Rava upma


Rava upma is a popular South Indian breakfast dish made with semolina flour (rava or suji), lentils, nuts, vegetables, herbs, and spices. To prepare this dish, roasted semolina is cooked in water flavored with ghee or oil, cashews, urad dal, chana dal, ginger, and spices. Optionally, sugar can be added for a sweet and savory touch.

Rava upma is considered to have a moderate glycemic index (GI) because semolina, which is the main ingredient in rava, is a type of wheat flour. Foods with a moderate GI are digested and absorbed at a moderate pace, leading to a gradual rise in blood sugar levels. However, the overall glycemic impact can vary based on factors such as portion size, cooking methods, and additional ingredients like vegetables and fats added to the upma. Including fiber-rich vegetables, protein sources, and healthy fats can help lower the overall glycemic load of the dish.

This rava upma breakfast can be made vegan by using oil instead of ghee. It’s flavorful and comforting, making it a delightful change from routine breakfast options like oatmeal. The key ingredient in upma is semolina, known as suji or sooji in Hindi and cream of wheat or semolina in English. The tempering ingredients, including sweet, savory, and nutty flavors, enhance its taste.

Upma is a traditional breakfast in South India, commonly found in restaurants and households alike. Semolina, also known as cream of wheat or farina, is coarsely ground wheat with a fine grainy texture.

Rava upma

This upma recipe is low in glycemic index (GI) and high in fiber, making it a healthy and filling option for a diabetic-friendly breakfast or snack.
Prep10 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: vegan
Servings: 4
Calories: 186kcal


  • 1 cup semolina rava
  • 1 small onion optional, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato chopped
  • 1 green chili finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon oil preferably olive oil or any healthy cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup mixed vegetables such as carrots, peas
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  • Dry roast the semolina (rava) in a pan over medium heat until it turns light golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Heat oil in the same pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let them splutter.
  • Add chopped onions (if using), green chili (if using), and curry leaves. Saute until onions turn translucent.
  • Add mixed vegetables and chopped tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are slightly tender.
  • Pour 2 cups of water into the pan and bring it to a boil.
  • Gradually add the roasted semolina (rava) while stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
  • Add salt to taste and mix well.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook on low heat for about 5-7 minutes or until the rava absorbs the water and becomes soft.
  • Once cooked, fluff up the upma with a fork.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.


Nutrition: Carbohydrates: 32g; Protein: 4g; Fat: 6g; Saturated fat: 2g; Fiber: 1g; Sodium: 15mg

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