Rawa Upma


2 servings

Total time

20-30 minutes


South Indian



What is Rawa Upma?

If you have grown up in an Indian household, you must be familiar with one of the representative South Indian dishes, Rava Upma. Made of Rava, also known as ‘sooji’ in Hindi or ‘semolina’ in English, this is a healthy breakfast option that keeps you full throughout the day. The low calorie in Upma makes it suitable for your breakfast, lunch or dinner.

While the vegetables and other ingredients can be modified as per your liking or dietary preferences, the main ingredient, Rava, cannot be replaced. Just keep some roasted Rava handy to make this easy dish whenever you feel like it. While you can make it with unroasted Rava as well, the final texture of your Rava Upma recipe will be a soggy, clumpy mess that suits no one.

Are you wondering how to make Rava Upma? Simply, roast your Rava, prepare your vegetables, and keep your spices handy. Follow this Rava Upma recipe to make the most delicious and easy Upma Rava to satisfy your cravings and take the first step towards a healthy diet.

How to make Rawa Upma?


  • Main ingredients
  • Rava (Sooji) – 1 cup

  • Ghee – 2 tbsp

  • Mustard Seeds (Sarson) – 1 tsp

  • Curry Leaves – 1 sprig (10-12 leaves)

  • Cumin (Jeera) – ½ tsp – Optional

  • Chana Dal (split and husked) – 1 tsp

  • Urad Dal (split and husked) – 1 tsp

  • Raw Peanuts – 2 tbsp

  • Onion (chopped) – 1 (medium-sized)

  • Ginger (finely chopped) – 1 tsp

  • Green Chilli (slit in the middle) – 2 (use more for more spice)

  • Water – 2.5 cups

  • Salt – As per taste

  • Additional optional ingredients
  • Carrots (chopped) – ¼ cup

  • Capsicum (chopped) – ¼ cup

  • French Beans (chopped) – ¼ cup

  • Peas – ¼ cup

  • For garnishing (optional)
  • Lemon – 1 round slice

  • Cilantro (Dhaniya) – 2-3 heads

  • Ghee – 1 tbsp


  • How to prepare Rava Upma?
  • Lightly roast the Rava over medium heat. Stir constantly to ensure that you neither brown the Rava nor burn it. Remove from heat once the roasted smell emits.
  • Pour the oil in a wok. Heat it on medium heat and fry the raw peanuts slightly till golden brown and a peanut-y smell emits.
  • How to cook Rava Upma?
  • In the same wok where you fried the peanuts, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • After the sputtering and splitting subsides, add chana dal and urad dal. Saute lightly on medium heat till the chana and urad dal turn golden brown.
  • Add the fried peanuts you set aside earlier. Keep stirring for 10-15 seconds.
  • Turn down the heat to low and add the green chillies and ginger.
  • Next, add the curry leaves and saute on low heat till the raw smell of the ginger is gone and the leaves become crisp.
  • Add the chopped onion and fry till translucent. If you are making a vegetable Upma, then add the rest of the vegetables now and cover and cook to allow the vegetables to become slightly cooked.
  • Add the water and salt to taste. Turn the flame to medium to let the water come to a boil. After the water boils, turn the flame to low again.
  • Add the roasted and cooled Rava gradually as you keep stirring the pot with your other hand. Add the Rava very slowly to prevent lumps. Also, stirring constantly is key to prevent any further lumps.
  • After all the Rava has been added, check well for any lumps and break them. Be cautious since the thick Rava mix tends to splash and may burn you.
  • After all the water has been absorbed, cover your pot and allow the Rava to cook on low heat for 2-4 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and check whether your Upma has been cooked.
  • How to serve Rava Upma?
  • Serve the Upma in small bowls.
  • Garnish with the cilantro leaves, small dollops of ghee, and lemon slices.
  • Your Rava Upma is all ready to serve!

Tips for making Rava Upma like a pro

  • Remember to roast your Rava before using it for Upma. Unroasted Rava makes a soggy and mushy Upma, while roasted Rava makes fluffy Upma with a much more interesting texture and mouthfeel.
  • Swap the ghee with oil for a vegan Upma. If you are using oil, then do not add it to the finished Rava Upma as garnishing.
  • The dals added to the recipe provide crunch to an otherwise soft recipe. If you do not wish for any crunch, you can skip the dals as well as the peanuts.
  • You can serve the Upma with the traditional South Indian coconut chutney or rasam for variety in flavour.
  • You can store Rava Upma in the fridge for upto 3 days. Simply reheat it in the microwave by sprinkling some water and heating it for 30 seconds or so. You can also reheat over the stove by sprinkling some water and simply stirring it in a pot.
  • In this recipe, Rava Upma calories are between 550-600 calories. You can adjust this as per your requirements and diet preferences.

FAQs on Rava Upma

  • Which kind of Rava should I use?

The most commonly used is the Sooji Rava. Whichever kind you use, make sure it is a fine Rava and not coarse.

  • Can I follow this recipe for Oats Upma?

Yes, you can. Simply roast the oats before use and follow the exact same recipe. Not roasting the oats will lead to a slimy and mushy Upma which will not taste good.

  • My Upma has become lumpy and I do not know why.

When adding your roasted Rava to the pot, do not add it in one go, as it will clump up and you will not get the fluffy texture. It is crucial to add it in batches to prevent clumps and to ensure a fluffy texture and even cooking.

  • My Upma has become sticky and I do not know why.

Upma becomes sticky if the Rava has not been roasted well. So make sure to roast your Rava thoroughly. Be careful not to burn it or brown it and maintain the white colour while roasting.