Home RecipesBreakfast Simple and Healthy Barley Upma Recipe

Simple and Healthy Barley Upma Recipe

by Rachna
barley upma

For some reason, I have never liked rava upma that is made in most homes. I find it insipid and very greasy. As a matter of fact, upma was never made as breakfast in my home. None of us liked it. After my marriage, I saw my mother-in-law make upma with broken wheat or dalia.  I started liking its simple, hearty goodness and taste too. I have liked dalia though in my home it was made sweet with milk, sugar and ghee like a sweet porridge.

barley upma

So, then this broken wheat upma became a staple for breakfast in my home. Served with a boiled egg, it is a great breakfast.

Recently I chanced upon barley rava at a Patanjali store. They also have a multi-grain rava made with millets and other grains. My husband calls it bird feed. Using that rava for upma will force you to use pressure cooker as some of the stuff in there just does not get completely cooked on stove top. And the taste can be a bit strong for some.

Anyway, here is the recipe of the barley upma which is really simple and delicious. You can substitute the barley rava with broken wheat for a similar recipe. You can also add whatever vegetables you like. Just boil them and keep. I enjoy adding mushroom right at the end. In this recipe, I had added some sprouted green gram as I had them handy.

This recipe takes about 20 minutes including cooking time. I am not much for slogging in the kitchen. So here goes:

Serves 4


250 gms. Barley Rava

1 onion chopped fine

2-3 tomatoes chopped fine

2-3 green chillies (slit) (optional)

1 cup vegetables (chopped mushroom, beans, carrot, peas, sprouts or whatever you fancy)

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 tsp. cumin seeds

a few curry leaves

1 tsp. split bengal gram (chana dal)

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

Oil 2 tsp.

4-5 cloves

1 stick cinnamon

Coriander leaves for garnish


barley upma

Heat oil in a kadhai/wok. Add mustard seeds. Allow them to sputter. Add in cumin seeds, split bengal gram and curry leaves.  Also add cloves and cinnamon. Allow them to fry for a minute. Now add chopped onion and split bengal gram. Cook till the onion becomes translucent.

Now add in the tomatoes. Fry for about couple of minutes. Tip in the barley rava and roast with the masalas for a couple of minutes. Now add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Start with less. You can add more later.

barley upma

Add in about 3 cups of water. Mix well and let it come to a boil. Cover the kadhai and simmer till the upma has cooked and the water has evaporated.

If you feel that the upma is still underdone and the water has really reduced, add a bit more. No sweat. Also taste and season for less salt. If you like it spicier add some red chilly powder.

Towards the end add in the mushroom and the sprouts which do not need much time for cooking. If you are adding other veggies like carrots, beans, peas etc. make sure that you boil them and keep. Then add them towards the end to soak in some flavour.

Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot. You can eat it as it is or have a boiled egg on the side. Enjoy.



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Nabanita December 1, 2016 - 12:52 pm

S likes Upma a lot. Maybe I’ll try this someday. Share few more breakfast recipes, Rachna. I get confused what to make for the little one and S too. ?

Rachna December 1, 2016 - 12:56 pm

I hope you do. This is really easy and quite fail proof too. 🙂

About other breakfast recipes, I’ve shared the recipe of poha which is another favourite at home. Idli and dosas are good too. What about besan chilla? Do you make that? That is yummy and quick. I also make tomato rice, pongal, khichdi etc. Aloo parathas and gobhi parathas too. Of course the good old egg bhurji, omlette and boiled egg sandwiches work.

kalaravi16 December 1, 2016 - 12:59 pm

Ahh something new I learned today! Never knew of Barley upma. I am not a fan of rawa upma either, but make it because I am stumped with what to cook day in and day out. I’ll give this recipe a shot, sounds easy and tasty!

Rachna December 1, 2016 - 1:04 pm

You can make it with plain old broken wheat if you can’t find barley rava. I understand. I make upma perhaps once a week.

Vasantha Vivek December 1, 2016 - 3:19 pm

I have never tried any receipe of Barley. But this looks yummy and will have to give a try. Thanks for sharing, Rachna !!!

Rachna December 2, 2016 - 5:56 pm

Thanks, Vasantha.

Ramya Abhinand December 2, 2016 - 9:28 am

Rachna, this is such a healthy breakfast option. I have never used barley rava. Will try it out for sure.

Rachna December 2, 2016 - 5:56 pm

Thanks, Ramya.

Soumya Prasad December 2, 2016 - 1:15 pm

I used to hate upma too, but I realized later than it needs to be made the right way. My MIL did not bother roasting the rava and it used to become one gluggy mess.

Once I moved out to a place of my own, I experimented with it and it turned out to be really delicious. It is really simple to make and healthy too I believe. I’m gonna try making it with broken wheat and barley now. It does look delicious 🙂

Rachna December 2, 2016 - 6:06 pm

You are right about the roasting. Funny get me wrong. I have it once in a while when well made but l do prefer this one over the broken wheat version.

Shilpa Garg December 2, 2016 - 4:23 pm

I love upma as well as broken wheat upma. Barley upma sounds interesting and healthy too. Will pick it up next time and try it out!

Rachna December 2, 2016 - 6:12 pm

Thanks, Shilpa.


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