Wednesday, Aug 23rd

Last update:02:31:00 AM GMT


As a child, I loved savory and spicy food. Of course, my brother had to have a sweet tooth. Needless to say, the ‘War of the Worlds’ raged in our house for many years, especially at tea time.

I can’t forget the days when we came back from school in the afternoon, and the aroma of roasted rava (cream of wheat) welcomed us home! Was mom making Upma, or had she whipped up its sweet cousin? And thus began the epic battle of ‘Upma vs. Rava Halwa’.

Call it Rava Halwa or Shira or Rava Kesari, it continues to invade my savory world. This time with a one-two punch from my husband and my daughter, the ultimate sweet connoisseurs.

So, its time for revenge! Here is a much deserved toast to the tasty Upma. Shira will just have to wait!

Things You’ll Need

·         Bombay Rava/Soji (3 cups)

·         Chopped onions (1½ cups)

·         1 medium sized green chili, sliced

·         7 to 8 curry leaves, torn

·         ½ tsp grated ginger

·         Urad dal (1/3 cup)

·         2 cups frozen mixed veggies (green beans, carrots, peas, corn). You can substitute fresh if you prefer.

·         3 tsp ghee

·         1 tsp jeera/cumin

·         1 pinch hing/asafoetida

·         Salt (to taste)

·         Sugar (to taste, optional)

·         Lime/Lemon juice (1 tsp)

How To Make

Roast rava on medium heat in a pan/wok until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Heat ghee and add jeera, hing, onion, green chillies, curry leaves and ginger. After a minute or so, add urad dal. Saute the mix until onions are golden brown and urad dal is soft.

Add roasted rava to the mix and sauté for another couple of minutes. Add defrosted veggies, salt and sugar.

Boil 3 ½ cups of water in a separate pot and add to the rava mixture. Cook on medium high heat until the mix boils again and rava starts to plump up. Add lime juice. Turn the heat to low and cook covered until all the water is absorbed and upma looks fluffy.


1)       Make extra roasted rava mix ahead of time and freeze. Stays well for a month. To make instant upma, just defrost the required quantity of mix, and add boiling water to finish cooking.

2)       For a thinner consistency, use 4 cups of water and skip the lime juice.

Serving Suggestions

1)         Garnish with finely chopped coriander and/or grated fresh coconut

2)         For a crunchier topping, garnish with thin sev, spicy mixture or salted peanuts

3)         For a cooler and creamier taste, serve with plain yogurt

Till next Sunday, happy eating! Be sure to share your experiences, recipes, tips and tricks via comments on this page.