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Sooji upma or rava upma in steel plates with silver spoons and garnished with cilantro with coconut chutney on the side.
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5 from 3 votes

Rava Upma Recipe

A foolproof recipe for rava upma, a popular, one-pot south Indian breakfast dish made with sooji or semolina, herbs, spices and veggies. Ready in under 30 minutes. A vegan, soy-free recipe, can be nut-free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack/Tiffin
Cuisine: 30-minute recipe, Indian, Indian veg recipes, nut-free, Soy-free
Servings: 8
Calories: 178kcal


  • 2 cups sooji (rava, semolina)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 green chili peppers (like serrano or jalapeno. Deseed and use more or less per your taste)
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 tsp ginger (grated)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 medium tomatoes (diced)
  • 2-4 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon and more wedges of lemon to serve


  • On a dry skillet, roast the sooji, stirring constantly, until it turns just a couple of shades darker and smells fragrant. Always roast on medium to medium-low heat because you don't want to burn it, and don't leave the stove unattended. The sooji should turn just a couple of shades darker and smell fragrant. Once it's roasted, remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in the same skillet. Add the mustard and wait for the mustard seeds to sputter.
  • Immediately add the curry leaves, green chillies and onions. Saute until the onions are soft but not brown. Add the ginger and stir in.
  • Add any additional veggies at this point, if using. Add the turmeric and saute another minute.
  • Add 4 cups water and salt it until it's saltier than you want the upma to be.
  • Turn the heat to low and have a ladle or whisk ready.
  • Pour the roasted rava into the skillet and immediately start stirring it into the water. You need to work fast at this stage, and again, make sure the heat is at the lowest point possible. You want every grain of the sooji to absorb water so the upma is nice and fluffy and not lumpy. If some lumps do form, press on them with the ladle and stir them into the rest of the upma. You can sprinkle on some water if needed.
  • Turn off the heat immediately and mix in the cilantro, lemon juice, and coconut, if using. Serve in bowls with more wedges of lemon that you can spritz over the upma.


Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 282IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg