Tomato Upma

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Tomato upma with step by step photos. Tomato upma is tangy, spicy and tasty upma variety with full on flavors from tomatoes and spices. Makes for an easy and quick breakfast on busy days. It can also be served as an evening tea time snack.

tomato upma served in a bowl with a side of tea

Upma and Poha are two breakfast dishes I make regularly as they are quick to prepare with easily available ingredients.

Amongst the upma varieties, tomato upma is my favorite. The reason being I like a lot of recipes made with tomatoes. The tang from the tomatoes perks up the overall flavor in any recipe. So is the case with this upma. Its tangy and well as spicy.

What I am sharing here is a slightly spicy version. At times I even add bisi bele bath masala powder or vangi bath powder in this tomato upma. Really you should try it this way as well. The taste is damn good. In the recipe mentioned here, I have only added red chili powder. For a less spicy version, skip the red chilli powder.

tomato upma recipe

Like a regular upma, tomato upma is best served hot drizzled with a bit of ghee on top. You can also serve it with a side of lemon pickle or lemon wedges. Coconut chutney also goes very well with tomato upma.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Tomato Upma

Roasting rava

1. Heat a pan or kadai first. Add 1 cup rava or cream of wheat.

Make sure the rava is fresh and within its shelf period.

rava added to pan

2. On a low heat, begin to roast the rava. Stir often while roasting the rava.

roasting rava

3. The rava or sooji grains should become fragrant and start to look dry, separate and crisp. Don’t brown the rava.

This roasting takes around 3 to 4 minutes. The time will vary depending on the thickness & quality of pan and flame intensity.

roasting rava

4. Switch off the heat and then add the roasted rava to a plate and keep aside.

roasted rava on a plate

Making tomato upma

5. In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil on low to medium-low heat.

ghee in a pan

6. Add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds. When you hear the crackling sound of mustard seeds, it means they are getting cooked.

mustard seeds added

7. When the mustard seeds are crackling, then reduce the heat to a low. Add the following ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
cumin seeds and lentils added

8. Stir and saute them on a low heat.

sauteing lentils

9. Saute till both the urad dal and chana dal become golden. Take care not to burn the dals.

sauteing lentils till golden

10. Now add 1 or 2 dry red chilies and a pinch of asafoetida (hing). Stir and mix well.

dry red chilies added

11. Add ⅓ cup of chopped onions.

chopped onions added

12. Stir and begin to saute the onions on a low to medium heat.

sauteing onions

13. Saute the onions stirring often till they turn translucent.

sauteing onions

14. Then add the following ingredients and saute for half a minute.

  • 1 or 2 green chilies (chopped)
  • ½ inch ginger (chopped) 
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves (chopped)
chilli and curry leaves added

15. Add ¾ cup of chopped tomatoes.

chopped tomatoes added

16. Stir and mix well.

tomatoes mixed with rest of masala mixture

17. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chilli powder.

You can also add ¼ to ½ teaspoon vangi bath powder or bisi bele bath powder instead of red chilli powder.

spices added

18. Mix very well and saute the tomatoes on a low to medium heat.

sauteing tomatoes

19. Saute stirring often till the tomatoes soften.

stirring and sauteing tomatoes

20. Next add 2.5 cups of water to this mixture.

water added to tomato upma mixture

21. Add salt as per taste. Check the taste of the water and it should be slightly salty.

salt added and mix

22. On a medium to high heat, heat the water and let it come to a rolling boil.

bringing tomato upma mixture to boil

23. When the water comes to a rolling boil, lower the flame to its lowest. Then add the rava in 4 to 5 batches directly from the plate or with a spoon.

Don’t add the entire amount of rava at once as this can create lumps in the dish.

adding rava in batches

24. As soon as you add the first batch, immediately stir and mix very well.

adding rava in batches

25. Then add the next batch of rava.

adding rava in batches and mixing

26. Stir and mix again. This way keep on adding and stirring the rava up to the last batch.

adding rava in batches and mixing

27. The rava grains absorb water and thus swell and get cooked. Quickly stir them, so that lumps are not formed. Cover and allow the tomato upma to steam for 2 to 3 minutes on low heat.

prepared tomato upma

28. Then switch off the heat. Here the rava is cooked and the tomato upma is ready.

coooked tomato upma

29. Lastly add about 2 tabespoons of chopped coriander leaves. Stir and mix again.

tomato upma garnished with coriander leaves

31. Drizzle ½ teaspoon of ghee on each serving and Serve tomato upma hot with coconut chutney or lemon pickle or lemon wedges.

tomato upma served in a bowl with a side of tea


More Upma varieties

  1. Oats upma
  2. Poha upma
  3. Idli upma
  4. Vermicelli upma

Please be sure to rate this recipe in the recipe card below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

tomato upma recipe, tomato bath upma recipe

Tomato Upma

Tomato upma is a tangy and spicy upma made with sooji-rava (cream of wheat), tomatoes and spices.
4.89 from 27 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Cuisine South Indian
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Snacks
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 2
Units

