Looking to make a light and healthy breakfast dish? Then Sooji or Rava Upma is your answer. It is a delectable traditional South Indian breakfast dish made by using sooji or semolina.
About This Recipe
Upma is an Indian translation for Savory Porridge. It can be made using variety of ingredients like Sooji, Vermicelli, Beaten rice or poha, or broken wheat or dalia.
Lots of veggies are added to it for a nice crunch and they also make this dish perfect to serve for breakfast or a snack. The addition of peanuts and cashew nuts also takes care of the protein requirement making it a perfectly balanced dish.
Today we are talking about the Sojji Upma or Semolina Upma. Also known as Uppumavu and Uppittu, it is a dense and thick almost porridge kind of savory snack made using rava, semolina or suji.
This dish is not only popular in Tami Nadu and other South Indian states but is also famous in Sri Lanka. In most South Indian restaurants, it is served along with Kesari Bath, and this combination is called Chow Chow Bath.
This recipe requires very basic ingredients.
Sooji/Rava – The choice of suji is very important for making a good Upma. I use fine rava or baarik suji to make it.
It is also called as Upma Rava or Bombay Rava. Make sure to roast the semolina well otherwise it will taste raw.
Ghee – You will need some fat to roast the semolina. I highly recommend using ghee as it lends a very nice flavor to the final dish.
However, if you want to make a vegan version, use any plant-based oil instead.
For tempering – A tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, and lentils gives it a nice flavor.
Lentils and nuts like cashew nuts or peanuts also add crunch to the otherwise soft Upma and I highly recommend adding these in your dish.
Other Ingredients – I have also added onion, ginger, and few veggies to mine recipe. But you can feel free to skip these.
You can add veggies of your choice. I generally add carrot, beans, and peas which are traditionally added in it but feel free to add broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.
Hot water – The proportion of water to suji is very important for the right texture of the Upma. I always use 2.5 cups of hot water per cup of Suji and it gives me perfect Upma every time.
Fresh Coriander and Lemon – Do add fresh coriander at the end to make it even more flavourful. A drizzle of lemon juice just before serving is highly recommended too.
Step by Step Recipe
Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pan. You can use vegetable oil for a vegan version, however best upma is made in ghee.
Add rava (Suji) and fry until it turns slightly brown. make sure to fry rava on low medium heat and keep stirring continuously. Remove the roasted rava on a plate and keep aside.
Heat the remaining ghee in the same pan.
Once the ghee is hot, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal, chana dal, and cashew nuts and fry until they turn slightly brown.
Add chopped onion, green chillies, and ginger and fry until onion turns pinkish in color. My husband doesn’t like ginger so I skip it sometimes.
Add carrots and peas and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes. You can add any vegetables of your choice like beans, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
Add hot water, salt, sugar, and lemon juice and bring it to a boil. Add the roasted rava and mix well.
Cover the pan and simmer the heat to low. Covering the pan is important as it will let suji soak the water and become soft.
Cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat until rava absorbed the water and is cooked. Remove the pan from heat and let the upma rest for 4-5 minutes. Fluff it with a spoon and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Rava Upma is a great source of protein and carbs. It is also low in fat and calories, making it perfect for your breakfast if you are on a weight loss journey.
Rava in the Upma is considered to be high in Vitamin B and Iron. But always make sure to eat the desired quantity and not include too much of this in your diet.
To make Upma in a mug, roast the semolina. Then add the roasted semolina along with all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the mixture into 4 microwave-safe mugs and micro on high for 30 seconds. Stir the content and again micro for a minute.
Stir again and micro for another 30 seconds. Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon juice and serve hot.
You can make an Upma Mix and store it to use later. This mix comes in very handy while traveling or if you have a very busy schedule.
Check out my friends Radha’s post. She has explained the process to make Upma Mix beautifully.
You can make many variations of Upma by replacing Suji with other ingredients such as Dalia, Sabudana, Ragi, Leftover Idli, Oats, Vermicelli, Puffed Rice, or even Bread.
You can add vegetables such as tomato, green peas, corn, carrots, beans, etc to make this Upma even more healthy and filling.
Add spices such as turmeric powder and red chilli powder to make a spicy masala Upma.
Grind coriander leaves, mint leaves, and green chillies and add in the Upma to make a Coriander Mint Upma. It also gives the Upma a beautiful green color.
In the same way, you can add in grind tomatoes and make a flavorful Tomato Upma.
The North Indian in me likes to top my Upma with some fine sev and also like to eat it with tomato ketchup. Green Chutney will also go well with it.
You can also serve it with spicy Bombay Chutney. Some households even serve it with Pickle, most popular being Lemon Pickle.
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Rava Upma Recipe
- 3 tbsp Ghee
- 1 cup Fine Rava
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 10-15 Curry Leaves
- 1 tsp Urad Dal
- 1 tsp Chana dal
- 8-10 Cashew Nuts (Halved)
- 1/2 cup Onion (Chopped)
- 2 tsp Green Chilli (Chopped)
- 1 tsp Ginger (Grated)
- 1/4 cup carrot (Chopped)
- 1/4 cup Peas
- 2.5 cup Hot water
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander (Chopped)
- Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pan.
- Add rava and fry until turns slightly brown.
- Remove the roasted rava on a plate and keep aside.
- Heat the remaining ghee in the same pan.
- Once the ghee is hot, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal, chana dal and cashew nuts and fry until they turn slightly browned.
- Add onion, green chilli and ginger and fry until onion turns pinkish in colour.
- Add carrots and peas and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Now add hot water, salt, sugar and lemon juice and bring it to a boil.
- Add the roasted rava and mix well.
- Cover the pan and simmer the heat to low.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat until rava absorbed the water and is cooked.
- Remove the pan from heat and let the upma rest for 4-5 minutes.
- Fluff it with a soon and serve hot.
- Make sure that you roast the rava well before you make Upma.
- You can roast the rava in bulk and keep using it as required. It makes the process of making it much faster.
- Always roast the semolina on medium heat. High heat can burn it very quickly.
- Use ghee for roasting rava.
- Do add chana dal, urad dal, and cashew while making Upma because they grant a great texture to this soft snack.
- Secondly, the fresher the veggies, the tastier your Upma will turn out. You can add your choice of vegetables. In the below recipe I have added only peas and carrots but feel free to add corn, beans, cauliflower, etc.
- Stir continuously once you mix all the ingredients up because we do not want any lumps to remain in the Upma.
- Water to Suji ratio is very important, so keep that in mind.