Samo semolina upma

Samo is a type of wild grass originating from tropical Asia.  In India seeds of this grass are consumed during festival fasting days. In Gujarati it is also called  “Moriyo”, in Marathi it is called ‘bhagar’ or “Vari cha Tandul” and the English equivalent is “sawa millet”.   We bought some samo semolina at an Asian grocer a few days back and made a gluten free upma using it.   Texture wise it it very close to wheat semolina upma and taste is not too dissimilar either.   We think this seed could be a very good gluten free substitute for semolina based dishes.


What do I need to make it?


  • 1 cup of Samo semolina – dry roasted for five minutes
  • 1 cup of mixed corn and green peas (if frozen – microwave before use or par boil if fresh)
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 3-4 green chillies slit
  • 1 preserved lime finely chopped
  • 1 tsp urad dahl
  • 1 tsp channa dahl
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • Handful curry leaves
  • Handful fresh mint and coriander chopped
  • Salt  to taste


How much will I make?

Serves 2

How do I make it?

Heat ghee in a wok before adding mustard seeds.  Once they start spluttering, add the urad and channa dahl and fry till they start turning golden brown.   Add the ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida – stir for 30 seconds before adding the onions.   Cook on medium heat till the onions begin to change colour.   Add the vegetables, preserved lemon, chopped herbs and season to taste.   Pour in 2 cups of hot water from the kettle and bring to a boil.    Then add the samo semolina and keep stirring to ensure it doesn’t stick to the sides.   Continue cooking for 10 minutes or till all the water is absorbed.   Serve hot.

Moroccan flavoured corn cous cous upma

With the kids on half term break a couple of weeks back we have not managed to post any recipes.   The weather also appears to have turned for the better after a couple of months of incessant rain – thus allowing us to begin cleaning our backyard and prepare it for some vegetables and herbs.   We posted a recipe for a gluten free alternative to semolina upma using corn cous cous – we made it again and this time decided to add a teaspoon of Ras al-Hanout powder, a teaspoon of harissa paste and a preserved lemon which was coarsely chopped (added after the onions were sauteed and cooked for a couple of minutes to ensure the raw smell of the spice mix disappears).   The flavours worked beautifully and the addition of the preserved lemons added a new dimension to the upma.   We are now inspired to experiment with other ethnic flavours to make our upma more interesting.




Related links:

Corn cous cous upma