Recipe for Vegetable Upma

Vegetable Upma

Recipe for Vegetable Upma

Upma is a breakfast recipe from southern India in which semolina is dry roasted and combined with onions and vegetables and cooked together with water till the semolina thickens. It is made in different ways in different states. In restaurants, it is usually served with coconut chutney or sambar. At home, people either eat it with chutney or with some homemade pickle. But this dish is complete in itself and can be eaten as is.

The most common method of making Upma is without vegetables. Instead, a generous amount of onions are used, which are fried with chillies and cooked with semolina. The taste of onions shines in the final dish.

However, vegetable Upma is also quite popular, and today, that’s the recipe I am sharing.

So, let’s start.

Ingredients needed for making Vegetable Upma:

  1. Ghee: 2 tablespoons
  2. Urad Dal ( split black gram): 1 teaspoon
  3. Chana Dal ( split chickpeas): 1 teaspoon
  4. Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  5. Curry leaves: 7-8
  6. Asafoetida: 1/4 teaspoon
  7. Dry Red Chillies: 3-4
  8. Green Chilies: 2-3 finely chopped
  9. Ginger: Finely chopped, one tablespoon
  10. Peanuts: 1 tablespoon
  11. Cahews:6-8
  12. Onion: 1 large, chopped
  13. Carrots, capsicum, beans: Finely chopped, about a cup
  14. Upma Rawa ( Semolina): 1 cup
  15. Hot Water: 3 cups
  16. Salt: 1.5 teaspoons
  17. Sugar: 1/2 teaspoon
  18. Lemon Juice: From half a lemon
  19. Tomato: finely chopped, 1 tablespoon
  20. Fresh Coriander leaves: Finely chopped, About 2 tablespoons

Method for making Vegetable Upma:

  1. Heat ghee in a pan.


  2. On medium heat, fry peanuts and cashews. When the nuts are fried, remove them.


  3. In the same pan, with the leftover ghee, on medium heat, fry chana dal ( split chickpeas), urad dal ( split black gram) and cumin seeds till the lentils brown a bit.


  4. Add dry red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida and fry for about 30 seconds on medium heat.


  5. Now add green chillies and ginger. Fry for another 30 seconds.


  6. Add onions and fry till they are translucent.


  7. Add the vegetables ( carrots, capsicum, beans). Add salt. Cover with a lid and cook till the vegetables are 80% done.


  8. Add semolina and roast everything together for about 2 minutes on medium heat, constantly mixing with a spatula. This is done to ensure that the semolina doesn’t burn.


  9. Now add hot water and mix everything, ensuring no lumps are formed.


  10. Add lemon juice, tomato, half of the coriander leaves, and sugar. Taste and adjust the salt.


  11. When the semolina comes together, remove it from heat and let it stay covered for about 1 minute.


  12. Garnish with the fried nuts, fresh coriander leaves and optionally with freshly grated coconut.

Vegetable Upma is ready!

Some additional notes:

  1. Semolina or Upma Rawa is easily available in Indian stores. It comes in fine as well as course varieties. I prefer course one for this recipe.
  2. Also, pre-roasted semolina is preferred for this recipe.
  3. The commonly used vegetables in Vegetable Upma are carrots, peas, beans, and capsicum.
  4. I have just garnished Upma with fresh coriander leaves. However, you can also garnish with freshly grated coconut too.
  5. Add half a spoon of ghee to your Upma while serving. It enhances the taste.
  6. Try combining upma with coconut chutney or sambar, OR try with Indian pickle and yoghurt. All taste great.

Check out other recipes from my kitchen here.

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