I  know how much you all love a one pot meal so today I’m sharing this one pot cous cous with you ! Traditionally, Upma is a South Indian dish made from Sooji (Semolina) but since I     don’t always have it on hand, I’ve found cous cous to be a great swap that is easily available at your local grocery store. Upma is usually very soft and slightly mushy in texture but this cous cous umma is a bit loose & graining with more defined pearls.  Either way it’s how I  get my upma fix in and its something I  can easily meal prep, leave in the fridge and have for breakfast with chai, or as a side to any meal or just an easy to reheat lunch! It’s incredibly fast to make and one pot means very little dishes to clean!

How to Save Time:

  1. Use frozen mixed vegetables like carrots, peas, and green beans to cut down on the amount of chopping you have to do !
  2. If you want to use fresh veggies, you can chop them a day prior as well !

I  hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we do and if you make it, be sure to tag me on @thechutneylife !

One Pot Cous Cous Upma

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins


  • 3/4 cup cous cous
  • 1.5 cups onion, sliced into short 1 inch strips
  • 3-4 serrano chilis, finely chopped (use less for less spice)
  • 1/2 cup peas (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3/4 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 1/4 tsp salt (plus a couple pinches more- according to taste)
  • 2.5 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup boiling hot water


  • In a large nonstick pot over medium high heat add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. After a few seconds add the hing, with green chilis and stir for abou 20-30 seconds.
  • Add the curry leaves, stir and add the diced onions with a pinch of salt. Lower the heat slightly and cook the onions until they are slightly softened and transluecent (about 6-8 minutes).
  • Once the onions are soft, slightly increase the heat, add the peas, tomatoes, and ginger and remaining salt. Stir until the ginger is fragrant and tomatoes have cooked down (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Now, add the cous cous to the pot, give it a quick stir & immediately add the 1 cup of hot water, give it another quick stir to make sure the cous cous and water have mixed and close the lid on the pot quickly. Turn the stove off, move the pot to a different burner and wait for 5 minutes before opening the lid.
  • After 5 minutes, open the pot and use a fork to gently fluff the cous cous. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. Serve hot and enjoy!