Broken Wheat Upma – Indian Vegan Breakfast

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Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Broken Wheat Upma

This Indian Vegan breakfast is often referred to as the Indian polenta. It is an easy and delicious savory breakfast!

bowl of Broken Wheat Upma recipe

Upma is a very typical South Indian breakfast. Traditionally, it is most often made with semolina, however now you will see many different versions made with different grains – even quinoa!

I first had upma when I visited the fabulous Lakeview Cafe at the Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai. Their weekend brunch has such a large variety of foods of both traditional Indian cuisine and western. If you are ever in Mumbai, I highly recommend going there for Sunday brunch!

Now it’s FINALLY time for me to make my own Broken Wheat Upma!

You might also want to check out this post which details more of the breakfasts and other foods I enjoyed while visiting Mumbai! Check it out before you visit so you know what to eat!

It is often translated as the Indian polenta, however, it has a different consistency than polenta. Not as soft as creamy polenta, but not as solid as firm polenta for frying. Upma is somewhere in the middle.

Broken Wheat

Broken Wheat, also known as cracked wheat, may be difficult to find depending where you live. You can substitute bulgur wheat, but please note they are not synonymous. Bulgur Wheat is pre cooked, therefore it cooks much faster. If you are using bulgur, you will need to adjust the liquid quantity to compensate for the shorter cooking time.

If you visit an Indian supermarket, you will be able to find the broken wheat/cracked wheat.

It’s time for the monthly Food Blogger Recipe Swap again and this month I am cooking from Veena’s Veg Nation. She has a large variety of mostly Indian cuisine and lots of delicious baking including cakes, breads and more from around the world.

I only made a few slight changes to her version of Broken Wheat Upma and I am sure you will want to start to include this delicious recipe in your breakfast meal planning.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join our monthly Recipe Swap, please join our Facebook group here.

India is known for their large variety of savory breakfast options. If you would like to check out some more ideas for breakfast, have a look at some of these recipes.

Indian Breakfast Recipes

This Broken Wheat Upma with loads of tomato flavor gives it a great tangy flavor!

upma 1-2

Here in America, our breakfasts are often sweet. If you are looking for ideas to start your day with less sugar, Broken Wheat Upma is definitely a delicious option.

bowl of Broken Wheat Upma - Indian Vegan Breakfast recipe
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Broken Wheat Upma – Indian Vegan Breakfast

Broken Wheat Upma - Indian Vegan Breakfast is a quick, easy and healthy way to start the day.
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 194.76kcal


  • 1 cup broken wheat
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 2 finely chopped green chillies
  • ½ teaspoon rasam powder
  • ½ teaspoon jaggery
  • ¼ teaspoon asoefetida
  • salt to taste


  • In a dry skillet, roast the broken wheat until it becomes aromatic and starts to change color, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • With a sharp knife, mark an x on the bottom of each tomato.
  • In a pot of boiling water, add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until the skin cracks.
  • Remove to a bowl of ice water and as soon as they cool, remove the skin.
  • Puree the tomatoes.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil.
  • Add mustard seeds. Once they start to pop, add urad dal. Saute for a few seconds.
  • Add the chillies and asoefetida. Saute for a few seconds.
  • Add 2 ½ cups water, rasam powder, jaggery and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Add broken wheat, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, 5-10 minutes.


Calories: 194.76kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.89g | Protein: 5.56g | Fat: 4.62g | Saturated Fat: 0.42g | Sodium: 270.46mg | Fiber: 6.36g | Sugar: 2.73g
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I'd love to share them!

Don’t forget to check out the other recipes from this month’s Food Blogger Recipe Swap!

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Reader Interactions


  1. I use to make broken wheat upma a lot after my kids were born, as it is easy , filling and nutritious. However I have never used Jaggery or sweetened it. Would love to try with jaggery next time.

  2. I make this broken wheat upma at least once a month because my hubby likes it a lot. Your upma looks absolutely delicious and perfect. Beautiful presentation too.

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