Friday, January 17, 2014

Bread Upma

My husband has lots of cousins living in the U.S.  Though we don’t meet as often as we would like, we do get together enough that the kids have gotten to know their uncles and aunts and cousins.

A while ago, one of his cousins was visiting us with her family.  It was breakfast time and I was making omelets or scrambled eggs, depending on what people wanted, with hash browns and toast.  People started trickling into the kitchen and asking for one or the other.  Some chose plain scrambled eggs, some had them with veggies, some had cheese omelets, and some had desi style omelets.  My oldest did not feel like eating any of those, so I offered to make bread upma for him, and he jumped at it. 

Bread upma

I used to consider bread upma a lowly dish – not worthy of mention anywhere – especially in cooking blogs, but I changed my mind that day!  The cousin’s husband, who had already had an omelet, was bummed that I had not given bread upma as one of the breakfast choices for him!  Anyway, I made enough so that he could taste it too. I am reminded of the cousin’s husband every time I make this.

Here is a simple recipe for bread upma.  Tastes best with bread that is a few days old.  I had a lot of Torta rolls (very similar to ciabatta) left over from our ski trip and needed to use them up.  This a great way to use up old bread.  


Here is what you need: 

  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. channa dal
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, minced
  • few curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Torta rolls or 4 slices of old bread, diced into bite-sized cubes



Here is how I made it:

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan.  Add mustard seeds and channa dal.
  2. When the mustard seeds sputter, add the chopped onions, green chilies, and curry leaves. Sauté till the onions become translucent.
  3. Add the turmeric powder, salt, and chili powder.  Stir for a few seconds.
  4. Add the diced bread.  Mix well.
  5. Let this cook on low flame for a few minutes, so that the bread absorbs all the flavors.
  6. turn the heat up to medium-high flame, so that some of the  bread pieces get crispy.
  7. Turn off the heat.

Serve hot.  It really doesn't need any accompaniments.


  1. hi meena wanted to know which bread u use in us?because i tried here the breads become very soggy in india my bread poha used to turn out good but here everytime it was not good and very soggy because the breads are extremely soft let me know which bread u use here in us?

    1. Hi Parul,

      For this one, I used Torta Sandwich Rolls that you get in Costco. They come in a pack of 10 and are very similar to Ciabatta rolls. If you are using ordinary bread, then it might help if you toast them first, before cutting it into cubes.



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