Ragi upma is a nutritious and wholesome dish that is commonly prepared in South India. Ragi, also known as finger millet, is a gluten-free grain that is highly nutritious and rich in calcium, iron, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Upma, on the other hand, is a popular Indian breakfast dish made with semolina or coarse rice flour.
The ragi flour is first steamed and fluffed up, resulting in a texture similar to suji or rava. This millet upma is not only gluten-free but also healthier compared to the regular suji upma. The earthy flavor of ragi, combined with the tanginess of tamarind and the crunchiness of peanuts, creates an absolutely delicious dish that you must try!
This vegan breakfast option is ideal for long days as it keeps you full for a longer. It also stays fresh for an extended period, making it convenient for packing in lunchboxes. Continue reading for the list of ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and useful tips to help you make this healthy, vegan, and gluten-free ragi uppittu or nachni upma.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Nutritious and healthy: Ragi, or finger millet, is a highly nutritious grain that is rich in calcium, iron, fiber, and other essential nutrients. This recipe allows you to enjoy the health benefits of ragi, making it a nutritious choice for breakfast or a snack.
- Gluten-free and diabetic-friendly: Ragi is gluten-free, making this upma suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities. Additionally, ragi has a low glycemic index, which means it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels.
- Wholesome and filling: Ragi upma is a wholesome and filling dish. It provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients, which helps keep you satisfied and full for a longer duration. This makes it an ideal choice for a hearty breakfast or a mid-day meal.
- Burst of flavors and textures: The combination of earthy ragi flavor, tanginess from tamarind, and crunchiness from peanuts create a delightful taste experience. This nachni upma has a soft and fluffy texture from the steamed ragi flour, providing a pleasant contrast to the crunchy elements.
What is upma / uppittu?
Upma, also known as uppittu or uppumavu, is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish. This wholesome and healthy dish is typically prepared using coarse semolina as the primary ingredient. Upma incorporates a variety of seasonings and vegetables, resulting in a flavorful combination. Upma is made by dry roasting semolina and cooking it with spices and water. It has a thick, porridge-like consistency and slightly grainy texture.
Ragi flour: This is the main ingredient of this dish.
Tamarind and jaggery: Tamarind is soaked in water and the juice is extracted. This, along with jaggery is mixed with ragi flour. These two ingredients not only make this dish flavorful, but they also help achieve that grainy rava-like texture for ragi flour.
Peanuts: Raw peanuts are used in this dish.
Onions: Red or pink onions work best for this dish.
Seasoning/tadka: Also called oggarane in Kannada, it is made using mustard seeds, dried red chili, curry leaves, chana dal, and urad dal.
Step 1: Take ragi flour in a large bowl. Slowly add the tamarind water in small batches and rub it into the flour (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Add ½-1 cup more water gradually if needed. The texture must be grainy and damp (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Place this ragi mixture in a steamer bowl and cover with a plate or foil. Steam for 10 minutes. Remove from the steam and fluff it up using a fork. Set aside (images 5 and 6).
Step 3: Heat oil in a frying pan. Add raw peanuts and fry until they are crunchy. Set them aside (image 7).
Step 4: In the same pan, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add dried red chili, chana dal, urad dal, green chili, and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds (image 8). Add onion and fry until it is translucent (image 9).
Step 5: Crumble the steamed ragi well to give it a rava-like texture (image 10).
Step 6: Add the crumbled ragi to the tempering mix well. Sprinkle a few drops of water and simmer until the ragi soaks up moisture (images 11 and 12).
Step 7: Add fried peanuts and coriander leaves. Mix well and serve hot.
Crumble the ragi flour really well with tamarind water. This will help achieve the grainy texture for the ragi rava upma.
Cover the ragi mixture before steaming. Else, the water from the steam will change its texture. After steaming the ragi, fluff it up using a fork while it is still hot.
