Hotel style Upma Recipe

Hotel style Upma Recipe | How to make perfect rava upma that is soft, fluffy, moist, and melts in your mouth. Upma is a savory porridge prepared with rava, spices, nuts, and herbs. It is so quick and easy to prepare within 15 minutes. Serve this delicious semolina-based dish with sambar and chutney for a filling and satisfying meal.

Upma is a staple breakfast in most South Indian homes. I grew up devouring upma, my mom made upma with variation at least twice every week.

Today I am sharing the basic version of Hotel style Upma. It’s a very simple recipe with easily available ingredients at home.

hotel style upma recipe

What is Upma?

Upma is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish that is made from semolina, also known as rava or sooji. It is a simple yet flavorful dish that is typically seasoned with spices like mustard seeds, lentils, and curry leaves, and can be made with a variety of vegetables like onions, tomatoes, carrots, and peas.

Upma is known by different names in various regions of the country. Here are some of the different names for upma in India: Upma (in most parts of India), Uppindi (in Telugu-speaking regions), Upeet (in Kannada), Uppumavu or Uppittu (in Malayalam), Kharabath (in Karnataka), Upmaavu (in Tamil), and Upit (in Marathi).

Rava Upma is a traditional breakfast served in darshini and Udupi hotels, restaurants, street vendors, and roadside eateries throughout South India, including Maharashtra. In fact, upma is a staple food in many households in South India, and it is often served for breakfast or as a snack.

There are many varieties of upma – wheat rava upma, semiya/bambino upma, tomato upma and I love all of the. However, it is disliked by many and I have always wondered the reason.

There is no single reason why some people may dislike upma as taste is subjective and can vary from person to person. However, there are some common reasons why some people may not like upma:

Texture: Some people find the texture of upma to be dry, lumpy, and unappealing.

Lack of flavor: Upma is a simple dish made with minimal spices and seasoning, which may not be flavorful enough for some people.

Overcooking: If upma is overcooked, it can become too mushy or sticky, which may not be enjoyable for some.

About Hotel style Upma Recipe

Hotel style Upma recipe is simple. It starts by tempering the oil with seeds, nuts, lentils, green chilies, and herbs. Next, rava is added and roasted for a few seconds. Finally, hot water is added to the mixture and the dish is cooked until the rava absorbs all the water and becomes fluffy.

My mother makes good upma and that is the reason I started developing a taste for it. And now I am in love with this savory semolina porridge so much so that I can eat it every day or any time of the day.

I wondered what makes hotel style upma different from the homestyle version and I nailed down three things –

1. The moist and melt-in-the-mouth texture.

2. The use of milk while cooking, makes upma creamy and enhances the color.

3. Generous amount of ghee/clarified butter.

While it is possible to recreate hotel-style upma at home, it may be challenging to replicate the exact flavors and textures due to differences in the quality of ingredients.

Hotel-style cooking is often a combination of quality ingredients, skillful techniques, attention to detail, consistency, and time and patience. These are the secrets to creating the perfect texture and flavor.

Many successful restaurants have developed standardized recipes and procedures to ensure that each dish is consistently cooked to perfection.

The secret to hotel style upma is the perfect rava and water ratio. After many trials and errors, I like to make it with a 1:3 upma rava to water ratio. This ratio gives a perfectly soft, melt-in-mouth upma where you can feel every soft grain of rava. 

Following this recipe along with tips, the flavor, taste, and texture of the upma are perfect, and one can’t resist digging into it.

Reasons to make

Quick and healthy breakfast recipe.

Filling and nutritious.

Ultimate comfort food.

Novice and beginner friendly recipe.

Great option as a light meal for dinner.

Tastes slightly sweet, tangy, and spicy

Can pack in kids’ and adults’ lunch boxes.

Pro Tips

The fact is that upma is a very simple dish and takes very less time, but it’s desperately tricky to get the perfect texture and disastrous if you get it wrong. Follow the below tips to make the perfect hotel-style upma.

