Rava Upma

UP UP Upma!!! the headlines read earlier this year in one of the Bangalore/Washington newspapers….This accolade was received for the unimaginable, once considered boring, mundane dish – “Upma” – because an Indian Chef from New York won $100,000 in a Top Chef Masters Contest in Los Angeles for dishing out our very own Upma!!–

There were days in my childhood when I used to literally shed tears when Upma was made at home by mum and am sure there will be quite some people who would be able to relate to that……It is a quick, easy dish (taking less than 5 minutes) to prepare and hence considered a fast food in most South Indian households which can be served for breakfast or as a snack or “tiffin” for afternoon tea.

It is called Upma amongst the tamilians, Uppindi by the Andhras and Uppitu by the Kannadigas and the main ingredient is Semolina and my preference is to use Coarse Semolina!


1 Cup Coarse Semolina
1 ½ – 2 Cups Hot Boiling Water
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbs. Ghee or Oil

For Seasoning

2 Tsp. Oil
1 Tsp. Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp. Urad Dal
1 Tsp. Channa Dal
¼ Tsp. Asafoetida Powder
1 Tbs. Chopped Cashew nuts
1 inch piece Ginger ( finely sliced)
1-2 Green Chillies (finely sliced)
Few Curry Leaves


Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds
When the mustard seeds crackle, add the remainder of the above ingredients
Fry till the dals and cashew nuts turn golden brown.
Pour in the semolina and fry for 2-3 minutes on a low flame
Add the hot boiling water to the above seasoned semolina mix on a medium flame
Mix it thoroughly and turn the stove off when it is semi solid in consistency

The Upma is now ready to be served

Note: Coarse Semolina is best suited to make Upma. It tastes delicious when served hot.
My preference is to make the dry mix and add the hot boiling water just 5 minutes before it is served.

If it is made in advance, it is important to turn the heat off when the water is not fully absorbed.
Place it back on the stove and stir it through just before it is served. Upma may be served with coconut chutney or any pickle.  Aval Upma and Vegetable Upma taste delicious and prepared slightly differently!!