South Indian Rava Upma

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Upma is a savory porridge made with semolina / rava, ginger and green chillies. It is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish and usually served with coconut chutney, peanut chutney, podi or any pickle. It tastes great even without any side dish.

This rava upma recipe can also be extended further to khara bath or masala bath by adding vangi bath powder or bise bele bath powder. However I particularly like to be simple and I enjoy the simple upma recipe with a small portion of rava kesari bath. This combination is also popularly known as chow chow bath in Bangalore and is one of the popular breakfast served in morning tiffin centres. The upma is served with an array of chutney’s. It can be a simple coconut chutney, peanut chutney or even onion tomato chutney.

Making upma does not take much time and can be done in 15-20 minutes, if you have the roasted semolina ready. I always roast semolina and then keep in an air-tight container. This way the semolina stays good for a longer time and does not become mouldy or spoilt.

Serves 2

1 cup rava, roasted,
1 medium sized onion, finely sliced,
1-1/2 cup chopped veggies of choice – carrots, beans, green peas, cauliflower,
2 green chillies, slit
½ inch ginger, grated or chopped finely
1 teaspoon chana dal,
1 sprig curry leaves or 10 to 12 curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
10 to 12 cashews, optional
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves,
2 tablespoons oil or ghee,
Juice of 1 lime,
2 cups water,
Salt as required


  1. In a pan, heat the ghee and add the mustard seeds and chana dal. 
  2. Once the chana dal turns golden brown, add the onions, green chillies, curry leaves and saute until onions turn translucent.
  3. Add in the vegetables, little salt and saute. Cover with a lid and allow it to cook. 
  4. Once cooked, add the water. Adjust salt and the lime juice. 
  5. On a medium to high flame, heat the water and let it come to a boil.
  6. Now, lower the flame, and then add the rava slowly and stirring it simultaneously. 
  7. Mix well, cover and allow the rava to cook for 7-8 mins.
  8. Uncover and add the chopped coriander and mix well.
  9. Serve the upma hot with chutney or podi of your choice. 
Did you make this recipe?
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