South Indian Bread Upma (Bread Poha)

5 from 5 votes

Bread Upma (Bread Poha) is a South Indian-style breakfast or snack recipe made using bread slices, onions, tomatoes, and spices. This quick and easy dish comes together in under 20 minutes and is a great way to use leftover bread slices (vegan).

Bread upma served in a bowl.
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About Bread Upma (Bread Poha)

Bread Upma (Bread Poha) is a South Indian-style breakfast or snack recipe that is super easy to make and a great way to use the leftover bread sitting in the fridge.

Made using bread slices and a few spices, bread upma comes together in under 20 minutes using simple ingredients. Load it with veggies or nuts for a healthier version.

This tasty and filling leftover bread recipe is vegetarian and vegan, too.

South Indian style bread upma is made like our usual poha. The difference is that instead of poha (flattened rice), bread is used to make this dish.

Serve it for breakfast with a cup of kadak masala chai or pack it for school or office lunch boxes.

This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.

Here are some more everyday Indian breakfast recipes you must try

Ingredients and Variations

Bread upma ingredients 1
Bread upma ingredients 2

Bread – Use fresh bread or leftover stale bread; both are fine.

Bread Upma made using white sandwich bread tastes the best. You can also use multigrain bread, brown bread, whole wheat bread, dinner rolls, pav, or soft bread. Try not to use sourdough as they are a little hard.

You can keep the edges of the bread if they are not too hard. If they are hard, I suggest cutting them off.

If you want a gluten-free version, use any gluten-free bread.

This recipe is also a great way to use the top and bottom slices from the packet, which are otherwise left unused.

Vegetables – I like to keep it simple and add only onions, tomatoes, green peas, and green chilies. To make it more wholesome, you can add green beans, sweet corn, carrots, zucchini, etc..

Adjust the green chilies as per your taste. I used Indian green chilies but you can use Serrano peppers, Thai green chilies, or jalapenos.

Oil – Use any cooking oil to make this simple breakfast recipe: light olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, etc works fine. You can also use butter or ghee for a richer and more flavorful taste.

Peanuts – Raw peanuts add a great crunch to the otherwise soft upma. Also a great source of protein, it adds to its nutrition too. You can replace peanuts with cashew nuts.

Other Ingredients – You will also need curry leaves, brown mustard seeds, freshly squeezed lime juice, cilantro (fresh coriander leaves), salt, and turmeric powder.

Lime juice can be replaced with lemon juice.

To make this upma protein-rich, add 2 scrambled eggs to the recipe and make bread egg upma.

Add a tablespoon of pav bhaji masala or sambar masala powder along with veggies to make a variation of bread upma recipe.

How To Make Bread Upma

Cut 8 white bread slices into small squares (¼-inch) using a serrated knife.

Note – You can also tear the bread slices using your fingers instead of cutting them. Instead of cutting the slices into cubes, you can also shred the bread into very fine pieces for a texture change.

Cuttingthe bread slices into small pieces.

Splash 2-3 tablespoon of water or buttermilk over them and toss once. Keep aside. This process will make the bread pieces soft.

Water splashed over the bread pieces.

Heat 2 tablespoon cooking oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Oil heating in a pan.

Once the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds and 10-12 curry leaves and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.

Mustard seeds and curry leaves added to the pan.

Add ¼ cup of raw peanuts and fry for 20-25 seconds until crispy.

Peanuts added to the pan.

Add

  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 teaspoon chopped green chilies
  • ¼ cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Note – If using fresh peas, cook them until tender before adding them to the pan.

Onions, tomatoes, ginger, chilies and peas added to the pan.

Now add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon salt and cook for a minute.

Turmeric powder and salt added to the pan.

Add

  • bread cubes
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

and toss everything well.

Bread pieces, lime juice and cilantro added to the pan.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat. Serve hot.

Ready bread upma.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add more vegetables to bread poha?

Yes, you can. I like to keep it simple, but you can always add vegetables such as carrots, beans, bell peppers, broccoli, potatoes, corn, etc, to make it more filling and wholesome.

Can I toast the bread to make bread upma?

Some people toast the bread before cutting them into cubes. This bread upma tastes very different from the one I have shared. You can try it too. Just toast the bread slices in a toaster or skillet, cut them into cubes, and follow the remaining recipe as mentioned.

How to make egg bread upma?

Before adding the bread to the pan, break one egg in the pan and make an egg scramble. Once it is done, add in the bread cubes and give it a mix.

How to make cheesy bread upma?

Once the bread upma is ready, sprinkle ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese over it and cover it with a lid. Cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes until the cheese melts.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this delicious bread upma for a quick breakfast or evening snack, or pack it for school and office lunch boxes.

It can be served independently with a cup of Adrak Wali Chai or South Indian Filter Coffee.

You can also serve Green Chutney or Tomato Ketchup on the side; it tastes good with this upma. I like to top my Bread Upma with some Bikaneri Sev or Aloo Bhujia.

Storage Suggestions

I like to make it fresh! But if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container for about a day or two.

Reheat in a pan or a microwave before serving.

Splash a little water before re heating if the upma looks dry.

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Bread upma is a South Indian-style breakfast or snack recipe that is made by using bread slices and few spices. This quick and easy dish comes together in under 20 minutes and is a great way to use up those leftover bread slices.
5 from 5 votes

South Indian Bread Upma Recipe (Bread Poha)

Bread Upma (Bread Poha) is a South Indian-style breakfast or snack recipe that is made by using bread slices, onions, tomatoes, and a few spices. This quick and easy dish comes together in under 20 minutes and is a great way to use up leftover bread slices.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 8 white bread slices
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • ¼ cup raw peanuts
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 teaspoons chopped green chilies
  • ¼ cup frozen green peas (washed)
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
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Instructions 

  • Cut bread slices into small squares (¼-inch) using a serrated knife.
  • Note – You can also tear the bread slices using your fingers instead of cutting them. Instead of cutting the slices into cubes, you can shred the bread into very fine pieces for a change of texture.
  • Splash 2-3 tbsp of water or buttermilk over them and toss once. Keep aside. This process will make the bread pieces soft.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add peanuts and fry for 20-25 seconds until they are crispy.
  • Add onions, green chilies, peas, tomatoes, and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Note – If using fresh peas, cook them until they are tender before adding them to the pan.
  • Now add turmeric powder and salt and cook for a minute.
  • Add the bread cubes, lime juice, and cilantro, and toss everything well.
  • Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat. Serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Use fresh bread or leftover stale bread; both are fine.
I like to use white sandwich bread because I think this bread tastes best when made into a bread upma. But you can use multigrain bread, brown bread, whole wheat bread, dinner rolls, pav, or any other soft bread. Try not to use sourdough as they are a little hard.
You can keep the corners of the bread if they are not too hard. If they are hard, I suggest cutting off the edges.
If you want a gluten-free version, use any preferred gluten-free bread.
You can add beans, carrots, zucchini, etc to make it more wholesome.
Some people toast the bread before cutting them into cubes. This version of bread poha tastes very different from the one I shared. You can try it too. Just toast the slices in a toaster or skillet, cut them into cubes, and follow the remaining recipe as mentioned.
Make it with eggs. Before adding the bread to the pan, break one egg in the pan and make an egg scramble. Once it is done, add in the bread and give it a mix.
Make it cheesy. Once the bread upma is ready, sprinkle ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese over it and cover it with a lid. Cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes until the cheese melts.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 311mg, Potassium: 243mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 255IU, Vitamin C: 58mg, Calcium: 102mg, Iron: 3mg
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