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Rava Upma / ரவா உப்மா / How to make rava upma / Semolina Upma

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The most simple but least appreciated dish is the “Upma”. Rava Upma is one of the easy-to-cook dishes but least preferred by a majority of people. Not everyone can cook a perfect rava upma though the recipe looks simple.

I love to cook Rava Upma when I run out of idly batter. I serve everyone first and enjoy the roasted kanthal (the thick white layer that gets roasted and sticks to the bottom) of the vessel. 
I remember the silly quarrels with my sis for this roasted portion whenever my mom cooks. Also, this is the very first recipe I learnt from my mom when I was 12 yrs old. So it has a special place in my heart.

I always love my upma with just sugar or with any chutney whereas my husband likes to eat it with rasam. (Weird though). My maternal uncle’s son like it with banana. Initially I was like ??? but later got used to their eating habits. By the way, anyone here has a weird combination of eating upma? Please share it in comments.

Upma is a very simple south indian breakfast or dinner dish has various names upma, upuma, uppumavu, uppittu based on the region. It is one versatile dish that can be easily modified just by adding vegetbale or tamarind or dal etc..etc., It is made with perfectly roasted semolina or rava which is the key for this recipe.

There are many upma varieties available and few are listed below. however, when someone says upma, it defaults to rava upma recipe which is described over here.

1. Mixed Vegetable Upma

2. Puli Upma

3. Corn upma

4. Semiya upma

5. Aval upma

6. Rice upma

7. Broken wheat upma


Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 3


Rava / Semolina – 1 cup

Oil – 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Channa dal – 1 tbsp

Curry Leaves – 5 to 10

Greenchilli – 2, sliced or chopped

Onion – 1 cup, sliced

Water – 2 cups

Salt – to taste

Ghee – 1 tbsp

Video Recipe:

Method with step by step pictures:

1) Roast the rava well in the wide pan. Keep it aside when aroma starts coming from rava. Flame should be in low level when roasting.


2) Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and chana dal. Let the mustard seeds pop up.

3) Add curry leaves and green chilies and fry for few seconds.


4) Add Onions and fry then until the onions turn translucent.

5) Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Stir it well and allow it to boil.


6) Now add rava slowly to the boiling water. Simultaneously keep stirring until the rava becomes thick. Make sure to keep the flame in low.


7) Always keep the stove in low flame while adding rava in water. Continuous stirring is a trick to avoid lumps.


8) Once the water is absorbed by rava, cover it using the lid.

9) After few minutes, open the lid and add a tbsp ghee and fluff it off.


10) Serve hot with coconut chutney, pickle or sugar.

Serving Suggestions:

1) Rava upma is served with sugar and coconut chutney for breakfast, dinner generally or for evening tiffin.

2) All types of chutneys go well with this upma.



1) Make sure to use the perfectly roasted rava for making the upma.

2) Once the water is absorbed by rava, immediately cover and keep it in low flame to get fluffy rava.

3) If you can not stir the rava in one stretch, add rava in small batches to avoid lumps.

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