresh bread slices or even a few days old bread to make this dish. If using fresh bread slices, then no need to slice the edges. For a few days old bread, if the edges have become dense, then slice them.

Sometimes I also make this recipe with Pav (dinner rolls). So if you have leftover pav and don’t know what to do then this recipe is a good choice.

Another similar and quick recipe you can make is this Masala Bread. These are recipes that I make when I want to use leftover bread slices for a quick snack.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Bread Upma

1. Chop the bread slices in cubes. Keep aside. Here, I have used brown bread slices.

You can use any kind of soft bread. For health reasons it is best to use whole wheat bread or multi grain bread or ragi bread.

bread cubes in a bowl

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet or frying pan. You can use neutral flavored oil like sunflower oil or avocado oil. You can also use peanut oil.

Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle and pop.

mustard seeds in oil in a pan

3. Then add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.

cumin seeds in the pan

4. Stir and saute till the cumin seeds also crackle and change their color. Ensure that these two spices are cooked well. They should not be raw or get burnt.

sauteing cumin seeds in oil in the pan

5. Then add ⅓ cup chopped onions.

onions added to pan

6. Stir and being to saute them.

sauteing onions in the pan

7. On a low to medium flame, saute the onions till they turn translucent and are softened.

sauteed onions in the pan.

8. Add 1 green chili (finely chopped – about ½ teaspoon), 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger and 6 to 7 curry leaves, chopped. 

Stir and saute till the raw aroma of ginger goes away. This takes about 10 to 12 seconds.

ginger curry leaves added to pan

9. Then add ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes. About 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped.

chopped tomatoes added to pan

10. Next add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder and a pinch of asafoetida (optional). For a more spicy taste in bread upma, you can increase the red chili powder to ½ teaspoon.

TIP: I don’t make this dish very spicy. Feel free to increase or decrease the green chillies and chilli powder in the recipe. Instead of red chilli powder use cayenne pepper or paprika.

spices added to masala mixture in the pan

11. Mix very well.

mixed masala mixture in the pan

12. Add salt as required.

salt added to masala mixture in the pan

13. Stir and saute this onion-tomato-spices mixture till the tomatoes soften and you see oil releasing from the sides.

making bread upma recipe

14. The tomatoes have to be cooked well, otherwise you will feel the rawness in them. There should also be no liquids or moisture in the mixture and it should be slightly dry. Otherwise, the bread cubes become soggy.

onion-tomato-spices mixture in the pan

15. Add the bread cubes.

bread cubes added on top of onion-tomato-spices mixture

16. Mix the bread well with the rest of the mixture.

mixed bread upma mixture in the pan

17. On a low to medium heat, saute the bread cubes for 4 to 5 minutes till they become slightly crisp from the edges. This way there is some crispness in the bread cubes on the edges, along with a soft texture in the center of the cubes.

cooking bread upma in the pan

18. Then add 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves (cilantro). Instead of adding coriander leaves at this step, you can also garnish with them, while serving.

TIP: At this point you can consider adding roasted cashews or roasted peanuts for some added crunch and flavor.

bread upma garnished with coriander leaves in the pan

19. Mix gently.

bread upma in the pan

20. Serve bread upma hot or warm as a breakfast or as a quick snack. Enjoy this dish as is without any sides. While eating you can drizzle some lemon juice to brighten up the flavors.

If making for an evening snack then you can serve tea or coffee with it.

For more tasty bread snacks recipes, you can check this collection of 40 Snacks recipes with Bread.

bread upma served in a white bowl

Helpful Tips

  • Bread: Make this flavorful recipe with any variety of soft bread. The Indian ‘pav’ or dinner rolls is another great option. Both fresh bread or a few days old bread works well in this dish. Better health option would be to make this recipe with whole wheat bread, multi grain bread or ragi bread (finger millet bread).
  • Spicing: Reduce or increase the amount of spices according to your taste buds. When making this dish for small kids skip the green chillies and red chilli powder. Instead of red chilli powder, you can use cayenne pepper or paprika.
  • Scaling: This recipe can be easily halved or doubled or tripled.
  • Nuts: I recommend adding some roasted cashews or roasted peanuts as a garnish or mixed with the bread upma to add some crunch. This also makes the recipe slightly healthier and filling.