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fine rava (sooji or semolina or cream of wheat)
  • 2 tablespoon Ghee or oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (husked split black gram)
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal (husked split bengal gram)
  • 1 or 2 dry red chilies – broken and deseeded
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 50 grams onion or 1 medium onion, chopped or ⅓ cup chopped onions
  • 150 grams tomatoes or 2 medium to large tomatoes or ¾ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 green chilies – chopped
  • ½ inch ginger – chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves – chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chilli powder – can also add vangi bath powder or bisi bele bath powder
  • 2.5 cups water
  • salt as required
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon Ghee (clarified butter) for drizzling on top – optional

Instructions
 

Roasting rava

  • Heat a pan or kadai first. Add 1 cup rava or cream of wheat.
  • On a low flame, begin to roast the rava. Stir often while roasting the rava.
  • The rava or sooji grains should become fragrant and start to look dry, separate and crisp. Don’t brown the rava.
  • Switch off the flame and then add the roasted rava in a plate and keep aside.

Making tomato upma

  • In a pan, heat ghee or oil. Then add mustard seeds.
  • When you hear the crackling sound of mustard seeds, it means they are getting cooked.
  • When the mustard seeds are crackling, then reduce the heat to a low and add cumin seeds along with chana dal and urad dal.
  • Stir and saute them on a low heat till the both the urad dal and chana dal become golden. Take care not to burn the dals.
  • Now add dry red chilies and a pinch of asafoetida. Stir and mix well.
  • Add chopped onions and stir.
  • Begin to saute the onions stirring often on a low to medium heat till they turn translucent.
  • Then add the chopped green chilly, ginger, curry leaves. Saute for half a minute.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. You can also add vangi bath powder or bise bele bath powder instead of red chilli powder.
  • Mix very well and saute the tomatoes on a low to medium heat till the tomatoes soften.
  • Next add water to this mixture.
  • Add salt as per taste. Check the taste of water and it should be slightly salty.
  • On a medium to high flame, heat the water and let it come to a rolling boil.
  • When the water comes to a rolling boil, lower the flame to its lowest. Then add the rava in 4 to 5 batches directly from the plate or with a spoon.
  • As soon as you add the first batch, immediately stir and mix very well.
  • Then add the next batch of rava.
  • Stir again. This way keep on adding and stirring the rava up to the last batch.
  • Quickly stir and mix well so that lumps are not formed. The rava grains absorb water and thus swell and get cooked.
  • Cover and allow the tomato upma to steam for 2 to 3 minutes on the low flame. Then switch off the flame.
  • Lastly add chopped coriander leaves. Stir and mix well.
  • Drizzle ½ teaspoon of ghee on each serving and serve tomato upma hot with coconut chutney or lemon pickle or lemon wedges.

Notes

  • Use good quality fresh rava. Make sure there are no worms or insects in it. Use the fine textured rava like Bombay rava
  • Ensure that the rava is roasted well and evenly.
  • For some crunch you can add cashews or roasted peanuts to the dish.
  • Feel free to adjust the spices and seasonings as required.
  • This recipe can be scaled as per your needs.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Tomato Upma
Amount Per Serving
Calories 541 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 940mg41%
Potassium 404mg12%
Carbohydrates 78g26%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1025IU21%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 47mg235%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 81mg98%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 7µg7%
Calcium 672mg67%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 476µg119%
Iron 30mg167%
Magnesium 64mg16%
Phosphorus 264mg26%
Zinc 2mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Tomato Upma post from the archives first published in January 2016 has been republished and updated on 26 June 2022.

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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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55 Comments

  1. Mam I have only one thing to say you are goddess of cooking. I searched many sites when needed recipies. I am brahmin and this is best site for veg ppl. Perfect cooking tips with step by step pics. You are just awesome. Thanks a bunch.4 stars

    1. hi puja, thank you for your kind and sweet words. i am humbled. i am just trying my best to share vegetarian recipes so that people can enjoy good homecooked food. thanka again. welcome and i wish you all the best.

  2. Really nice. Didn’t have Bisi bele bath masala so made do with homemade sambhar masala.5 stars

    1. thank you. homemade sambar masala can be substituted with bise bele bath masala in tomato upma. thanks for the rating too.

  3. Was too good I thought I’d save it for the next day breakfast but I ate the entire serving all by myself at dinner ????????5 stars

  4. Finally found the tomato upma just like the one in hotel vasantha vihar . Thankyou!

  5. Hi Dassana,

    Thank you for changing the face of veg cooking! You have created a big difference with easy access to simple recepies. It is easy for people like me who have recently developed interest in cooking. This tomota upma recipe is fantastic. Just one suggestion, we can add 1 tsp oil in the boiling water. This prevents the upma from sticking to the pan.

    Regards and thanks!

    Kalyani5 stars

    1. Welcome Kalyani. Glad to know that this blog is helping you in cooking. Thanks for sharing this tip and for your appreciation.

