Bread and Breakfast · Vegetarian

Vegetable Rava Upma – Cream of Wheat with Vegetables

veg upma

Rava upma is a popular, savory Indian breakfast, especially in Southern India. It is a quick under 30 minutes meal that is enjoyed by people of all ages. Rava is also called semolina, sooji or cream of wheat. Cream of wheat is fortified with vitamins and minerals. It is rich in iron and calcium.

I have fond memories of my mom making upma for us on weekends. It took me a little while to learn how to cook this dish perfectly. The key is roasted rava and boiling water. There are several kinds of upma – plain, tomato or vegetable. I like to add lots of vegetables to make this dish even more nutritious and hearty.

You can enjoy a bowl of this power packed goodness for breakfast or lunch!


Recipe                                                   Servings: 3-4                                         Time: 30 minutes



  • 1 cup rava (semolina, sooji, or cream of wheat)
  • ½ onion, chopped fine
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ½ zucchini, chopped
  • ½ tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chana daal
  • 1 tsp. urad daal
  • 2 Tbsp. roasted peanuts
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. oil
  • 3 cups water (hot)
  • Cilantro to garnish
  • 1 tsp. ghee (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Dry roast rava on medium low heat for about 8-10 minutes in a non-stick pan. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cut all the vegetables. I like the crunch of the vegetables so I chop them in big pieces.
  3. Keep water in a pot for boiling.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, chana daal and urad daal. Let them crackle. Add curry leaves, ginger, onions and green chilies. Sauté on medium heat until onions become translucent.
  5. Add the vegetables and fry for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric and sauté for couple more minutes.
  7. Add hot water, lemon juice and let it come to another boil.
  8. Reduce heat and add shoji, little at a time while continuously mixing at the same time.
  9. Be careful as the mixture might splash a little, if you are using a shallow pan.
  10. Raise the heat to medium and keep mixing until the upma absorbs all of the water and looks semi dry.
  11. Add roasted peanuts. Turn off the heat.
  12. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.




  • You can add a tsp. of ghee in the water for extra richness or when making for kids.
  • You can reduce the water to 2.5 cups if you like dry upma. I like it a bit softer, so I have added 3 cups of water.
  • Do not add turmeric if you like white upma.
  • Add roasted cashews  instead of peanuts for a variation!



2 thoughts on “Vegetable Rava Upma – Cream of Wheat with Vegetables

  1. Being married to a South Indian Upma became an integral part of my breakfast at least once a week if not more. Growing up in a Bengali household, where upma was never made, but eaten at south Indian restaurants only, it took me quite some time to perfect the upma. As you mentioned that roasted semolina and boiling water is the key to perfecting a delicious Upma, I cant agree more. Love the way your Upma looks. Loaded with veggies, the perfect texture. With an Upma looking as tasty as this, what a yummy start to the day it would have been.

    Liked by 1 person

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