Ragi upma step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
What is upma / uppittu
Upma is a breakfast dish originating from South India. Also called uppittu or uppumavu, it is commonly made with coarse semolina as the main ingredient. Different seasonings and vegetables are added to upma, making it wholesome and healthy. It has a thick porridge-like consistency, is slightly grainy, and is made by dry roasting semolina.
About this recipe
Ragi upma is a popular variation from Karnataka made with finger millet flour. Ragi is first steamed and fluffed up, giving it a suji/rava-like texture. This millet upma is gluten-free and healthier when compared to regular suji upma. Earthy ragi flavour when compared with the tang from the tamarind and crunchy peanuts is absolutely delicious and a must-try! This vegan breakfast dish is perfect for long days as they keep you full for longer. It also stays fresh for longer and can be packed in lunchboxes.
Ragi is known for its health benefits and is also considered diabetic-friendly as it has a low glycemic index. This gluten-free grain is high in dietary fibre and is considered to be beneficial in weight management. I have written a detailed post on different millet types, their benefits, and millet recipes.
Read on for ingredients, step-by-step instructions and recipe video to make this healthy vegan and gluten-free ragi uppittu or nachni upma.
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 flavourful, 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 chilli, curry leaves, chana dal, and urad dal.
Crumble the ragi flour really well with tamarind water. This will help achieve the grainy texture for the upma.
After steaming the ragi, fluff it up using a fork while it is still hot.
Cover the ragi mixture before steaming. Else, the water from the steam will change its texture.
Add lots of onions. It gives great flavour and texture to the upma.
Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can reheat the upma in either a microwave or steam it in a steamer.
Ragi upma can be served on its own. It also tastes great with coconut chutney.
Ragi rava is whole finger millet ground coarsely, giving it a semolina-like texture. In this recipes, I have used regular ragi flour and given it a semolina-like texture by steaming it.
This upma is:
- vegan and gluten-free
- very healthy and nutritious
- a great change from your regular upma/breakfast
Step by step instructions
1. Take ragi flour in a large bowl. Slowly add the tamarind water in small batches and rub it into the flour.
2. Add ½-1 cup more water gradually if needed. The texture must be grainy and damp.
3. Place this ragi mixture in a steamer bowl and cover with a plate or foil.
4. Steam for 10 minutes. Remove from the steam and fluff it up using a fork. Set aside.
5. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add raw peanuts and fry until they are crunchy. Set them aside.
6. In the same oil, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add dry red chilli, chana dal, urad dal, green chilli, and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds.
7. Add onion and fry until it is translucent.
8. Crumble the steamed ragi and add it. Mix well.
9. Sprinkle a few drops of water and simmer until the ragi soaks up moisture. (see video)
10. Add fried peanuts and coriander leaves. Mix well.
- 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 chilli
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1-2 green chilli or as per taste
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
- Soak tamarind in 1½ cup water for a few minutes. Extract the pulp and discard the remaining 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 (see step by step images)
- Add ½-1 cup more water gradually if needed. The texture must be grainy and damp
- Place this ragi mixture in a steamer bowl and cover with a plate or foil
- Steam for 10 minutes. Remove from the steam and set aside
- Heat oil in a frying pan. Add raw peanuts and fry until they are crunchy. Set aside
- In the same oil, add mustard seeds and let it splutter
- Add dry red chilli, chana dal, urad dal, green chilli and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds
- Add onion and fry until it is translucent
- Add a little salt to adjust the seasoning
- Crumble the steamed ragi and add it. Mix well. Sprinkle a few drops of water and simmer until the ragi soaks up moisture
- Add fried peanuts and coriander leaves. Mix well
- Ragi upma is ready to be served
Click here to watch ragi uppittu web story.