Hot tasty breakfast Vegetable rava Upma with semolina flour. A bowl of Upma on a yellow patterned runner with a steel fork and spoon above
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Vegetable Rava Upma - Easy Tasty Savoury Sooji Upma

Easy, tasty South Indian breakfast of Vegetable Rava Upma. Semolina flour/sooji is roasted and cooked with a variety of vegetables and a tempering of mustard seeds, chillies and curry leaves. Omit ghee for a vegan version
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: south indian
Servings: 3 cups
Author: Sujata Shukla


For Preparation

  • 1 cup Rava /Suji/ Semolina
  • 1/4 cup onion minced
  • ½ inch fresh ginger piece minced
  • 1 fresh green or red chilli sliced
  • a few curry leaves shredded
  • 1 cup mix of vegetables, sliced from the list below:
  • cauliflower diced
  • potato diced
  • green beans diced
  • carrots diced
  • broccoli minced
  • Green peas shelled and placed in a cup of water
  • capsicum you can include green, red, yellow peppers
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves shredded

To make Vegetable Rava Upma

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Sunflower or other mild oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Mustard seeds /rai/ kadugu
  • ½ teaspoon Channa dal kadala paruppu/split Bengal Gram lentils
  • onion, ginger, chillies, curry leaves (from preparation above)
  • 1 cup Sliced veggies (from preparation above)
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1 cup Roasted rava (from preparation above)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ tablespoon ghee Omit, for a vegan version
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves (from preparation above)
  • 5-6 Cashew nuts (unsalted) Optional
  • 1 tablespoon ghee for frying cashew nuts, if using; Substitute with Oil for a vegan version


First Prepare the ingredients

  • Slicing the veggies is the main effort required for making Upma. Slice each of the vegetables as in in the ingredients list, keeping them uniform and of small size. For quantities: I add 1 cup of sliced veggies for 1 cup of rava Note: This next step is to hasten the cooking process, as the veggies cook while you are roasting the rava, slicing onions etc. You can instead simply add the sliced vegetables after sautéing onion and adding tomatoes in the steps below for 'Making the Upma') Once the vegetables are sliced, heat a pan of water. Bring it to a boil and then add the sliced vegetables such as potato, cauliflower, peas, broccoli, beans and carrots. Do not add onion, ginger, herbs, capsicum and tomato. Once the water begins to boil again, reduce the heat and simmer till the carrots and potatoes are almost cooked and beginning to get soft. Strain the vegetables and retain the water in which they are cooked.
  • Heat a kadai or frying pan well, and roast the rava for 2 minutes on medium flame (no oil required), stirring briskly as it can easily char and turn brown. Turn of the heat and immediately transfer the rava to a dry bowl and set aside till required. Break cashew nuts into halves (if using) and fry in a little ghee.

Making the Upma

  • Heat the kadai again. Add vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil as it is mild and does not overpower the taste of the Upma). Add mustard seeds and once they crackle, add channa dal and then green chilli slices. Add the ginger, sauté for 30 seconds. Add shredded curry leaves.
  • Add onion slices, sauté, stirring occasionally, till the onions begin to browned (about 3 minutes). The onions should be well fried as raw onion reduces the flavour of the Upma. Add tomatoes and capsicum, sauté for 1 minute.
  • Strain the sliced vegetables which you had earlier set to boil, and add to the tomato and capsicum. Stir and sauté for 2 minutes. Add water (you can use the water in which the vegetables were cooked earlier) and bring it to a boil on high heat. Once it is on a rolling boil, reduce the flame and let it simmer till the vegetables are cooked and tender. If the carrot and potato are cooked, the rest are likely to have cooked through,
  • Add salt, stir. Bring the water to a boil again, reduce the heat and then add the rava. Don't pour it all in, but let it flow slowly into the pan while you keep stirring briskly with one hand. Break any lumps that you see are forming. The rava will cook very quickly and begin to solidify. Stir well till all the water is absorbed.
  • Add ghee, if using, and stir it in. Transfer the Upma immediately to a serving bowl and garnish with fried cashew and with coriander leaves. Serve with a tomato chutney or a green chutney or with curd