Vegetable Upma | Suji Upma

Vegetable Upma | Suji Upma

Soft, moist, and loaded with veggies, this vegetable upma recipe is as healthy as it is delicious. Made with simple, everyday ingredients and with a quick cook time, this wholesome South Indian breakfast is a great way to start your day and stay full for hours! 

Upma served on a brown plate

Upma is possibly the most common breakfast option in most Indian households, right up there with poha. Also known as suji ka upma or uppittu, this South Indian breakfast is really popular throughout the country. It’s not surprising, though. This upma recipe requires no fancy ingredients, can be put together in a jiffy and makes for one nutritious breakfast! No wonder it is a go-to option for so many people! 

Made from semolina or rava, lots of veggies and a few basic spices, this vegetable upma is super soft, fluffy and so flavourful. The secret to the best semolina upma or rava upma lies in two things: roasting the rava and getting the rava to water ratio right. Serve this with a side of hot filter coffee, and you’ve got yourself a delicious wholesome breakfast right there!

Easy, Fast Breakfast Recipe

  • With just a little prep, this recipe comes together in under 20 minutes, making it perfect for rushed weekday mornings. 
  • Veggies add an extra layer of fibre and nutrition to this already healthy breakfast. 
  • Super customisable. Can be made with whatever veggies you have available. You can even skip the veggies entirely if you want. 
  • Is naturally vegetarian and can be easily made vegan by eliminating ghee at the end.
  • The recipe can easily be doubled or halved

Ingredients for Veg Upma

Even though this recipe has a slightly longer list of ingredients, most of these are pantry staples and you’ll most likely already have everything you need at home. Here’s everything you’ll need:  

Picture of all the ingredients for upma laid out on a table with text overlay to identify them
  • Rava/Semolina: I prefer using Bombay Rava. The grains of this variety are neither too big nor too small. The variety is also great at absorbing moisture, which is what gives you perfectly soft and moist upma every single time.  
  • Oil: Any neutral flavoured oil like canola, sunflower or peanut 
  • For tempering: Mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves and ginger
  • Veggies: I have used onions, tomatoes, beans, green peas and carrots in this recipe. You can add or eliminate anything depending on what’s available to you. 
  • Dry red chilli: For some heat.  
  • Water: To cook the rava and give the upma its typical moist and soft texture. 
  • Sugar: Just a little helps to balance out the flavours. 
  • Ghee: Enhances the flavour of the whole dish. Optional, but I highly recommend adding it. 

How to make Upma

Here’s a detailed step by step showing you how to make upma

Step by step picture collage showing how to make upma

1. Roast sooji or semolina on a low flame till it starts to smell nutty

2. Transfer it to a bowl and let it cool

3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter and urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves, dried red chilli and saute for a minute

4. Add ginger and onions and cook till onions turn translucent

Step by step picture collage showing how to make upma

5. Add all the other veggies and cook for 2 minutes

6. Add water and bring it to a roaring boil

7. Reduce the flame to low and add sooji slowly while stirring continuously. This helps avoid lumps in the upma

8. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes till the sooji absorbs all the water, steams and blooms. Finish with ghee and coriander leaves and serve hot.

Richa’s top tips 

  • In order to achieve the perfect texture of upma, it is important to pay attention to the water to rava ratio which should be 3:1. So for every one cup of rava, you would need to add 3 cups of water for perfectly soft and moist upma. 
  • Make sure to roast the rava evenly on low to medium heat until it exudes a nutty aroma but doesn’t change colour.
  • While adding the roasted rava to hot water, keep stirring continuously. This will help prevent lumps and make sure your upma has a soft and creamy texture. 
  • Cut all the veggies to the same size to allow them to cook quickly and evenly. 
Close up of soft, fluffy upma in the pan

FAQs

What’s upma made of? 

Upma is made by first 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 and chana dal, ginger and red chilli. 

Is upma healthy? 

Yes, upma is one of the healthiest Indian breakfasts out there. Rava itself has several important vitamins and minerals and the veggies deliver an added layer of fibre nutrients. Both of these combine together to form a healthy, nutritious and wholesome breakfast option.

What does upma taste like?

Made with rava, vegetables and a handful of basic Indian spices, upma has a savoury, nutty flavour. 

If you are looking for yet another quick and easy breakfast option that’s also delicious and healthy, then this vegetable rava upma recipe should be right up your alley. I usually serve mine with a steaming cup of filter coffee, but you can also serve it with coconut chutney on the side for an extra flavour boost! 

Watch Upma Recipe Video

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Upma served on a brown plate

Vegetable Upma

Upma is a fantastic breakfast option when you want something fast, easy and healthy. Its a South Indian recipe that is made with roasted sooji and vegetables to create a balanced, hearty meal. The trick is to get the sooji to water ratio right for the perfect upma.

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Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: South Indian

Diet: Hindu, Vegetarian

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 305kcal

Instructions

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 it brown or it’ll change the colour 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

  • Add oil to a kadai over medium heat. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Add chana dal and urad dal and fry till they begin to brown a bit or get lightly golden, remember not to brown completely. Add curry leaves and dry red chilli and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant over low heat.

  • Add ginger, onions and green chilli. Saute till the onions become translucent.

  • Add carrot, beans, green peas and saute for 2 minute stirring constantly.

  • Add 3 cups of water, sugar and salt. Turn the heat to high and allow the water to come to a rolling boiling.

  • When the water comes to a rolling boil, reduce the flame to low. Then slowly pour the rava in while stirring continuously.

  • Cover and allow the rava upma to steam for 3 to 4 minutes on a low heat.

  • Add ghee and chopped coriander leaves. Mix and switch off the flame. Serve upma with coconut chutney or pickle and curd.

Video

Notes

  • In order to achieve the perfect texture of upma, it is important to pay attention to the water to rava ratio which should be 3:1. So for every one cup of rava, you would need to add 3 cups of water for perfectly soft and moist upma. 
  • Make sure to roast the rava evenly on low to medium heat until it exudes a nutty aroma but doesn’t change colour.
  • While adding the roasted rava to hot water, keep stirring continuously. This will help prevent lumps and make sure your upma has a soft and creamy texture.
  • Cut all the veggies to the same size to allow them to cook quickly and evenly.

Nutrition

Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 969mg | Potassium: 303mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2209IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 3mg

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