More tasty bread snacks recipes

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bread upma recipe

Bread Upma

4.77 from 26 votes
Bread upma is a quick, easy and tasty upma variation made with bread cubes, onions, tomatoes, spices and herbs. This savory bread upma comes together in 30 minutes and makes for a quick breakfast, brunch or evening snack.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Cuisine South Indian
Course: Breakfast, Snacks
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped bread cubes or 5 to 6 bread slices – chopped in cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • cup finely chopped onions or 1 medium-sized
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped green chilies or serrano pepper or 1 green chili
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger or ¾ to 1 inch ginger
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves – chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes or 2 medium-sized
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • salt as required

Instructions

Preparation

  • Chop the bread slices in cubes. If the edges of the bread have become dense then slice them. Don't throw them. Instead blitz them in a blender or food processor to make bread crumbs.
  • Finely chop the onions, green chilli, ginger and tomatoes. keep aside.
  • Chop the curry leaves and coriander leaves. Keep aside.

making bread upma

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle and pop.
  • Then add cumin seeds. Stir and saute till the cumin seeds also crackle and change their color.
  • Add chopped onions. Stir. On a low to medium flame, saute the onions till they turn translucent.
  • Add finely chopped green chilies, finely chopped ginger and chopped curry leaves. Stir and saute till the raw aroma of ginger goes away. About 10 to 12 seconds.
  • Then add finely chopped tomatoes.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and a pinch of asafoetida (optional). For a more spicy taste in bread upma, you can increase the red chili powder.
  • Mix very well. Add salt as required.
  • Stir and saute this onion-tomato-spices mixture till the tomatoes soften and you see oil releasing from the sides. The tomatoes have to be cooked well, otherwise you will feel the rawness in them. 
  • There should also be no liquids or moisture in the mixture and it should be slightly dry. Otherwise the bread cubes become soggy.
  • Add the bread cubes. Mix the bread well with the rest of the mixture.
  • On a low to medium flame, saute the bread cubes for 4 to 5 minutes till they become slightly crisp from the edges. 
  • This way there is some crispness in the bread cubes on the edges, along with a soft texture in the center of the cubes.
  • Then add chopped coriander leaves. 
  • Instead of adding coriander leaves at this step, you can also garnish with them, while serving the bread upma.
  • Mix and serve bread upma hot as a breakfast or as a quick snack. While serving you can drizzle some lemon juice on top.

Notes

  • Use you can variety of soft breads. You can also use Pav or dinner rolls. Fresh bread or a few days old bread works well in the recipe. For healthy options, use whole wheat bread, multi grain bread or ragi bread (finger millet bread).
  • The amount of spices can be changed according to your preferences. If making for small kids then skip the green chillies and red chilli powder
  • The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • To add some crunch in the dish you can some cashews or roasted peanuts. It will make the dish more healthy and filling also.
  • Instead of red chilli powder, you can use cayenne pepper or paprika.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Bread Upma
Amount Per Serving
Calories 711 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Sodium 1006mg44%
Potassium 866mg25%
Carbohydrates 107g36%
Fiber 19g79%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 830IU17%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 35mg175%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 56mg68%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 26µg25%
Calcium 287mg29%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 375µg94%
Iron 7mg39%
Magnesium 214mg54%
Phosphorus 521mg52%
Zinc 5mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This bread upma recipe from the blog archives (Nov 2015) has been republished and updated on 28 May 2021.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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84 Comments

  1. Tried this today and it was absolutely delicious.nice way to use leftover bread.just garnished it with crushed roasted peanuts.
    Love this site for the sheer variety it offers.not a single day goes by without referrring to it.my entire meal planning has become so easy now.earlier the problem was what to cook daily,now it is what not to(cook).5 stars

    1. thank you winnie. in fact, i also use the recipes from the blog for meal planning. thanks again for this lovely comment. felt good to read it.

  2. I made this and it was enjoyed by all.
    If Dassana Amit wants to call it upman, then it is alright with me. 🙂

  3. Hi mam, if I skip using asafoetida, the bread upma will be taste? (or)instead of using asafoetida what shall i use..

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