1. Do not reduce the amount of cooking fat (oil and ghee) otherwise the upma will not turn out fluffy hotels style.

2. Seasoning: Upma is a simple dish, that requires proper seasoning to bring out its flavors and take it to the next level. This process enhances the flavor of the spices and evenly distributes them in the dish.

3. Do not overcook the vegetables: Saute the onions just enough to make the rawness go away.

4. Roasting semolina: It is an important step in making upma as it enhances its flavor and texture. This process also removes any moisture in the semolina and makes the grains slightly crispy and prevents it from becoming mushy when cooked.

5. Using the right amount of water: The ideal water-to-sooji ratio for upma is 1:3. This means that for one cup of semolina, you should use two cups of water. This ratio ensures that the upma is not too dry or too watery.

6. Stir continuously: While adding hot water, you need to stir it frequently to ensure that it cooks evenly and doesn’t form lumps.

7. Steaming: Steam the upma for 3-5 minutes before you serve it. The steaming process helps to prevent upma from clumping together and creating a lumpy texture. It also allows the sooji to cook more evenly, resulting in a light and fluffy texture.

Ingredients

Semolina/Rava/Sooji: There are two kinds of rava available in the market. One is a coarse variety also known as Bombay rava and the second is a finer grade of semolina also known as chiroti rava. I use Bombay rava to make upma.

Cooking fat: I highly recommend using oil and ghee as it lends a very nice flavor to the final dish.

Tempering: chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, peanuts, cumin, green chilies, and curry leaves.

Green chilies: It adds spice.

Onion: I have used roughly chopped onions.

Seasoning & Herbs: Salt and coriander leaves.

Sugar: It adds a hint of sweetness but does not make upma sweet.

Water & Milk: It enhances the flavor of upma and adds a creamy texture.

How to make Hotel style Upma

1. Pour 2 cups water, 1 cup milk, and 1/2 tsp sugar into a pot and heat over low flame.

It will be ready when I need it. Alternatively, you can heat it in a microwave.

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp ghee in a heavy bottom pan over medium flame.

3. Add 1/2 tbsp peanuts, 2 tsp chana dal, and 2 tsp urad dal. Saute for 10 seconds.

4. Add 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds. Let them crackle.

Continue to saute until the lentils change color to light golden.

5. Add 6-8 cashews and saute for 10 seconds, until just light brown.

6. Next, add 3-4 green chilies, 6-8 curry leaves, and 1/2 onion finely chopped.

Saute the onions just enough to get rid of the rawness and they turn soft.

7. Turn the flame to low. Add 1 cup rava and mix well.

8. Roast the rava for 1-2 minutes by stirring constantly. Once roasted well, it will release a nice roasted earthy aroma.

Ensure the sooji does not change the color otherwise, the upma will turn dark in color. The roasting time can vary depending on the size of the granules and variety of rava, and the intensity of the flame.

9. Add salt to taste and 1/2 tsp sugar. Mix well.

In most hotels, sugar is added. However, at home adding it is optional.

10. By now the hot boiling water should be ready. If not, turn the flame to high and bring the water to a boil.

11. Turn the flame to low. Pour the hot boiling water in a slow stream with one hand and constantly stir the water in a circular motion with the other hand thoroughly without any lumps.

If you are a beginner, be careful as the semolina will start bubbling and splatter once you add the water.

13. Once the rava absorbs all the liquid, close the pan with a lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

Covering the pan is important as it will steam the upma and let the semolina puff and become soft. Turn off the flame and let it rest for 4-5 minutes with the lid on.

14. Open the lid and fluff the upma using a big serving spoon. Drizzle 1 tbsp of ghee and mix well.

Ghee elevates the aroma and flavor.

15. Lastly add 2 tbsp coriander leaves and mix.

Hotel style Rava Upma is ready. Serve hot or warm with choice of chutney or pickle.

Serving Suggestions

The upma tastes best fresh and hot when it is soft and fluffy. As time passes, the upma loses its moisture and gets harder and drier.

Rava upma can be enjoyed on its own or with chutney, pickle, or yogurt. In the hotel, upma is generally served with chutney (mostly coconut chutney) and sambar.

