Vegetable upma with semolina – Simple and healthy vegetarian breakfast dish to please the whole family. Made with wholesome semolina and loaded with your favorite veggies, this spicy and savory brekkie idea is the perfect way to start your day.
Watch the recipe video below:
If you’re not familiar with upma, it’s a thick porridge-like breakfast dish popular in the southern part of India and Maharashtra. The word “upma” literally translates to salted flour. But this dish is not just about flour flavored with salt. Trust me, perfectly cooked upma is to die for.
There are tons of variations of this simple breakfast dish including the delicious vermicelli upma. But today, we’ll talk about the very basic method to cook upma with some extra addition of nutritious veggies. Simple and healthy vegetable upma on the breakfast menu. Doesn’t that sound extremely good?
Growing up, upma used to be one of my least favorite dishes on the planet. Then, years later, I came across the perfectly cooked upma, and to my surprise, I devoured each and every bit of the thick porridge. You see, this humble upma became one of my favorites in a matter of seconds. In short, it’s “beyond amazing”. Gradually, I learned all the tips and tricks to turn a humble ingredient into something extraordinary.
The basic core ingredient in this vegetable upma recipe is semolina or rava. Semolina is very commonly used in Indian cuisine, but how does it make this upma super delicious? Well, here’s the secret. Even though roasted semolina is readily available these days, dry roast it again before you make upma. I know, it’s such a simple tip. But, it’ll keep the upma fluffy and perfectly cooked.
Apart from semolina, you’ll also need a few Indian cooking staples – oil, mustard seeds, and ginger. My second tip for making the perfectly delicious vegetable upma is fresh ginger. It’s definitely a “must” ingredient in this recipe. I also like to add a sprig of curry leaves and a few chopped green chilies to make this upma spicy and perfect.
In the final stage of cooking, roasted semolina is added into the pan with water, and then cooked to perfection. For me, the perfect veg upma should not be over cooked.
You can have this tasty brekkie on its own, or with coconut chutney. But do you want to know my favorite side to this upma? Ripe bananas. Yes, sweet mashed bananas add the perfect flavor contrast to spicy upma. You must try this combo. Totally yum!
- 1 cup semolina (rava)
- 1 tbsp oil or ghee
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal (split black gram)
- 1 tsp chana dal (split bengal gram) (optional)
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 2 green chilies, chopped
- ½” fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 1 cup chopped vegetables (green beans + carrot + green peas)
- 2 tbsp coriander (cilantro) leaves
- 1¾ cups water
- Salt to taste
- Coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish
- Place a large frying pan over low heat. Add semolina. Roast, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until semolina starts to turn brown. Remove from pan. Set aside.
- Heat oil (or ghee) in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add cumin seeds, urad dal and chana dal. Sauté, stirring constantly, for a minute or until dal turns brown.
- Add onions. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the onions turn soft and translucent. Add green chilies, ginger and curry leaves. Sauté, stirring constantly, for a minute. Add vegetables. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Pour in 1¾ cups water. Season with salt. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low. Add roasted semolina in batches. Stir continuously to get lump-free mixture. Cover and cook for 2 minutes or until the water is absorbed and semolina is fluffy. Stir in coriander (cilantro) leaves.
- Garnish with coriander (cilantro) leaves if you like.
- Serve veg upma with coconut chutney, pickle or ripe bananas.
****Get the recipe for coconut chutney here