Tuesday “Samaithu Paar” Series- Semolina Porridge/Rava Upma

If there is one south Indian dish that you can’t go wrong with, its got to be this humble rava upma. Simple, filling and delicious, it makes for a great breakfast or in my case even dinner. Every family has its own version of rava upma, some with clarified butter, some with vegetables and some without but this recipe from Meenakshi Ammal’s “Cook and See” Part 1 is very similar to what most people follow. The original recipe did not have any vegetables, I added onions, carrots and green peas for extra flavor and to make it a wholesome breakfast.

rava upma


1 cup semolina or upma rava

2 teaspoons oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon split black gram

5 cashews, roughly chopped

2 dried red chilies

2 Thai green chilies

2 cups water

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, grated or diced

1/4 cup green peas

juice from 1/2 small lime

1 one inch piece ginger, grated

1/4 teaspoon asafetida powder

5 curry leaves



1. Dry roast the semolina for few minutes until the color changes to golden brown. Set it aside. If you are using roasted upma rava from the Indian store, you can skip this step.

2. Heat oil in a pan and when its hot, add mustard seeds and black gram. Fry for 30 seconds.

3. Add cashews and fry till they turn golden brown. Add dried red chilies and fry for 30 seconds.

4. Add ginger, green chilies, powdered asafetida and curry leaves. Cook for a minute.

5. Add onions and cook till they turn soft.

6. Add carrots and green peas, cook for couple of minutes.

6. Add water and salt to the above and bring it to a rolling boil.

7. Add dry roasted semolina, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.

8. Let the upma cook on low flame till all the water evaporates and upma is completely cooked.

9. Turn off the heat and add lime juice, mix well.


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