Upma recipe is a popular and most basic south Indian breakfast with semolina or sooji. It may or may not contain vegetables, hearty, wholesome and filling.

Ready in 20 minutes, this sooji upma recipe is a perfect choice for busy mornings. Upma recipes are one of those instant breakfast recipes with a handful of basic ingredients. Vegetarian and can be easily made vegan.

More Indian breakfast recipes for you- ven pongal,khara bath, milk toast, kanda poha, idli, dosa, aloo paratha.

soft fluffy rava upma with chutney

Breakfast is the most important meal of day, we have heard it time and again, but it is also that meal which is often skipped or overseen.

There is nothing like a piping hot plate or bowl of breakfast that warms and nourishes you. So what you have nothing planned for breakfast like idli, dosa or paratha?

Simple, make upma, serve with a simple coconut chutney and wash it off with coffee 🙂 So if you are not that familiar with Indian especially south Indian food, you might ask.

What Is Upma?

Upma is south Indian breakfast made with fine roasted semolina or sooji or rava mostly.

There are many variations for this like bread upma, aval upma, semiya upma but the one made with sooji is basic, common and popular.

I will not call this as a porridge, upma is upma and it is very different from porridge. It has a non sticky and loose texture and well made upma melts in mouth.

If you are some one who was often subjected to this dish, you may feel otherwise about this dish. I totally get it.

Most of the times, this breakfast option has been a savior for mothers, but not well received by other members.

But trust me, a well made rava upma recipe is truly as delicious as any other popular and time consuming Indian breakfast.

If you have not had a delicious tasting upma, please try this recipe and I am hopeful you will like it. Rava Upma deserves better guys, it is good 🙂

There are many ways to make this recipe and variations from home to home. I mostly make it with vegetables but here I am showing you the basic one with just onions.

The tempering for rava upma is really a delicious one with mustard seeds, chana dal, ginger, green chilies, loads of curry leaves and peanuts. You can also add cashews.

Cumin seeds are not added in rava upma recipe, at least not in the authentic recipes from south India. It totally alters the flavor.

If made with vegetables and rava, it is called as khichdi mostly. Again, it differs from home to home. The recipe for upma I am sharing here is authentic and traditional one followed in most homes.

Do not miss my tips and pointers to make perfecr rava upma every single time.

Always serve this dish piping hot, with a drizzle of ghee or coconut oil for best taste and flavor. Goes very well with idli sambar, tomato chutney, coconut chutney or even jaggery. Best served with filter coffee.

This Rava Upma is

has perfect texture, non sticky and not mushy at all.

semolina is well cooked yet separate, melts in mouth.

Vegetarian and make it vegan by using oil instead of ghee

Wholesome, hearty

is breakfast in total time of 20 minutes, so easy.

Why This Recipe Works

It is easy to make rava upma or sooji upma, one you take care of few important things like quality of rava, amount of water etc.

Beginners may face some issues like mushy upma or dry upma , but once you get the idea of water quantity and cook time, it is really easy.

Semolina to water ratio as a rule of thumb is 2. 5 cups water for 1 cup semolina. Now keeping this as base you may have to add or reduce 1/4 cup water depending on the quality of your rava and how non sticky you want your upma.

If you are making for kids, you can make really soft upma by adding 2.75 cups or even 3 cups water for 1 cup rava. For the ones that is non sticky and porous like restaurant ones, use 2.5 cups water.

Please note, it is important to cook rava really well to make it light on tummy. Do not use less than 2.5 cups water. If you are adding vegetables add 1/2 cup water extra.

For making perfect upma, there are more pointers apart from water quantity. Just reducing water will only lead to under cooked semolina.

So to make upma you begin by roasting rava. Next make the tempering in oil or ghee, add water to the tempering and bring it to a rolling boil.

Slowly add the roasted rava, stirring continuously. Once all the water is absorbed, cover the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Mix well, serve hot. Coriander leaves and lemon juice are not a part of rava upma.

South indian rava uoma served in sectiond steel plate with sugar and chutney

How To Make Rava Upma Recipe

Heat 2 teaspoons ghee in heavy pan. Add sooji and roast over medium heat for 4-5 minutes if you are using roasted rava. For plain rava roast for 8-10 minutes. Remove to a plate and keep aside.

roasting rava for upma

In the same pan heat 2 tablespoons ghee and 1 tablespoon oil. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, cashew nuts, curry leaves, slit green chilli and minced ginger. Fry well for a minute in medium heat.

sauteing mustard seeds, chana dal curry leaves, cashews, chana dal, green chilies

Add thinly sliced onions and saute for a minute.

sauteing onions in oil

Next add 2.5 cups of water and bring it to full rolling boil. Add few drops of oil and salt to taste.

boiling water

Now lower the flame and add roasted sooji little by little, stirring constantly as you add. It will form some lumps, just break them and keep stirring.

rava added to boiling water for making upma

Once all the water is absorbed, cover the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

making rava upma

Switch off the flame, add few drops of ghee and fluff up the upma. Serve this breakfast dish immedietly.

rava upma ready to serve

Serving Suggestions

Rava upma tastes best when serve piping hot. It does not taste very good on cooling. I have also not tried storing it for many hours.

It tastes best with pudina chutney, coconut chutney, sambar etc. Kids love this with ghee and sugar.

Tips For Choosing Rava

Variety of semolina- Semolina is known as rava or sooji in India. There are few varieties available in market and it is important to choose the right one for your recipes.

