Rava Uppma

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 10-20 minutes


By Stephanie Roston, R.D.


  • 1 1/2 cups rava (sooji, see hint below)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green chili, sliced (serrano, jalapeno, Thai, or Indian)
  • 1/2 tsp brown mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 curry leaves, sliced thin (optional)
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1-2 tbsp or to taste fresh lime juice
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


Heat a medium saute pan on medium high and add rava. Stir continuously for about 3 minutes or until the grain smells nutty and toasted. Remove rava from the pan and set aside. Return pan to the stove and add 1 tablespoon water along with onion, garlic, and chili. Saute until onions soften and then add mustard seed, cumin seed, and curry leaf. Cook until spices are toasted and onions and garlic are completely cooked. Next, add tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add frozen peas, water, and bring to a boil. Slowly add toasted rava while whisking continuously to avoid clumping (this process should take about 2 minutes). Cover and turn off the heat. Allow rava to steam for about 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a spoon or fork. Season with lime juice, pepper, and cilantro. Serve uppma on its own or as a side. To store leftovers, cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Hint: Look for a coarse rava at an Indian market. Rava or Sooji is ground semolina wheat. It is similar to cream of wheat but not as fine. An easy substitute for rava is couscous, which is easy to find at most grocery stores.