Upma is a South Indian breakfast made with semolina. Dry roasted semolina (suji/rava) is cooked with vegetables and seasoning (tadka/tempering). It has a thick porridge-like consistency and is mostly served on its own or with coconut chutney and yogurt. Making it in the Instant Pot gives you a khichdi-like consistency.
Why you will love this recipe
- Upma is a convenient dish that can be whipped up in no time, making it a popular choice for a speedy breakfast or light meal.
- The pressure-cooking process in an
Instant Pothelps seal in flavors and retain moisture, resulting in a soft khichdi-like consistency.
- This dish can be customized with various ingredients like vegetables, nuts, and spices, allowing endless flavor variations.
Semolina: Or suji/rava, this is the main ingredient. I use a thick variety of roasted upma rava (also called Bansi rava). If the suji is not roasted, dry roast it first until it is golden brown before using it (see tips section below).
Ghee: I use ghee to make this dish; however, you may replace it with the cooking oil of your choice.
Vegetables: I have used onion, tomato, green beans, peas, and carrots.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Instant Pot versus stovetop
Upma is a dish that almost every Indian household would make. It goes without saying that this dish is almost always made on a stovetop - in a pan or kadhai (Indian wok). While the cooking time is similar, the
Stovetop cooking requires careful monitoring to prevent burning, while the
This is such a simple dish, and I have made it a million times on the stovetop. Honestly, I was a bit apprehensive about making it in the IP. It took me a few trials to get it right, but this is how I make it now, and we all love it.
Use a thick variety of upma rava. I use roasted Bansi rava. If you are using an unroasted one, dry roast it first until it is light brown, and then use it. Roasted suji is easily available in any grocery store in India and in Indian grocery stores outside of India.
Do not change the rava-to-water ratio mentioned in this recipe. We need this amount of water to achieve the perfect texture. Let the water come to a boil before adding suji. Set the
Use a thick variety of rava to make upma. In South India, mainly Karnataka, the variety used is called Bansi rava. I have used roasted Bansi rava here. Roasted suji is easily available in any grocery store in India and in Indian grocery stores outside of India.
Bansi rava is the most common semolina variety used to make upma and is more popular in South India, especially Karnataka. It has a darker color when compared to regular semolina, which is white. It also is coarser than white rava. White rava is called Bombay rava or chiroti rava in South India.
Green beans, peas, carrots, corn kernels, etc. work very well. You can also use capsicum (bell pepper), potatoes, fresh hyacinth beans, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. can also be used.
Upma is usually served on its own. It can also be paired with plain yogurt, chutney, or an Indian pickle.
More Indian breakfast recipes
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Instant Pot Upma / Rava Khichdi
- 1½ cups semolina thick variety (roasted)
- 3 tablespoon ghee divided (use store-bought or homemade ghee)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon chana dal (Bengal gram)
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (split black gram)
- 10 curry leaves
- 6-8 cashew
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- ½ inch ginger grated
- 1-2 green chili finely chopped
- 1 small tomato
- ½ cup peas
- 1 medium carrot cut into small cubes
- 6-8 green beans chopped
- ¼ cup coconut fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add 2 tablespoons of ghee. Once it heats, add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
- Add cumin seeds, chana dal, urad dal, curry leaves, and cashews. Saute for one minute
- Add onions and saute until the onion is translucent (3-4 minutes). Add ginger and green chili. Mix well and saute for one minute.
- Add tomatoes, peas, green beans, carrots, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add 5 cups of water and mix well. Set the IP to saute - more for 5 minutes.
- Add suji once the water boils. Mix well and secure the IP lid. Set the Instant Pot on pressure cook mode for 2 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure and open the lid.
- Add coconut, coriander leaves, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon ghee. Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.