Add lots of onions. It gives great flavor and texture to the upma. Customize this nachni upma by adding vegetables according to your preference. Use a combination of vegetables like carrots, peas, bell peppers, or any other vegetables you enjoy. Finely chopping the vegetables ensures they cook evenly and blend well with the upma.
Let the prepared ragi upma rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and the upma to settle.
How to store ragi upma?
Follow these steps to store ragi upma properly.
- Allow the ragi upma to cool down to room temperature before storing it.
- Transfer the cooled ragi upma to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for a longer period.
- Ragi upma can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- When you are ready to enjoy it, reheat it in a microwave or on the stovetop. Add a little water or sprinkle some water over the nachni upma to moisten it before reheating. Stir well to distribute the moisture evenly and heat until it is thoroughly warmed.
What to serve with ragi upma?
Ragi upma can be enjoyed on its own as a standalone dish, but if you prefer some accompaniments, here are a few of my favorite options:
Coconut chutney: Coconut chutney is a classic South Indian condiment that pairs well with ragi upma. Its creamy and mildly spiced flavor complements the earthy taste of the upma.
Tomato Chutney: Tangy and slightly spicy tomato chutney can add a burst of flavors to your ragi upma. It enhances the overall taste and provides a refreshing element.
Pickles: Indian pickles, such as mango pickle, lime pickle, or mixed vegetable pickles, can add a tangy and spicy kick to this nachni upma. They serve as a great accompaniment, adding additional flavors to each bite.
Yogurt: A side of plain yogurt or curd can provide a cooling and creamy element to balance the flavors of the ragi upma. It adds a touch of freshness to the meal.
Sambar: If you prefer a more substantial meal, you can serve ragi upma with sambar. Sambar is a flavorful lentil and vegetable stew that is commonly paired with various South Indian dishes.
Papad: Crispy papad or papadum can be served alongside ragi upma to add a crunchy texture and an extra element of taste.
More recipes using ragi
Ragi flour, also known as finger millet flour, is a gluten-free flour made from the finely ground seeds of the ragi or finger millet plant. It is widely used in South Indian cuisine and is known for its nutritional benefits.
Ragi flour or finger millet flour is easily available in all Indian grocery stores. You can also find them at health stores and online stores like Amazon.
Yes, this dish is an excellent choice for gluten-free diets as ragi flour is naturally gluten-free. It serves as a nutritious alternative to traditional wheat-based upma.
Yes, you can customize this upma by adding various vegetables of your choice. Common additions include carrots, peas, bell peppers, and more. Chopped vegetables not only enhance the flavor but also provide additional nutrition to the dish.
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- 3 cups ragi flour
- ½ cup tamarind
- 1½-2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon jaggery
- 2 tablespoon oil
- ½ cup peanuts
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon chana dal
- 1 teaspoon urad dal
- 2 dry red chili
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1-2 green chili or as per taste
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust as per taste
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
Steam the ragi flour:
- Soak tamarind in 1½ cups of warm water for 10 minutes. Extract the pulp and discard the remaining fibrous part.
- To the tamarind pulp, add salt and jaggery. Mix well.
- Take ragi flour in a large bowl. Slowly add the tamarind water in small batches and rub it into the flour.
- Add ½-1 cup more water gradually as needed. The texture must be grainy and damp.
- Place this ragi mixture in a steamer bowl and cover it with a plate or aluminum foil,
- Steam for 10 minutes. Remove from the steam and set aside.
Make ragi upma:
- Place a frying pan or kadhai on medium heat and add oil. Once it heats, add raw peanuts and fry until they are crunchy. Set them aside.
- In the same pan, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Add dry red chili, chana dal, urad dal, green chili, and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add onion and fry until it is translucent.
- Add a little salt and give it a mix.
- Crumble the steamed ragi and add it. Mix the ragi well. Sprinkle a few drops of water and simmer until the ragi soaks up moisture. Around 8-10 minutes.
- Add fried peanuts and cilantro. Mix well and turn off the heat.
- Serve hot with accompaniments of your choice.
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