Semolina or Upma Cutlets


Today’s post is special because you get 2 recipes in one.  🙂 Read on!

Weekends we gorge on elaborate breakfasts! 🙂 Especially since the weekdays are marathons with us rushing to work and dropping kids off to school.  Also because we do not want to settle for the cereals and oats we have had all week. So the menu for last weekend Upma / Uppit (in South India). For those who do not know what Upma is – it is a very traditional savoury thick porridge like dish in India made from semolina ( Rava or Sooji) and veggies and tempered with a few spices. It is mainly eaten for breakfast but delicious as a tea time snack as well. This delicious dish is awesome by itself but is usually accompanied with different assortments like chutneys or pickle in various households. This recipe is also very healthy wholesome and can be intensified with flavours of your choice.

So we had our weekend feast for breakfast but had some leftover since kids chickened out.  The problem with leftovers is that it doesn’t have the same charm when freshly made and boring to warm up in the microwave. And as I guessed this didn’t make a way out of the fridge for the next two days. While I had to decide the evening dinner menu yesterday – I stood with the refrigerator door open thinking what I could dish out. ( I do this quite often ? Do ever find yourself standing in front of the fridge, door opened, scanning what to eat and random thoughts in your head? ) Well this time, I immediately knew what I was going to make 🙂

So the star of today’s dish – The leftover Upma and I had to revamp it into something mind blowing and excellent. Thus, the Upma Cutlet or Semolina Cutlet was invented.  I have done this a couple of times and no one will ever believe it is from left overs.  Since I have not written a post on Upma before; I will be detailing the process of making this first. For those lucky ones who already have this in the fridge get going to the next stage.  It is also a great way to get your kids get their dose of veggies disguised this way.

Note: The process may seem lengthy here but it really is not.  Once the upma is ready; the cutlets are a breeze to make 🙂 It is worth a try.  You will love it!

STEP 1 : To make Upma:

Serves:  2-3 ppl


1.5 cups coarse semolina

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 dried Red chilli

1-2 green chilli, finely chopped

½  carrot, finely diced

½ cup frozen peas

½ cup french beans, finely chopped

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp sugar

1 tsp ginger, grated

1 tbsp cashewnuts, roughly crushed (optional)

1 tbsp chana dal/Bengal gram

2 tbsp udal dal / black gram

1 sprig curry leaves

1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter

3 cups water

Salt to taste


  1. Dry roast semolina in a pan until the colour changes slightly on medium heat. Be sure to  stir this continuously as it can easily burn. You will know this is ready when you no longer get the raw smell of semolina . This take approx. 7 -8 mins.
  2. Take it off the heat and transfer to a bowl. Set aside to cool.
  3. In another deep pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter.
  4. When the ghee is hot, add the mustard seeds.
  5. Once they crackle add the cumin seeds along with chana dal and urad dal.
  6. Fry until golden brown. Add cashewnuts and fry until it is golden as well.
  7. Add the dried red chilli, chopped green chilli, ginger, curry leaves and saute for a few minutes
  8. Now add the finely chopped onions and saute until it becomes translucent.
  9. Add chopped veggies and peas and fry until partially cooked.
  10. Add 3 cups of water with sugar and salt as required and bring to a rolling boil. ( the ratio is always 1:2 – 1 cup semolina to 2 cups of water)
  11. Taste the mixture at this point for seasoning and adjust accordingly. It is much easier to do it now rather than when the upma is cooked so it distributes evenly.
  12. Add the semolina and stir immediately until all the water is absorbed.
  13. Cover and allow to steam for 5 minutes on the low flame.
  14. Drop little spoonfuls of the remaining ghee on top and steam for 2 minutes.
  15. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
  16. Serve hot with coconut chutney or / with pickle.


STEP 2 : To make Cutlets

Serves: approx. 10 cutlets


2 cups leftover Upma

3 large potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp cumin powder/jeera

½ tsp garam masala powder

Chopped mint and coriander leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Cutlet Collage

1. Remember that the upma or semolina mixture should be cold. This makes it easier to shape.

2. Combine all ingredients and bring all together into a dough. It is ok to have potato lumps in the mixture.

3. Shape into round cutlets or any shape as you desire. If required you can roll this on breadcrumbs for extra crunch. I skipped this part since the mixture has enough semolina to give it a crisp exterior.

4. Heat some oil in a broad pan on medium heat to shallow fry the cutlets. Fry for 5 mins on each side.

5. Serve hot with green chutney or sauce / dippings of your choice.



  1. I find these patties are much sturdier to work with due to the semolina.
  2. Potato acts as a good binding agent so you do not need to add any additional flour or breadcrumbs to the mixture. If you feel that your mixture doesn’t form a ball, you could add breadcrumbs and try again.



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Love & Hugs,


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