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Rava Upma

Updated: May 28

Rava Upma

Total Cooking Time

35 minutes



Upma is a popular and common breakfast recipe from South India. This recipe is made using roasted rava, salt and water as the main ingredient. This is an easy breakfast and takes only less than 15 minutes. So, if you are in a hurry burry or woke up late by chance, you can easily go for this breakfast for your family. Even the Bachelors can try it as it is very easy to prepare.

Rava upma, also known simply as upma, is a popular South Indian breakfast dish made from semolina (known as rava or sooji in Hindi). It is a versatile and easy-to-make dish that is enjoyed across India, particularly in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala. The dish has a savory flavor profile, often enhanced with various vegetables, spices, and sometimes nuts.

Ingredients and Preparation

The primary ingredient in rava upma is semolina, a coarse flour made from durum wheat. Other essential ingredients include water, oil or ghee (clarified butter), mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal (split chickpeas), urad dal (split black gram), green chilies, ginger, curry leaves, onions, and salt. Optional ingredients to enhance flavor and nutritional value include vegetables like peas, carrots, beans, and potatoes, as well as cashew nuts, which add a rich, nutty flavor and crunchy texture.

The preparation of rava upma begins with dry roasting the semolina until it turns a light golden color and emits a nutty aroma. This step ensures that the semolina doesn't clump together when cooked and imparts a distinct flavor. Separately, in a pan, oil or ghee is heated, and the mustard seeds are added until they crackle. Following this, cumin seeds, chana dal, and urad dal are added and sautéed until they turn golden brown. Green chilies, ginger, and curry leaves are then added to the pan, followed by finely chopped onions, which are sautéed until they turn translucent.

Next, vegetables are added (if using), and they are cooked until tender. Water is then added to the mixture, along with salt to taste, and brought to a boil. The roasted semolina is gradually added to the boiling water while continuously stirring to prevent lumps from forming. The mixture is then cooked on a low flame until the semolina absorbs all the water and achieves a porridge-like consistency. Finally, the dish is garnished with fresh coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice for added freshness and flavor.


There are numerous regional and personal variations of rava upma. Some versions include adding a pinch of turmeric for color, while others might use grated coconut for a touch of sweetness. In Karnataka, a variation called 'Khara Bath' includes the addition of vangi bath powder (a spice blend) for a more intense flavor. In Tamil Nadu, 'arisi upma' is made using rice rava instead of wheat semolina.

Nutritional Value

Rava upma is a nutritious dish, providing a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Semolina is a source of complex carbohydrates and provides energy, while the addition of vegetables contributes dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The dals and nuts add protein and healthy fats, making it a balanced meal suitable for breakfast or as a snack.

Cultural Significance

Rava upma is more than just a dish; it holds cultural significance in South Indian households. It is a go-to breakfast option due to its simplicity and quick preparation time. It is also a staple during festive occasions and is often served during South Indian weddings and celebrations as part of the breakfast or tiffin spread.


In summary, rava upma is a beloved South Indian dish known for its simplicity, versatility, and nutritional value. Whether prepared plain or with an array of vegetables and nuts, it offers a comforting and wholesome start to the day. Its ease of preparation and delightful taste make it a favored choice in Indian cuisine, reflecting the rich culinary traditions of South India.


  1. Roasted Rava/Semolina- 1 cup

  2. Finely chopped Onion – 1

  3. Grated carrot – 1

  4. Green chilli finely chopped – 1

  5. Chopped ginger – 2 teaspoon

  6. Grated coconut – 3 tablespoon 

  7. Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

  8. Urad dal – 2 teaspoon

  9. Bengal gram – 1 teaspoon

  10. Curry leaves

  11. Salt

  12. Hot water – 3 cups

  13. Coconut oil – 2 teaspoon

  14. Ghee – 1 teaspoon

Method of preparation

  1. Heat oil in a pan

  2. Sputter Mustard seeds, urad dal and

  3. Add onion, carrot, green chilli, curry leaves and ginger

  4. Sauté well till the onion becomes translucent

  5. Add salt, grated coconut and sauté for 1 minute

  6. Add 3 cups of hot water

  7. Allow it to boil

  8. Taste and adjust the salt as per your taste

  9. Add the roasted rava to the boiling water, make sure the flame is medium

  10. Mix well and close the pan and cook for 2 minutes

  11. Add ghee to it and mix well

  12. Open the pan and transfer the upma to serving plates

  13. Garnish our delicious upma with curry leaves.

NB :

  1. Give care while adding salt

  2. Flame should be medium while adding roasted rava.

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