Classic Upma

Upma is a traditional breakfast recipe in South India. A vegan breakfast dish which is quick and easy to make.

I can remember my Mumbai days long back. Those days, I used to make upma atleast twice a week for breakfast. Mostly my neighbour next door used to give many tips in making upma. She is also Tamilian. So learning from her was easy for me.

My neighbour tells me always,” don’t forget to boil the water high before adding rava”, “roast the rava well till it is dry and crisp before adding to the water”, “do not roast in high flame, keep the flame in medium always”.

Rava, the main ingredient for making upma is called as suji in hindi. Rava upma is a very popular breakfast recipe in most of the restaurants.

It is served with coconut chutney, pickle or it tastes good alone too with a cup of coffee or tea. Normally, I would like to eat it with grated coconut and sugar.


  • Rava ( suji)- 3/4th cup
  • Onions- 1 medium sized ( finely chopped)
  • Chana dal- 1 tsp
  • Urad dal- 1 tsp
  • Ginger- 1/2 inch ( finely chopped)
  • Green chilli- 1 big ( finely chopped)
  • Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves- 8 to 10
  • Cashews- 6 to 8
  • Asafoedita powder- 1/4th tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 3/4th tsp
  • Coriander leaves- little
  • Salt- as needed.


Heat a pan and turn the flame to medium. Add the rava now and start roasting it in medium flame by stirring often.
Roast it till you can get a good aroma, rava grains start to get dry, crisp and separate. It should change the colour a little. Do not burn it.
Once it is roasted, keep it separate.
Heat 2 tbsp oil or ghee in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
Add urad dal and chana dal and let them turn brown a little.
Next add cumin seeds, ginger and green chilli. Stir for a minute.
Add the cashews and let it turn brown.
Add the onions and saute till it is translucent.
Then add curry leaves, asafoedita powder and salt. Saute for a minute.
Add 1 and three fourth cup of water. 1 or 2 tbsp of water can be added more.
Bring the water to boil keeping the flame from medium to high. Once the water comes to rolling boil, turn the flame to low.
Start adding the rava( suji) little by little. Stir it often so that lumps are not formed in low flame.
Stir it well so that lumps are not formed in low flame.

Sprinkle coriander leaves on top.
Close it with a lid and let it stand in a low flame for a minute.
Switch off the flame and once opened.


  • For 1 cup of rava, add 2.5 cups of water.
  • Rava should be roasted well first.
  • Water should be made to rolling boil before adding rava.