Upma – A very popular savory south Indian breakfast dish made using semolina, spices and herbs. It is super easy 15 minutes recipe that is crazy delicious and a healthy meal in itself. Here is how to make best rava upma recipe step by step on stove top as well as in the Instant Pot.
So, today on the blog is the recipe of traditional south Indian rava Upma that is now popular across the country.
There was a time when I never liked it during my childhood or college days. But after coming to Bangalore, I had started developing the taste for it. Honestly, I have no idea how and when it happened.
May be because my husband loves upma very much and has been eating it very often. So, I use to make it regularly at home. And now I am in love with this dish so much so that I can eat it anytime of the day.
A bowl of delicious and soft rava upma with coconut chutney and a cup of hot filter coffee on the side is a meal to die for!
I have been receiving the compliment from him since years that I make the best upma ever! Oh no..no…no ! That’s not a boasting at all. I get to hear the same words from my little daughter as well.
So, let’s head on to learn more about upma and to see how to make it at home.
What is Upma?
Upma is a healthy and yummy thick porridge like savory dish that is made using semolina (cream of wheat), herbs and spices. It is a very popular dish from Southern states of India and Sri Lanka.
It makes a great meal for breakfast or snack and even for lunch or dinner. Many people also call this dish with the names like sooji upma or Suji ka ka upma (in Hindi) as well.
Semolina is also known as rava or sooji (suji) in hindi. Here, I have seen, people usually make upma using Bombay rava or fine sooji that is also known as upma rava.
In most of the South Indian restaurants, Uppittu aka Uppamavu is served along with kesari bath (sooji halwa south Indian style). It is known as chow chow bath.
Rava Upma has always been a choice of breakfast or light meal for us. The reason being, it takes no time to get done. Moreover, it also makes an ideal tiffin meal for kid’s lunch box.
Plus, the flavour, taste and texture of the steaming hot upma is so amazing, that one can’t resist digging into it.
The addition of the vegetables is another important factor that makes rava upma more healthier and filling. Vegetables also gives great crunch and taste to it.
Upma tastes best with sprinkle of lemon on top along with south Indian coconut chutney or tomato chutney for more sweet and sour twist.
Variations Of Upma Recipe
1. Apart from this simple upma recipe, the addition of tomatoes makes it tomato upma.
2. Furthermore, we can add more veggies which makes it as delicious and healthy vegetable upma recipe.
3. Semiya Upma (with vermicelli)
4. Bread upma
5. Oats upma
The Ingredients That Goes in Upma
There are few fixed ingredients we have to use to get that authentic south Indian taste in the dish.
Tips to Make best Rava Upma at Home
Some people like to add whole dried red chili. So, if you like it than you can add 1-2 along with green chilies.
Do serve this hot rava upma along with coconut chutneys and a cup of hot filter coffee. Mark my words, this combination is a heaven.
Now, quickly let’s head on to see how to make it at home.
Step by Step Photos – How To Make Upma Recipe
In a kadhai or pan, for roasting rava, heat 1/2 tablespoon ghee or oil. Add rava (semolina) and roast is for 2 minutes on medium taking care that it doesn’t burn, once roasted well, it will release nice roasted earthy aroma.
Transfer it on a plate and set it aside.
To cook upma
In a same pan, heat remaining ghee. Add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle. Now, add chana dal and urad dal and fry for 30 seconds on medium heat until just golden, do not burn.
Add cashew nuts and fry for another 30 seconds, until just light brown. Add curry leaves and green chilies, fry for 30 seconds.
Now add chopped onions, grated ginger, salt and fry until soft and pink.
Next, add peas and carrot and fry on high for another minute.
Then, add 3 cups of water and mix. Bring to a boil and add sugar, lemon juice, mix.
Now, gradually add roasted sooji/rava stirring continouosly to avoid any lumps. Mix well.
Next, on a medium heat, let it to cook for a minute such that rava absorbs all the water.
Now, cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat. This helps to steam the upma well. Here, you may add some more lemon juice also, if you wish to. Delicious soft sooji upma is ready to serve. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve
Steps photos of Making Rava Upma In Instant Pot
Note: As we will be making rava upma in Instant pot, I would recommend you to either dry roast the semolina in pan on stove top or use store bought roasted semolina. You will find that roasted sooji is mentioned on the store bought package. Just pick that pack from the store and proceed with this method.
