Upma is a South Indian dish made with rava or sooji (semolina made from soft wheat). It is usually eaten for breakfast. It contains different kinds of vegetables and spices. Some variants of upma also use vermicelli instead of rava as the primary ingredient.
How to make Upma
Here is a simple recipe for people who want to learn how to make upma:
Rava, cooking oil, mustard seeds, cumin, grated ginger, green chillies, chopped onion, vegetables like peas, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage or other, grated coconut, lemon juice and salt.
For Upma recipe, the rava is first dry roasted in a pan till it starts turning brown, and then kept aside. Now some oil is heated in a large saucepan, and mustard seeds are added to it, and allowed to splutter. Now cumin, ginger, chopped onions and green chillies are added, and fried till the onions brown. Chopped vegetables as per taste (peas, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, etc.) are added to this, along with salt and water. When the water boils, the roasted rava is added, and the ingredients are stirred continuously to avoid lump formation. When all the water is absorbed by the rava, the upma is considered done. It is garnished with grated coconut, chopped cilantro leaves and lemon juice.
Upma is served warm, mostly for breakfast. It is garnished with grated coconut before serving. It may also be garnished with cashew and peanuts.
Variants of Upma
The Upma recipe has numerous variations depending upon the choice of ingredients and cooking methods. In fact it would not be wrong to state that each cook’s upma has a different taste. Cooks from different regions would give a different method on how to make upma.
Other than rava, it is also made with Durum wheat semolina, rice rava and vermicelli. The Upma recipe used uses rice, is eaten in Southern Karnataka, and also called Akki Tari Uppittu. It is more easily digestible than rava upma, and recommended for people with poor digestion.
Yet another Upma recipe uses grated coconuts instead of onions, and ghee is sprinkled on the dish after cooking. Some recipes also involve use of leftover bread crumbs or idli crumbs instead of rava. Other versions use oats, daliya (broken wheat), ragi flour or even a combination of rice flour and urad dal flour. One version is also made with fresh corn.
Nutritional Facts about Upma
The primary ingredient in Upma is rava, which is a good source of carbohydrates and hence energy. It is a good source of iron and folic acid, and important B vitamins.Upma contains vegetables of different kinds, which add a range of vitamins and minerals to the diet. The herbs and spices it contains (like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ginger, onion, etc.) aid in digestion and are beneficial for overall health.