South Indian Style Bread Upma

Note: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Savory, filling, and quick to make, this south Indian style bread upma recipe comes together in 20 minutes for a cozy and satisfying breakfast. Quickly made on the stove, this simple bread upma features chunks of leftover bread, vegetables, spices, and more for a delicious dish your whole family will devour.

A non-stick skillet with vegetable loaded bread upma and a wooden spoon on the right.
Bread Upma

There is something about going back to school that makes mornings feel busy, hectic, and simply rushed. I find myself dishing out the most simple and quick-to-make breakfasts like cereal, Instant Pot oatmeal, and strawberry banana smoothies before quickly heading out the door.

When I have a few extra minutes, I love nothing more than making a hearty, savory breakfast that slows down the morning and leaves my family feeling cozy and full. This simple and delicious bread upma recipe comes together in 20 minutes for a flavorful breakfast your whole family will love.

What is bread upma

While you might be familiar with a traditional upma recipe, bread upma is a twist on the semolina-based recipe. Also called bread uppitu, bread upma substitutes semolina with leftover bread to make a savory and filling breakfast dish.

Seasoned and cooked with onions, spices, herbs, and more, this popular breakfast dish originated in South India. It also makes for a great school/work lunch option or an after-school snack.

Reasons to love this recipe

There is nothing better than a quick, easy, and forgiving recipe. We love this flavorful bread upma recipe for several reasons.

  • A delicious way to repurpose leftover bread.
  • Comes together in less than 30 minutes! Perfect for busy mornings.
  • An easy recipe that is hard to mess up – perfect for beginner cooks.
  • Serve it for breakfast/snack or whenever you have a hankering for a savory Indian dish. It also makes for a filling work or school lunch when loaded with veggies.
  • Versatile – This simple leftover bread recipe can be made in several different ways to suit anyone’s taste.

Here’s what you need to make bread upma

Ingredient notes/swaps

  • Bread – Sliced bread works best for this recipe. Feel free to use white, wheat, multigrain, or even French bread to make this recipe.
  • Oil – Avocado or vegetable oil
  • Tempering ingredients – mustard seeds, curry leaves, and cashew pieces (optional)
  • Green chilies – Finely chopped Indian or Thai green chilies
  • Vegetables – I have used chopped onion, green peas, carrots, and tomatoes. You can also sweet corn, green beans, or any veggies of your choice.
  • Spices – A blend of salt, fresh ginger, turmeric powder, chili powder, and sugar add flavor to this dish.
  • Lime juice – Fresh squeezed
  • Water – To hydrate the dish if it’s looking too dry
  • Cilantro (coriander leaves) – Freshly chopped to garnish
Two white bowls on a blue counter with bread upma and silver spoons on the right side of the bowls with a glass of chocolate milk in the back.
Bread Upma South Indian Style

TIPS

  • If you want, you can slice the edges of the bread, but I leave them on.
  • You can use soft, neutral bread that’ll blend well with the spices.
  • For a crispier bread upma, toast the bread slices before dicing them.

Variations to try

One of the main things I love about this simple bread upma recipe is how easy it is to change it up. From swapping nuts to adding egg, there are ample ways to make this dish your own.

  • Replace white bread with brown bread for a healthier version.
  • Use ghee in place of oil for more flavor.
  • Replace cashews with 1/4 cup peanuts.
  • Load it up with veggies. Finely chopped carrots, bell peppers, and peas add a little more bulk to the dish.
  • Skip the curry leaves and tomatoes.
  • Finish it off with chaat masala.
  • Add egg – Just make egg bhurji first, and then add diced bread slices.

How to prep ahead for bread upma

This flavorful leftover bread dish comes together quickly but if you are short on time or want to prep ahead to make it in the morning, here are a few time-saving tips.

  • Dice the bread up to a week in advance.
  • Chop your onions with your weekly meal prep, so they are ready to toss in at a moment’s notice.

Storage tips

Have leftover bread upma? Here are some tips for storing and reheating this simple breakfast recipe.

  • Store: Keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Rehydrate: Sprinkle with water and mix well as the bread upma will dry out in the refrigerator.
  • To heat: Microwave for a minute until the dish is heated through.
A white casserole dish with bread upma and a large silver spoon on the right side.
South Indian-Style Bread Stuffing

Serve it with

Bread upma makes a wonderful breakfast, lunch, or snack recipe. Some mains and sides that go well with this flavorful bread recipe include:

  • Eggs– on the side or cooked in the bread upma. Make egg bhurji and then add diced bread slices if you want to make it with egg.
  • Piping hot tea – I love to pair it with either ginger or masala tea.

Other breakfast recipes to try

A non-stick skillet with vegetable loaded bread upma and a wooden spoon on the right.

Bread Upma Recipe (South Indian style)

No ratings yet
Hearty, savory, and filling this simple bread upma recipe comes together in 20 minutes for a filling breakfast your whole family will enjoy.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Diet : Vegetarian
Course : Indian
Method: Stovetop
Cuisine : Breakfast

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Chop the bread slices into cubes. You can cut the edges too if you want.
    8 bread slices
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick kadhai/wok on medium heat. When the oil gets hot, add mustard seeds.
    2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Once the mustard seeds start to sputter, add curry leaves, green chilies, and cashews (if using). Let fry for about 20 seconds.
    1 sprig of curry leaves or kadipatta, 1/4 cup cashew pieces, 1-2 Indian or Thai green chilies (Bird's eye)
  • Add onions and ginger. Fry the onions for about 6-8 minutes until they have softened.
    1 cup finely chopped onions, 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • Add veggies, such as peas and carrots, if using. Add salt, turmeric powder, sugar and chili powder. Mix well.
    1/4 cup green peas, 1/4 cup carrots, finely chopped, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Add tomatoes. Mix well.
    1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • Cover the wok and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  • Once the tomatoes have softened, add the chopped bread slices and mix well. If the dish appears too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water and combine.
    1-2 tablespoons water
  • Cook until the edges have browned (approximately 4-5 minutes). Turn off the heat.
  • Garnish with cilantro and drizzle lemon juice just before serving.
    1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • Serve hot with tea.

Notes

Variations to try
One of the main things I love about this simple bread upma recipe is how easy it is to change it up. From swapping nuts to adding egg, there are ample ways to make this dish your own.
  • Replace white bread with brown bread for a healthier version.
  • Use ghee in place of oil for more flavor.
  • Replace cashews with 1/4 cup peanuts.
  • Load it up with veggies. Finely chopped carrots, bell peppers, and peas add a little more bulk to the dish.
  • Skip the curry leaves and tomatoes.
  • Finish it off with chaat masala.
  • Add egg – Just make egg bhurji first, and then add diced bread slices.

Pantry EssentialsGetting the right tools for your kitchen makes cooking more enjoyable and less frustrating. Here’s a list of kitchen essentials I own and recommend.

Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 8gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 314mgPotassium: 207mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1506IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 3mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

Did you make this recipe?Take a photo and tag @simmertoslimmer on Instagram for a shoutout!

Get dinner on the table faster!

Learn my meal planning + prepping secrets to make fresh Indian food without spending hours in the kitchen.

An overhead shot of Gujarathi kadhi along with rice, rotis and a side of lemon

FREE EMAIL COURSE

Simmer to Slimmer Logo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating