Semolina Upma or rava upma is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish made with roasted semolina. Upma can be made in a variety of ways. I think each and every upma recipe will be entirely different. Each state in India prepares this dish in different flavor.
In Tamil Nadu, the semolina upma will have a thick porridge-like consistency. They also make upma with coarse rice flour. In Karnataka, garam masala (spices) and red chili powder are added to make a spicy variation of upma. We make upma in a number of ways in Kerala. My amma will add grated coconut and my mother-in-law makes upma without coconut. I make it both way. Sometimes vegetables are added to make the dish a little crunchy and colorful.
We usually use roasted semolina to make upma. In Kerala, roasted semolina is available in packets in stores. But here roasted semolina is very rare and will be a little expensive too. Roasted semolina will have a longer shelf life than the raw ones. You can easily roast semolina at home. Semolina is made from broken wheat and is a refined food. Get the raw semolina from almost all the Indian stores or Asian markets. Semolina is also known as suji, sooji, rava and Bombay rava. Dry roast them for 5 to 10 minutes and store in an air-tight container. This makes it easy to prepare a fast breakfast on busy days. They are good to go as brunch or snacks.
Semolina Upma can be enjoyed as it is. They are usually served hot or warm. We usually eat upma with banana or cooked plantain for breakfast. As a snack, we enjoy plain upma. But you can use any sides like chutney, pickles etc to go with upma. Today I am sharing the upma recipe my amma makes. This is a very simple and easy recipe made within 30 minutes.
Easy Semolina Upma
- 1 cup coarse Semolina flour rava, Sooji
- 2 tbsp Coconut oil
- 2 tsp Mustard seed
- 1 tbsp Ginger finely chopped
- 1 Green Chili pepper chopped
- ½ cup Onion chopped
- 2-3 Curry leaves optional
- 2 cups of Water
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup finely grated Coconut
Take the semolina flour in a pan. Dry roast on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure not to brown the flour.
Remove the flour from the pan and keep aside.
Add coconut oil to the same pan. When hot, crackle the mustard seeds.
When the crackling stops, add ginger, green chili and onion.
Saute until the onion is soft and translucent.
Stir in the curry leaves.
Add water and salt to the pan with care. Bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Add grated coconut and stir well. Cook for 1 minute.
Slowly stir-in the roasted semolina flour into the water-coconut mix in the pan.
Stir and mix well with a spoon. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Enjoy hot or warm with banana or pickles.
Make sure the flame is reduced before adding water. Take care while doing this as adding water to hot oil is risky. The water may splash and can cause burn. So add water very slowly.
The roasted semolina flour will absorb water and swells fast. So you have to work quick. Mix the flour immediately after adding to water.
Add more water if you like it in a thick porridge style.
This semolina upma is a very basic recipe. You can add your own flavors to this recipe. Some variations are adding vegetables, spices, udad dal(skinned black gram), cashews, ghee instead of oil. All this ingredients makes different flavors of upma. This basic semolina upma (rava upma) makes a simple vegan one pot dish made in minutes.