To make upma recipe use roasted or double roasted fine sooji. or upma rava also know Bombay rava. Even if you are using roasted sooji, always roast it for few minutes in ghee for flavorful non sticky upma.

Here is what I do. Whenever I purchase a pack of rava, I dry roast it for 8-10 minutes in low flame until aromatic, cool to room temperature and store in airtight jar.

I do not use sooji very frequently, so this method helps in increasing the shelf life.

Roasting rava- Before making upma, you have to roast the rava really well for best results. I prefer to roast the rava in ghee for flavorful upma. If you are cutting calories you can opt for dry roasting and do the tempering in ghee.

Tips To Make Best Upma

Ghee or Oil? Usually rava upma is tempered with ghee. Restaurants use vanaspati, which gives flavor but not good for health. To get the same texture as vanaspati you can use a mix of ghee and oil.

One more tip for flavorful upma is serving it with a drizzle of ghee or coconut oil. We do ghee for rava upma and coconut oil for arisi upma though.

Once in a while, if you want to enjoy perfect sooji upma be liberal in oil and ghee usage 🙂 This is one recipe where ghee and oil really stands out in taste and flavor.

Tempering Ingredients– The real taste of this dish comes from the tempering ingredients like mustard seeds. Be liberal with ingredients like chana dal, urad dal, curry leaves especially when you are not adding vegetables.

Also fry these ingredients really well before adding water. Please note cumin, cilantro and lemon juice are not used in authentic rava upma recipe.

The flavor comes from urad dal, curry leaves, ginger in this recipe. If you are not adding onions, you can add a pinch of asafoetida (not gluten free). Curry leaves impart a wonderful flavor here.

Adding vegetables- You can vegetables like finely chopped carrots, green peas, beans, corn in this recipe. If using vegetables add after sauteing onions, saute very well before adding water. Also add 1/2 cup extra water.

Proportion of water– this is one key step which can make or break your upma. If you add less water than required, this breakfast dish will turn out dry or under cooked. On the other hand if you add more water, upma will become mushy more like porridge.

So what is the correct water quantity for upma? 2.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of rava. If you want a moist and super soft upma then add 3 cups of water.

Next make sure to bring the water to a full rolling boil before adding sooji. This is a very important step to cook the sooji perfectly and make it fluffy. I also add few drops of oil to the boiling water for better texture.

Keep stirring as you add roasted rava- This is also a very important step for making lump free upma. Rava when added to hot boiling water tends to form lumps. To avoid it, add little by little and keep stirring in lowest flame.

Serve with a drizzle of ghee for more flavor.

Upma Recipe In Instant Pot

It is super easy to make rava upma in instant pot.

Just follow all the steps in the recipes of upma as such. You will have to do all the steps until boiling water in saute mode.

After adding rava and it absorbs all the water, you can either cover and simmer in saute mode itself for 3-4 minutes or pressure cook for a minute. If cooking in pressure cooker mode, make sure to release pressure immediately else it will turn mushy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Upma Good For Health?

Though rava is refined food, upma is considered one of the wholesome and filling food for ages.

It may not be the healthiest but it is so much better than reaching out for the packaged breakfast options or ordering in as per my opinion.

While enjoying a well cooked rava upma as breakfast dish once in a while is absolutely fine, you can make it healthier by using wheat rava or lapsi too.

On the same note, upma is not a very good choice if you are aiming for weight loss. Rava is high in calories, you may have to portion control or enjoy once in a while.

Are upma and khichdi the same?

They are both made of rava but khichdi usually has more ghee, oil and is made of vegetables while upma has only onions. Vegetable rava upma is called as khichdi sometimes.

Is upma good for weight loss?

Upma is dense in calories and made with good amount of oil. So unless portion controlled it is not a great choice for weight loss.

How to make vegan upma?

Just replace ghee with oil.

What is rava called in English?

Semolina

I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy as much as we did. Do snap a pic and share on Instagram with hashtag #cookclickndevou and please give a star rating ★ in the recipe card below. Follow us on Pinterest , InstagramFacebook   for more recipes and ideas.

rava upma ready to serve

Rava Upma Recipe

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Upma recipe is a popular and most basic south Indian breakfast with semolina or sooji. It may or may not contain vegetables, hearty, wholesome and filling. Ready in 20 minutes, this sooji upma is a perfect choice for busy mornings. It is one of those instant breakfast recipes with a handful of basic ingredients. Vegetarian and can be easily made vegan.

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 20 mins

Course Breakfast, Snack

Cuisine Indian

Servings 3

Calories 392 kcal

1 CUP = 250 ml

Notes

  • To make upma use roasted or double roasted fine sooji. or upma rava also know Bombay rava. Even if you are using roasted sooji, always roast it for few minutes in ghee for flavorful non sticky upma.
  • Before making upma, you have to roast the rava really well for best results. I prefer to roast the rava in ghee for flavorful upma. If you are cutting calories you can opt for dry roasting and do the tempering in ghee.
  • Usually rava upma is tempered with ghee. Restaurants use vanaspati, which gives flavor but not good for health. To get the same texture as vanaspati you can use a mix of ghee and oil.
  • One more tip for flavorful upma is serving it with a drizzle of ghee or coconut oil. We do ghee for rava upma and coconut oil for arisi upma though.
  • You can vegetables like finely chopped carrots, green peas, beans, corn in this recipe. If using vegetables add after sauteing onions, saute very well before adding water. Also add 1/2 cup extra water.

Nutrition

Serving: 3gCalories: 392kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 10gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 111mgPotassium: 137mgFiber: 6gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 189IUVitamin C: 104mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 3mg

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