Breakfast Kids South Indian


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Upma recipe or Rava Upma recipe or Sooji upma or Uppittu recipe is a savory porridge made with dry roasted semolina (sooji) and veggies. It’s more common in South India but now I see it just as much everywhere in India.

What is Upma?

Upma is a simple and a delectable traditional South Indian dish made with semolina and slightly spiced to make a tasty dish that can be eaten for breakfast, brunch or as a snack.

This recipe is very simple and hardly takes more than 20 minutes and is almost every Indian’s favorite. It makes a filling and satisfying meal, especially with a side of chai/tea or coffee.

In other words Upma is the savory version of our traditional sooji halwa. They both are made with dry roasted sooji and water. The difference is one has sugar and the other has veggies and is savory.

How to make Upma?

To make upma, start by roasting the sooji until it’s fragrant. This is one step that you can do in advance and save time.

Once sooji is roasted, tempering is added in a pan along with the veggies and they are sauteed until soft and then water and dry roasted sooji is added to form a porridge like consistency. It can be prepared with several variations.

In fact, an upma is almost foolproof and as long as you follow some basic instructions and tips you will always make fluffy and delicious upma.

Tips for making perfect Upma

  • Roasting Rava: Dry roast rava in low-medium flame and keep stirring frequently. Keep a close eye on the skillet and roast the sooji. Do not brown it.
  • Ratio: For making upma the ratio of upma/sooji and water is key. After experimenting several time I came to conclusion that the ratio of 1: 2.5 is ideal to make it perfectly soft consistency like you get in restaurants.
  • Veggies: To make upma more healthy and nutritious add varieties of vegetables of your choice. Just make sure to maintain the ratio of sooji and veggies.
  • Add rava in parts: Add 2-3 tablespoons of roasted rava at a time into the veggies, stirring after each addition. This way the upma will not form any lumps. Do not add all the sooji to the water at once.
  • Add Extra ghee and lemon juice: I love preparing upma in ghee, but you can also make them in oil. At the end add a teaspoon ghee and squeeze lemon to enhance the flavors.

To make Rava Upma at home follow the detailed step by step recipe posted below.

Do try other similar recipes :

Preparation Time: 5mins  ∏  Cooking Time: 20mins  ∏  Servings: 2-3

Level: Beginners (Easy)  ∏  Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm

Ingredients Checklist:

How to make Upma:

Step1: Heat a pan/skillet on low-medium flame. Add 1 cup rava/semolina/sooji and dry roast it for about 5-6 minutes. Keep stirring continuously. The rava or sooji grains should become fragrant and start to look dry, separate and crisp. Don’t brown it. Once it’s roasted, remove to a plate and set aside.

Step2: To the same pan heat 1 teaspoon ghee/oil on medium heat. Add 1/3 cup peanuts and saute them for 2-3 minutes or until they turns brown and crunchy. Once peanuts are almost done, add 4-5 cashew and saute them aswell for 2 minutes. Transfer them to a plate. We will use this later for garnish.

Step3: To the same pan if required add 1/2 teaspoon of ghee/oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon urad dal and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Reduce the heat to low and cook until seeds pop. Then add the chopped ginger, green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for 30 secs until the curry leaves are fragrant.

Step4: Add finely chopped onion and cook for 2-3 mins, until they soften and become translucent on a low medium heat. Do not brown the onions.

Step5: Then add the finely chopped carrot and green peas and stir (I used frozen peas and soaked them in warm water for 10 mins before adding to the pan). Cook for 2-3 minutes. (If using fresh green peas then boil them separately until soft before adding to the upma.)

Step6: Season it will 1 teaspoon sugar (optional) and salt to taste. Add 2-1/2 cup water to the mixture. Check the taste of water for salt, It should tastes little salty. On a medium to high flame, heat the water and let the water come to a boil.

Step7: When the water comes to a rolling boil, lower the flame to its lowest. Start adding the roasted sooji/rava little at a time in batches.

Step8: Once you add the first batch of rava, stir and mix immediately so that the roasted rava gets mixed evenly with the water. Add all the sooji in similar way, little by little until all of it is absorbed by water. Keep stirring continuously.

Step9: Quickly stir and mix very well. The rava will absorb water, swell and get cooked. Be careful, the upma may splatter at this time so keep some distance.

Step10: Then cover the pan with lid and set heat to low. Let it remain like that for 2 mins.

Step11: Then switch off the heat. Open the lid and add 1 teaspoon ghee. This is optional but it will really increase the flavor and texture of the upma. Mix the ghee with the upma.

Step12: Lastly add roasted peanuts, cashew and fresh coriander leaves. Drizzle some lemon juice if you like. Upma is ready.

Step13: Serve upma hot with slices of lemon. I like to sprinkle some sev on upma while serving. Enjoy it with your favorite chutney, tea or coffee.



  • Do not add ghee to keep it vegan.
  • Dry roast sooji/rava on low-medium flame and keep stirring continuously.
  • Keep the rava water ratio to 1: 2.5. For every cup of sooji add 2.5 cup of water. It gives me perfect texture every time.
  • If you are adding veggies, make sure to finely chop them.
  • Always add rava to the hot water in batches. After adding each batch mix the rava evenly with the water.
  • Do add fresh coriander at the end to make it even more flavorful. A drizzle of lemon juice just before serving is highly recommended too.

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