Upma is a traditional South Indian breakfast made from rava. Upma is usually served with spreading shev on top of upma and served with coconut chutney, lemon slices, or lemon pickle. It can also be had plain.



Recipe by Ushakal GroupCourse: Breakfast, Veg SnacksCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 cup semolina (sooji / rava)

  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)

  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)

  • 1/2 tablespoon chana dal (split and skinned bengal gram)

  • 1/2 tablespoon urad dal (split black lentils)

  • Few curry leaves

  • 6-7 cashew nuts

  • 2 teaspoon oil

  • 2 cups water

  • Salt to taste


  • Heat a kadai / pan and dry roast rava on medium flame for few minutes, until a roasted smell of rava wafts. Don’t let it change color, hence keep roasting it. The rava will become non sticky and free flowing if roasted correctly. Set it aside.
  • Now heat 2 teaspoon of oil in same pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. Allow the seeds to crackle and then add fried green chilies, 1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger, few spigs of curry leaves, 1 tablespoon chana dal and 1 tablespoon of urad dal.
  • Saute for a few seconds on low flame, till the mixture starts to brown little bit and then add 6-7 cashew nuts.
  • Keep mixing for few more seconds, as the cashew nuts will get browned, the dals would also get browned.
  • Add 1 finely chopped onion and fry till onion is transparent without changing its colour.
  • Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Bring it to a boil.
  • When the water comes to a quick boiling, lower the flame and add the roasted semolina to it. Keep on stirring while you add the semolina.
  • You can add semolina in 2-3 batches and simultaneously keep breaking the lumps of it.
  • After 2-3 minutes, semolina will absorb water and begin to cook. If the mixture looks too dry, then add some more water.
  • Cook covered for 2-3 more minutes, bringing the flame to low.
  • Keep stirring so that the upma does not stick to the pan.
  • Garnish upma with freshly chopped coriander/cilantro leaves.
  • Serve it immediately with a hot cup of tea.


  • Dry roast rava until it is hot to touch.
    This is a very basic South Indian Recipe and you can add your own ingredients to make it in your version, such as vegetables like carrot, beans and green peas can be also added.
    The water quantity depends upon the texture you want the upma to be. For little ‘fluffy’ upma add less water, for little ‘lumpy’ side upma add as much as 3 cups of water.
    If you want to make your upma little tangy, then you can add chopped tomatoes or squeeze lemon towards the end. Little sugar can be also added in this.
    You can garnish this upma with some grated coconut as well.

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