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.
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.
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.
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.
3. Then add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.
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.
5. Then add ⅓ cup chopped onions.
6. Stir and being to saute them.
7. On a low to medium flame, saute the onions till they turn translucent and are softened.
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.
9. Then add ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes. About 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped.
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.
11. Mix very well.
12. Add salt as required.
13. Stir and saute this onion-tomato-spices mixture till the tomatoes soften and you see oil releasing from the sides.
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.
15. Add the bread cubes.
16. Mix the bread well with the rest of the mixture.
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.
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.
19. Mix gently.
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: 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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- 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
- ⅓ 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
- 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.
- 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
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This bread upma recipe from the blog archives (Nov 2015) has been republished and updated on 28 May 2021.