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Upma is a suitable way to start your busy day full of healthy vegetables, prepared with effortlessly available everyday ingredients. Take a few minutes to cook and assemble this wholesome South Indian breakfast. I remember my mother preparing this breakfast early in the morning before going to work daily. 

“Uppuma,” as pronounced in Southern India, is possibly the most common breakfast option in most Indian households, right up there with dosa and idli. Also known as suji ka upma or uppittu, this South Indian breakfast is widespread throughout India. Today this classic upma recipe requires no fancy ingredients, and you can prepare it in a flash. This completes a nutritious go-to alternative quick breakfast for many people! 

The Indian name for semolina is rava, with different veggies and a few fundamental spices. This vegetable upma is super fluffy, soft, and savory. There are several tips to prepare semolina upma or rava upma: roasting the rava and getting the rava-to-water ratio right. Then, serve this delicious, wholesome breakfast once prepared right there!

Easy, savory breakfast recipes. With all ingredients ready to bring this recipe together requires under 20 minutes, creating an ideal weekday morning breakfast. Upma can be customized in any which way you prefer. These recipes can often be crafted with basic spices and veggies be “veganiced” by replacing ghee with coconut or clear sesame oil. 

Upma is made by dry roasting semolina or rava and then cooking it in hot water with veggies. It has a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad, curry leaves, chana dal, ginger, and red chili. These are an essential staple in most Indian pantries. Likewise, all upma ingredients are readily available in most Asian stores. I like to have my upma with coconut chutney to boost extra flavor.


breakfast South Indian
By SS Shiva Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 20 mins Total Time: 30 mins

Upma is one of the healthiest Indian breakfasts. Rava itself has several essential vitamins and minerals, which different veggies delivers. Adding fiber and various healthy, nutritious breakfast options for a savory, nutty flavor with coconut chutney makes a full meal.


  • 1 cup semolina or Bombay Rava (you can also use corn semolina)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (available in most asian store)
  • 1 dry red chilli broken into two
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped carrot
  • ¼ cup chopped beans
  • ½ cup tomato chopped
  • ⅓ cup green peas
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp grated dark brown rock molasses ( or any sweetener)
  • 1 tbsp ghee (for vegan, you can use coconut butter)
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves


Roasting Rava


Heat a kadai or frying pan on medium heat. Add rava or semolina and roast on low flame for 3-4 minutes or until it starts to smell nutty. Be careful not to let over it brown, or it'll change the color of the upma. Remember to stir constantly to ensure the heat is evenly distributed.


Switch off the flame and transfer the roasted rava to a plate and allow it to cool.

Making Upma


On a pan add oil to over medium heat. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.


Add chana and urad dal to sauté till slightly brown or get lightly golden, do allow to brown completely.


Add curry leaves and dry red chili to sauté for 30 seconds or you smell the fragrance over low heat.


Add freshly grated ginger and green chili to sauté.


Then add carrot, beans, and green peas to sauté for a minutes or so, stirring constantly.


Next add 2 cups of water, grated dark brown rock molasses, and salt. Turn the heat to high and allow the water to come to a boil.


Now you can add 2 cups of coconut milk and lower heat.


Reduce the flame to low when the upma comes to a boil, slowly pour the rava in while, stirring continuously.


Cover and allow the rava upma to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes on low heat.


Add either the coconut, sesame oil or ghee for non vegan and chopped coriander leaves.


Mix and switch off the flame. Now its time to serve upma with coconut chutney or pickle and curd.


To achieve the perfect texture of upma, pay attention to the water-to-rava ratio, which should be 3:1. So, for every cup of rava, and you would need to add 3 cups of water for perfectly soft and moist upma. As we are using coconut milk you may like to add little extra water. Make sure to roast the rava evenly on low to medium heat until it exudes a nutty aroma but doesn't change color. While adding the roasted rava to hot water, keep stirring continuously. This will help prevent lumps and ensure your upma has a soft and creamy texture. Cut all the veggies to the same size to allow them to cook quickly and evenly.

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