Rava Upma Recipe : Popular, Nutritious, Tasty Breakfast Dish

Rava Upma is a popular breakfast dish in India. It is nutritious, tasty and very easy to make at home by mixing and cooking roasted rava/suji/semolina and sauted vegetables in water. The ghee is a key ingredient to make it more tasty. Everyone can easily get upma in any of the restaurants in South India. In Sooth India, it is considered a tiffin. In fact, upma would be a regular breakfast or evening snack in everyone’s growing up days in South India. Upma is not only delicious but also a healthy breakfast option. The following article is a South Indian upma recipe to be made at home and is an adapted version of my mom’s recipe.

Making upma does not take great deal of time and effort. It can be done in 15-20 minutes, in case you have kept the roasted semolina ready. It is better to roast semolina and keep it in an air-tight container. It reduces the preparation time and semolina stays edible and insect free for a longer time and does not become mouldy or spoilt. You can make variety of recipes with rava. We just loved the steaming hot upma served with some hot cuppa of chai or filter coffee. It is a comfort food/breakfast and can be eaten during any part of the day.

Rava is also called as suji in Hindi and cream of wheat in English. Rice rava is nothing but rice semolina or coarsely ground rice. It is used to make traditional Andhra recipes. Upma is generally served with coconut chutney, lemon slices or lemon pickle. It can also be had plain. 

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time25 min
  • Total Time40 min
  • Yield3 Plates
  • Serving Size175 g
  • Energy360 cal
  • Cuisine
    • Indian
  • Course
    • Breakfast
    • Snack
  • Cooking Method


    • 1 cup fine rava (sooji or cream of wheat or semolina)
    • 1 medium sized onion -chopped finely
    • 1 green chilli – chopped
    • 1 teaspoon chana dal (split and skinned bengal gram)
    • 1 teaspoon urad dal (split and skinned black gram)
    • ½ inch ginger grated or chopped finely
    • 2.5 cups water
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 sprig curry leaves or 10 to 12 curry leaves
    • 10 to 12 cashews
    • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar or add as required, optional
    • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)
    • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
    • Salt to Taste



Finely chop 1 medium sized onion, 1 to 2 green chillies and 1/2 inch ginger and some coriander leaves.


Take 8 to 10 curry leaves, 10 to 12 cashews, 1 tsp chana dal and 1 tsp urad dal.


Heat a pan or kadai first. Add 1 cup rava or cream of wheat.


Start roasting the rava. Stir often while roasting the rava.


The rava or sooji grains should become fragrant and start to look dry, separate and crisp. Don’t brown the rava.


Switch off the flame and place the roasted rava in a plate and keep aside.


Heat 2 tbsp ghee or oil. add 1 tsp mustard seeds in a pan.


When you hear the crackling sound of mustard seeds, it means they are getting fried. 

Now add the 1/2 tsp cumin seeds along with 1 tsp chana dal and 1 tsp urad dal. Fry till they begin to brown a bit


Add cashews Immediately and begin to fry. The cashews get golden the dals would also get golden.


Add finely chopped onions and saute them till they become translucent. Then add the chopped green chilly, ginger, curry leaves. Saute for a minute. Add 2.5 cups water to this mixture. Add salt as required.


Then add sugar. Sugar is optional and you can skip it. We prefer a slight sweet taste in the upma and hence we add it. Stir well. On a medium to high flame, heat the water and let it come to a to a rolling boiling. When the water comes to a rolling boil, lower the flame to its lowest. Then add the rava in 4 to 5 batches with a spoon.


Once you add the rava, stir immediately. Then add the next batch of rava. Stir again. This way keep on adding and stirring the rava up to the last batch


Quickly stir and mix well. The rava grains absorb water and thus swell and get cooked. Cover and allow the rava upma to steam for 2 minutes on the low flame. Then switch off the flame. Now the rava is getting all cooked up and the upma is ready.


Lastly add about 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves. Stir well. Serve upma with coconut chutney or lime slices or lime pickle.

Tip : –

Using a good amount of oil is one of the key steps that prevents your upma from turning sticky. If you reduce the oil, the entire dish may turn sticky and will not taste good.

  • 3 servings per container
  • Serving Size175 g
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories360
  • % Daily Value*
  • Total Fat13 g16.67%
  • Saturated Fat1 g5%
  • Trans Fat0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg0%
  • Sodium523 mg22.74%
  • Total Carbohydrate52 g18.91%
  • Dietary Fiber5 g17.86%
  • Total Sugars4 g
  • Protein9 g18%
  • Calcium425 mg32.69%
  • Iron15 mg83.33%
  • Potassium175 mg3.72%
  • Vitamin A43 mcg4.78%
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)18 mg20%
  • Vitamin E (Tocopherol)4 IU12.12%
  • Vitamin K3 mcg2.5%
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)1 mg83.33%
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)1 mg76.92%
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)16 mg100%
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)1 mg58.82%
  • Folate157 mcg39.25%
  • Phosphorus194 mg15.52%
  • Magnesium50 mg11.9%
  • Zinc1 mg9.09%