Sometimes, I like to add a tang. So, I squeeze fresh lemon right before serving, it balances the spice and helps in bringing out the flavors.

Storage Suggestions

To store the leftovers, allow the upma to cool down completely to room temperature. Transfer the upma to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

Before serving, reheat it in a pan or in the microwave. You may need to add a little bit of water or milk to make it soft and fluffy again.

More Related Recipes

Idli

Dosa

Poha

Tomato Upma

Sabudana Khichdi

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Recipe Card

Hotel style Upma Recipe

Author: Santosh Allada
How to make Hotel style Upma with step by step pictures. The preparation starts with seasoning and roasting the rava. Then the mixture is cooked in liquid (water+milk). Relish it with chutney, pickle, and or curd.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Rava (sooji)
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp Coriander leaves

Tempering

  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1/2 tbsp Peanuts
  • 2 tsp Split Bengal gram (Chana dal)
  • 2 tsp Split black lentil (Urad dal)
  • 6-8 whole Cashew nuts
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 6-8 numbers Curry leaves
  • 3-4 numbers Green chilies (adjust as per your preference)
  • 1 small Onion (finely chopped)

Instructions
 

  • Pour water and milk into a pot and heat over a low flame.
  • Heat oil and ghee in a heavy bottom pan over medium flame.
  • Add peanuts, chana dal, and urad dal. Saute for 10 seconds.
  • Add cumin and mustard seeds. Let them crackle.
  • Add cashews and saute for 10 seconds, until just light brown.
  • Next, add green chilies, curry leaves, and onions. Saute the onions just enough to get rid of the rawness and they turn soft.
  • Turn the flame to low. Add rava and mix well.
  • Roast the rava for 1-2 minutes by stirring constantly. Once roasted well, it will release a nice roasted earthy aroma.
  • Add salt to taste and sugar. Mix well.
  • By now the hot boiling water should be ready. If not, turn the flame to high and bring the water to a boil.
  • Turn the flame to low. Pour the hot boiling water with one hand and constantly stir the water in a circular motion with the other hand thoroughly without any lumps.
  • Once the rava absorbs all the liquid, close the pan with a lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Open the lid and fluff the upma using a big serving spoon. Drizzle 1 tbsp of ghee and mix well.
  • Lastly, add coriander leaves and mix.
  • Hotel style Rava Upma is ready. Serve hot or warm with a choice of chutney or pickle.

Notes

Use Bombay rava to make upma.
Roast the rava well.
Add hot water only, it helps the rava to puff.
Stir constantly in a circular motion while adding the water to the roasted rava to avoid the formation of lumps.
After the addition of semolina, cook the upma covered on low heat. Once cooked, give it a resting time of 5 mins.
 
 

What is the best combination with upma?

It is typically served hot and can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other foods for a more filling meal. Here are some of the best combinations with upma:
1. Chutney: Upma pairs well with a variety of chutneys, such as coconut chutney, tomato chutney, or mint chutney. The tangy and spicy flavors of the chutney complement the mild and savory flavors of the upma.
2. Sambar: Sambar is a lentil-based vegetable stew.
3. Pickle: Indian pickles, such as mango pickle or lime pickle, can add a tangy and spicy kick to the upma.

How do you prevent lumps in upma?

Properly roast the rava. Use the right amount of water: Adding too much or too little water to the semolina can cause lumps to form. Stirring the upma constantly while cooking helps to break up any lumps that may form. Covering the pan while the upma is cooking helps to trap steam and distribute heat evenly, which can prevent lumps from forming.

Why is rava upma sticky?

Upma can turn out sticky if not toasting the semolina properly. Not toasting the semolina properly. Adding too much water. If the mixture is not stirred enough while adding water, the semolina can clump together and become sticky.

Is upma better than poha?

Upma and poha are both popular breakfast dishes in India and are both delicious in their own way. Nutritionally, both dishes can be healthy if prepared with wholesome ingredients and in moderation. Upma is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fiber, while poha is lower in calories and fat and contains some iron and B vitamins.



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