Upma ( savory soji)


In Indian culture, soji is a dessert that is always sweet, it is adorned with a ton of colourful goodies to make it an outstanding dish, from coloured nuts to gold flakes, you name it and we will find a way to add it to a soji and serve it at a wedding.

Thinking back, the last time I actually ate a soji was probably 2012 at a family friend’s wedding, this is not a dish that gets made a lot in temple.

I came across a recipe for savory soji and it seemed so easy to make. I was always under the concept that soji took hours to make and consisted of a lot of difficult techniques, when it fact it is really simple and actually it’s a one pot dish.

I have never heard or tasted a savoury soji before, so I was really excited to try it out, and send my taste buds on a new adventure.

Delicious, my mum says it’s a bit bland for her, because she was under the impression it was going to be super sweet, but it has that texture of mielie rice. No idea since I have not had mielie rice as yet.

My dad loved it, he actually thought it was Putto, excuse the spelling, again I have not heard or tasted putto, I tried googling it to get a recipe and google told me spelling leaves much to be desired. So for now my search is how to spell putto…. My dad has no idea either so  I am stuck.

But all in all, this was a very delicious dish, light and fluffy and no heavy feeling afterwards like normal white rice leaves.


  • 1 ¼ x cups semolina.
  • 2 x tbsp. oil.
  • 1 x tsp mustard seeds.
  • ½ x tsp cumin seeds.
  • 2 x green chillies, sliced lengthwise.
  • A few curry leaves.
  • 1 x tbsp. plain cashew nuts.
  • 4 x tbsp. frozen green peas.
  • 1 x tsp white sugar.
  • Handful chopped coriander.
  • 1 x tbsp. lemon juice.
  • Salt to taste.


  • Heat a pan and dry roast the semolina on a medium heat, till it starts to turn brown, remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a pot, heat up the oil.
  • Add the mustard seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds start to pop add the cumin seeds and cook till they start to brown.
  • Add the chillies, curry leaves and cashew nuts, stir and allow to cook for a couple of seconds.
  • Add in the peas, semolina, sugar and salt.
  • Add in two cups boiling water, stir and allow the pot to come to the boil.
  • Simmer on a low heat stirring until all the water has been cooked away.
  • Using two forks, loosen the semolina and sprinkle with the lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

Tell me what you think of this recipe