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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Akshay

Millet Upma

I love incorporating various grains in our diet - rice, barley, spelt, millet, couscous - millet being one of my favourite. It’s so versatile and can substitute pretty much any grain in most recipes, and I love its nutty flavour.

The first time I tried upma was probably at my in-laws’ in India, where semolina upma is commonly prepared for breakfast.

For this dish I used foxtail millet (instead of semolina), but any variety of millet will work.


Millet 1 cup (I used foxtail but other types will do)

Oil 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp

Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves 10-12

Green chillies 2, chopped

Ginger 1 small piece chopped finely or grated

Carrot 1 small, cubed

Capsicum 1/2 diced

Green beans 6-8, chopped finely

Onion 1 small, chopped

Cashews 5-6 chopped

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Hing 1/3 tsp

Salt to taste


Heat 1 tsp of oil and roast the millets gently until aromatic for around 5-7 minutes.

Pour roughly 1 & 1/2 cup of water over the millets along with the turmeric, hing and salt. Cover and cook until the millets are soft but not mushy. This will take around 8 mins. If needed, add up to another 1/2 cup of water until the millet is cooked through.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in another pan. Add mustard seeds and wait until they splutter. Add the finely chopped ginger, green chillies, curry leaves, cashews and give it a good stir.

Next add the chopped onion, carrot, capsicum and green beans and stir well. Keep covered and cook for 5-6 minutes until the veggies are fork-tender.

Stir in the cooked millets and combine well.

You can optionally sprinkle freshly grated coconut or coriander leaves on top before serving.

Serve millet upma hot as it tends to dry out quickly.

We had ours with a side of ginger pickle, vegan yogurt and my homemade chutney powder.

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