Fluffy Uppumavu (Upma)



I have always known upma to be a little fluffy. When I started my hostel life, the upma served at the canteen didn’t look anything like the upma I grew up with. It was cooked into one big mass and you could took a scoop of upma rather than a spoonful of upma. I blamed the cook for not knowing how to cook but little did I know this is how upma is supposed to be for many others.

Even after 4 years of eating canteen upma, I couldn’t get used to it. I love my fluffy upma with a sprinkle of sugar and a banana.

How to make fluffy upma?

Oil/ghee- 1 tablespoon

Rava/sooji/semolina- 1 cup

Minced shallots/onions- 2 tablespoon, Ginger minced- 1 tsp, Chilies- 2 chopped, curry leaves- 1/2 sprig.

Water- 1.5 cups (approx)

Salt- to taste

Coconut shredded- a handful, Ghee- 1/4 tsp (optional)

Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the onions/shallots, ginger, chillies and curry leaves. When the onions start to turn brown, add the rava to the pan. Keep stirring till the rava is slightly roasted.


Then comes the fluffing part. Sprinkle a handful of water into the rava and keep stirring. Break up big lumps. For one cup rava, you might need about 1.5 cups of water. The important tip is to add water in handfuls and to keep stirring. Towards the end, you can just close it with a lid for a few minutes to cook it through. Stir in shredded coconut and ghee. Serve warm.


This upma goes to RCI-Kerala being hosted by Jyothsna at Currybazaar.


46 responses »

  1. Gini, I made your upma yesterday, following the recipe to a T and as promised, it was fluffy and flavorful πŸ™‚ Thank you for giving me another way of making one of my favorite breakfasts.

    Glad you liked it…

  2. Following a friends tip, I roast rava seperately before adding it to the onion-spice mixture to get not-so-sticky upma. This technique sounds even better and am going to try this next time.

  3. I love my upmaav with some pazham, pappadam, if these two are not available then I make it sugar. What blend of tastes……..over the years I’ve learnt to make it both ways – fluffy as well as mushy. I prefer the mushy one though.

  4. Hi, I have tried making mine fluffy with no success and I had given up on upmas (lifelong dread of the mushy versions thanks to the dining halls in the hostel!). I am really excited about trying your method – in fact I will make it right now. Thanks

  5. oh upma is one of the easiest when you dont have time but want to eat smtg which tastes homely. i too like fluffy upma, so far it has been ok with me. yes i think it depends on how it is made. i think roasting the rava prior is one reason.. and then adding water bit by bit. you should have put some side dish also with this hehe. i like kadala curry but my favorite is egg roast (with onion).

  6. I always thought the fluffy Upma felt slightly dry on eating, and over the years, we have switched over to the pasty ones, in fact, we even add some vermicelli to enhance the pasty flavours Gini. But I tried your recipe since I really enjoyed reading about your ‘fluffy’ upma and how you described making it like that. The result was so tasty, thank you.

  7. Thanks! I was born in North India, and grew up eating pasty upma. I was told that ‘fluffy’ upma needed lots of ghee. Can’t wait to try this! Thanks..

  8. Ah! How fluffy! I got to try this method. I use the same ratio 1 cup rice : 1.5 water, but I add rava to boiling water. I HAVE TO try your method. Will report back later. Thanks Gini!

  9. Gini,
    I grew up eating gooey upma but love the fluffy one as well and always wondered how to make the latter. I can’t wait to try it now.

    Yours is one of the most colorful food blogs I have seen. And I really enjoyed reading your posts.

  10. hi
    when ever i make upma ,it made me mad because never looked like my ammas upma.But finally yesterday i made upma just like my amma.thank you
    for this wonder ful recipe

  11. Thanks for your lovely compliment on my site, giniann. Looking at your pics, that’s certainly saying something. This is a bee-yootiful site πŸ™‚

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  13. Your recipe description refers to adding mustard seeds but your list of ingredients doesn’t have them listed. How much do you use?

  14. Interesting I wonder why mustard has been omitted, As part of tadka it is critical. Fluffy is how it should be. Fluffy upma needs a little extra care; the other stuff is the easy way out all right for hostels and careless restauranteurs. (I am quite familiar with both Tamil and malayalee styles of cooking, including some regional variations!

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