Vegetable Rava Upma/Kichadi

Among a lot of sweet nothings that goes on the phone calls that go on between you and your fiancee, in an arranged marriage, there are a few unavoidable questions, like, ‘Whats your favorite food’. Its just a subject you bring up – talk for talk’s sake – but you don’t at all expect to be shocked by the answer. Well I was…You would be too, if the answer was ‘upma’. Yeech…really?? How on earth could someone like upma, let alone make it their favorite food?

But, it sure does come handy these days, when you are too tired to cook, and all you want is to get something palatable on the table, that is healthy and not some 10$ junk. I’ve learnt to love the dreaded upma because of the sort of convenience food it is, and the fact that is healthier than take out. Its something I make quite frequently now a days, and I am not complaining 🙂 and neither is the other person eating it.


2 cups roasted rava

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

1 onion chopped

1 rib celery minced

1 tomato chopped

6 green chillies slit

1 inch piece of ginger minced

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

2 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard

1 tsp urad dal

1 tsp channa dal

curry leaves

cilantro for garnish (optional)


Heat oil in a wide bottomed pan over medium high heat. Add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add urad dal and channa dal. When the dals turn golden brown, add the curry leaves and slit green chillies so that they may impart their fiery goodness to the oil. Do not add whole green chillies to hot oil, coss they tend to jump out of the skillet on to your face. (Been there, done that 🙂 )

Now add the chopped onion, ginger and celery, and saute well. You can also add chopped bell pepper if you have it on hand. When the onion is soft, add the tomatoes, turmeric and salt. Fry until the tomatoes turn mushy. Now add the frozen mixed vegetables and 5 cups water. Let the water come up to a boil. Lower the heat to a minimum. Check the water for salt and spiciness. While stirring continously, add the roasted rava on a steady stream into the water. (I had Naga brand double roasted rava on hand, if not before this step, dry roast the rava in a pan, until it turns slightly brown and a nutty aroma arises. Never leave the rava unattended in this phase, for it has a very high tendency to burn.)

Let the upma cook, while stirring constantly to avoid lumps. In my experience, a whisk is the best tool for this. When the upma, is cooked completely, sprinkle it with a few drops of ghee and the coriander, and close with a tight lid. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Verdict: Easy and healthy with a good serving of vegetables. As usual, DH enjoyed his with sugar on the side, and me with yogurt and pickle.(always)

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