  6. Hello Dassanaa,
    Since the day i first visited your site, i stopped searching any other site for veg receipes. U have almost every possible veg receipes with most of the varitions. Plus i love the notes that u write in the beginning nd those extra tips, it makes cooking even more delightful. Thank u for compiling all of this5 stars

    1. Welcome Priyanka. Thanks a lot for your appreciation and positive feedback on recipes.

  7. Hi Dasana awesome recipie, ,,,,I always had problem making upma, ,,,,but your step by step recipie had made it easier,,,tried many more recipies of yours they also came out very well,,,thanks again as you had made our cooking easy,,,5 stars

    1. Welcome Kavita. Glad to know this. Thanks for sharing positive feedback on upma.

  8. Wonderful recipie Dasana, ,, I have tried many other recipes also from your blog and they also were awesome thanks a lot ,,,,5 stars

  9. Hello dassana! Thank you!! it is the best upma ever ever ever!! The light tanginess of tomatoes burst the taste ! I added just a table spoon of dessicated coconut in the end sinse i didnt have coconut chutney. And you right as always -coconut and tomato upma get along very well. In russia we usually have semolina with sugar and milk. But upma is much tastier and healfy. Thank you for awesome breakfeast for my family!!!5 stars

    1. very pleased to know this ksenia 🙂 glad you liked the tomato upma. thanks for positive views.

  10. I dont have bengal gram. Can i substitute with whole chickpeas chopped in food processor?

  11. Thanks for the recipe I will try this and I like the way you use the pics for better help pics help a lot Thanks I will definetly try more recipes

  12. Hi Dassana
    This dish came out excellent, loved it. The proportions and quantity you give are just perfect. When I follow it exactly I get the perfect outcome. Thanks for your efforts. Whenever I look for a recipe, if I find it in your site then my search stops right there. You are a pro!

    1. welcome lakshmi 🙂 very pleased to know this. thanks for positive feedback.

  13. i am not good at cooking bt tried this upma for breakfast today..it turned out so well dat my mom told me it was better den her..so happy nd all thanks to you..will surely try more recipes.. big thank you..:-)

    1. thats nice to know lucky. thanks for sharing and give our regards to your mom 🙂

  14. Hi Dassana,

    I love cooking and am always in search of new recipes to impress my husband who’s a foodie. I tried this tomato upma yesterday and he simply loved it (he usually doesn’t like upma 🙂 ), he also asked me the recipe, haha.

    You are the best when it comes to explaining the steps!!

    Thanks a lot for all your hardwork and I will be regularly visiting your site from now on.

    With Warm wishes,
    Shravs5 stars

    1. welcome shravani. glad to know this. yes do visit and try some more recipes.

  15. I cooked the recipe in my house and everyone appreciate me for cooking this delicious tiffin thank you very much. I hope I will make many types of tasty recipes for the next time

    1. welcome sukanya. glad to know this. keep visiting the blog and try some more recipes. feel free to ask any query related with recipes posted in the blog.

  16. I love ur recipes, thanx for creating website, it is very useful for me while making breakfast, lunch, dinner.my 4 yrs daughter also eating very well.thank u very much.4 stars

    1. pleased to know this swapnaja 🙂 glad you daughter likes our blog recipes too. thankyou for your positive words and god bless you.

  17. today i make it for breakfast, n really it was very yummy… thanks.
    If you any other simple breakfast recipe plz share with me.4 stars

    1. pleased to know this madhurima and cashews would give a nice nutty flavor to upmas 🙂 and you are welcome.

  18. interesting twist to an all time favorite upma!
    can you share the recepie of veg version of galoti kebab ?

  19. Tried bisi bele bath and white bread last weekend.. Came out really well. Everyone loved it. Tried atta bread too but it was raw in middle though the skewer came out clean and it gave hollow sound also. What could be the reason for it?

    1. thanks laxmi. the atta bread was not cooked from the center. just more baking time and the bread would have baked well. on tapping, the hollow sound should be felt distinctly. if there is a slight heaviness felt, then the bread is not cooked well enough.

  20. Hi amit

    Made chole Briyani, paneer fried rice and pine apple rice.. All turned out to be super yummy food. But in chole briyani we felt tht the chole was little more than the rice.
    Wht will b the ratio of water for half cup of chole.
    Between just finished making this upam… Again its good with tangy taste..
    Thank u .5 stars

    1. thank you pooja. in fact the chole biryani, i usually make with 1.5 cups. for the blog i tried with 1 cup and felt the chole is less than rice. its a personal preference, i guess. i even contemplated increasing the quantity, but then thought may be some readers, won’t prefer more chana. for us it always less 🙂
      for 1/2 cup chana, you can add 1 to 1.25 cups water.

  21. Thank you very much for sharing your delightful cooking with us! This reminds me of India so much! I get a lot of inspiration from your site.
    It is so nice that you have such a variety of recipes, one can find anything here, and it’s so wonderful I don’ t need to go anywhere else. Everything is done with so much care and love.
    Thank you again for sharing it all with us!5 stars

    1. pleased to know this natalia thankyou for your kind and encouraging words. god bless you and its our pleasure 🙂