Vegetable upma

Upma is a very famous breakfast in south India. Upma is made in varieties and loved by every one. I have made vegetable upma, which goes well with chutney, sugar or lemon pickle and with a dollop of ghee on it.

You can add any vegetables you like, but not vegetables like okra (ladies finger). It is easy to cook and delicious. I always cook my upma to be little watery and smooth. But my mother likes it dry and not very soft. So, it will be up to you to cook to the texture you like. To make this upma I have used Bombay rava. You can also use semolina.


  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 3/4 tsp
  • Chana dal – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Dry chillies – 2
  • Curry leaves – 15
  • Onion (chopped) – 1
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Green chillies (chopped) – 2
  • Potato (medium, chopped) – 1
  • Carrots (sliced or chopped) – 2
  • Peas – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato (chopped) – 1
  • Mint leaves – 1/3 cup or few
  • Water – 3 1/2 cups
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Coriander leaves – 1/3 cup
  • Bombay rava/semolina (sooji) – 1 cup


  • Chop all the vegetables into small pieces and keep it ready.
  • Heat a vessel with oil. When it is hot, add mustard seeds, chana dal, dry chillies and curry leaves. Let it sizzle for a few seconds.
  • Add onions and cook until it is soft and transparent.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste and stir for about 15 secs.
  • Add all the vegetables, mint leaves and mix well. Cook for about 1 to 2 mins.
  • Add water and close the lid. Cook for about 10 mins on a medium flame. Then simmer for a further 5 mins so that all the flavours of the vegetables are well blended in the liquid.
  • Add semolina (sooji). Mix with a spoon in one direction (say clockwise direction) to avoid lumps.
  • When mixing semolina, simmer the flame to avoid spluttering onto your hand.
  • You can see that it absorbs the water. As soon as it starts boiling, simmer the flame and cook until it is cooked. This will take about 8 to 10 mins.
  • Add coriander leaves while simmering. Close the lid and cook.
  • Serve it with any chutney you like, pickle or sugar.


  • Sometimes I drizzle a tbsp of lemon juice at the end of cooking to give a lemony flavour.
  • Add water according to the semolina quality.
  • To give some colour to the upma, I add concentrated tomato puree for tomato colour and turmeric powder for yellow colour.
  • If it is for the children, just add mustard seeds, curry leaves and vegetables. Add more water to make the upma more soft and smooth (texture like rice pudding or custard).

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