To start with, switch on the IP on normal sauté mode and heat ghee or oil. Then, add mustard seeds and sauté for few seconds. (photo 1)
Add chana dal and urad dal, sauté until it just turns light golden. (photo 2)
Then, add cashew nuts and sauté for few seconds until its golden. Do not Burn. (photo 3)
Add curry leaves and green chilies, fry for few seconds. (photo 4)
Now, add chopped onions, grated ginger and salt. Sauté until onion turns out soft. (photo 6)
Add green peas and chopped carrot, sauté for 1 minute. (photo 7)
Now, add dry roasted semolina and mix. (photo 8)
Add sugar, lemon juice and 3 cups of warm water and immediately mix everything. (you can add 2.5 cups of water if you like little denser consistency). (photo 9)
Cover the pot with IP lid and set the pressure to Low for ‘1’ minute only. The IP will build the pressure and immediately it will turn off as we have the cooking time to 1 minute only. (photo 9)
Let it rest for 5 minutes and then open the pot. By this time upma will be cooked through well. You will see that all the water has been absorbed. (photo 10)
Add chopped coriander leaves and mix. Take the inner steel pot out of the IP, Cover with glass lid and let it rest for another couple of minutes. (photo 11)
You can see how beautifully upma has been cooked in Ip without any burns at the bottom. (photo 12)
Serve warm with coconut on the side.
Some more breakfast recipes, you might love to try:
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To prepare rava upma:
- 1 cup Semolina (rava /sooji)
- 2 tablespoons Ghee or Oil
- 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Split Chickpeas (Chana Dal)
- 1 teaspoon Urad Dal (split husked black lentil)
- 8-10 Cashew nuts
- 12-14 Curry Leaves
- 2 Green Chilies slit or chopped
- 1 Onion medium size, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Ginger grated
- Salt To Taste
- 3 tablespoons Green Peas (optional)
- 1 Carrot (optional) chopped
- 3 cups Water
- 3/4 teaspoon Sugar
- Lemon Juice as needed
- Coriander Leaves for garnish
How To Make Upma Recipe
- In a kadhai or pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon ghee or oil.
- Add 1 cup of semolina or rava and roast is for 2 minutes on medium flame taking care that it doesnt burn.
- Once roasted well, it will release nice roasted earthy aroma. Transfer it on a plate and set aside.
- In a same kadhai or pan, heat remaining ghee or oil. Add mustard seeds and let it to crackle.
- Add chana dal and urad dal and fry for 30 seconds until just golden, do not burn.
- Add cashew nuts and fry for another 30 seconds, until just golden.
- Add curry leaves and green chilies, fry for another 30 seconds.
- Then, add onions, grated ginger, salt and mix. Fry until soft and pink.
- Add peas and carrot and fry on high for a minute.
- Add 3 cups of water and mix. Bring to a boil and add sugar, lemon juice, mix.
- Carefully and gradually add roasted rava stirring continuously to avoid any lumps. Mix well.
- Let it to cook for a minute such that rava absorbs all the water.
- Cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat. This helps to steam the upma well.
- Add coriander leaves and mix. Here, you may add some more lemon juice if you wish to. Delicious soft upma is ready to serve.
Making Upma In Instant Pot
- To start with, switch on the IP on normal sauté mode and heat ghee or oil.
- Add mustard seeds and sauté for few seconds.
- Add chana dal and urad dal, sauté until it just turns light golden.
- Add cashew nuts and sauté for few seconds until its golden. Do not Burn.
- Add curry leaves and green chilies, fry for few seconds.
- Now, add chopped onions, grated ginger and salt. Sauté until onion turns out soft.
- Add green peas and chopped carrot, sauté for 1 minute.
- Now, Add dry roasted semolina and mix.
- Now, add sugar, lemon juice and 3 cups of water and immediately mix everything.
- Cover the pot with IP lid and set the pressure to Low for '0' minutes. The IP will build the pressure and immediately it will turn off as we have set the cooking time to zero minutes.
- Let it rest for 5 minutes and then open the pot. By this time upma will be cooked through well and all the water wll be absorbed.
- Add chopped coriander leaves and mix.
- Take the inner steel pot out of the IP, cover with glass lid and let it rest for another couple of minutes. Serve warm with coconut on the side.
- I have added 3 cups of water for 1 cup of suji here. This ratio gives soft melt in mouth upma. However, if you wish to make upma little less soft, then go ahead with ratio of 1 cup sooji to 2.5 cups of water
- This recipe was made using 6 qt Instant Pot DUO60. I prefer making upma recipes on low pressure as it avoids giving ‘Burn’ message when cooked on high pressure in newer IP models.
- You can follow the ‘High’ or ‘Low’ pressure cooking as per the model of IP you own.