Healthy Barnyard Millet Upma Recipe

Healthy Barnyard Millet Upma Recipe

A few weeks ago, I went to a local farmer’s market and got a few packets of millets like Barnyard millet and foxtail millet. Though I use sorghum (jowar), ragi (finger millets) and pearl millet (bajra) regularly, mostly I use them in powder form. I add them to my rotis, dosas or adais. I barely ever use the whole millet. So, I tried out a couple of recipes replacing them for rice. The first one I made was a khichdi using dal, millets and veggies. That turned out pretty nice.

healthy barnyard millet upma recipe

Then I tried making upma with the millets. Here’s my recipe. It’s quite simple and easy to do.

healthy barnyard millet upma recipe
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Healthy Barnyard Millet Upma Recipe

An upma recipe made with millets and veggies is healthy and delicious and works as a perfect breakfast or lunch option when served with a boiled egg.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rachna Parmar


  • 250 gm. Barnyard millets
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 2 to matoes chopped finely
  • 2-3 green chillies slit in halves optional
  • 1 cup chopped veggies beans, carrots, bean sprouts, mushroom
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder optional
  • coriander leaves for garnishing
  • Ghee for serving optional
  • For tempering
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal split black gram
  • 1 pinch asafetida
  • A sprig of curry leaves


  1. Soak the millets for a couple of hours.
  2. In a pressure cooker, heat the oil.
  3. Add mustard seeds, allow to sputter. Add cumin seeds, urad dal, asafetida and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds.
  4. Add in the chopped onions and fry till translucent.
  5. Add the ginger-garlic paste, slit green chillies and tomato. Let it cook down for a couple of minutes.
  6. Now add the soaked and drained millets and fry in the mixture for 2 minutes.
  7. Add in the turmeric powder, garam masala powder, chilly powder and salt.
  8. Add about 2 cups water. Millets need more water to cook than regular grains.
  9. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Switch off the heat and let is cool down.
  10. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  11. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with a tsp. of ghee on top.

Recipe Notes

1. You can substitute barnyard millets with foxtail millets, broken wheat or broken barley.

2. I avoid veggies like capsicum that get very mushy when pressure cooked. You can add broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes or any other veggies that you like.

3. You can skip ghee but it really does taste good with it and becomes more moist too.

This is tasty, healthy and makes for a filling breakfast. I normally pair this with boiled or fried egg to make a complete meal out of it.

Do try and let me know how you liked it.

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16 thoughts on “Healthy Barnyard Millet Upma Recipe

  1. Mom used to make these millet upmas for us on days we fasted. I never used to like them as she had this quick recipe which tasted very bland. I have never tried using millets. Let me see if I can introduce this into my kitchen. I have very limited menu since cooking is not one of my interests. Still I try to add healthy recipes as much as I can.

  2. This looks delicious! The two significant switches I see from regular rava upma prep is the two-hour soaking and the pressure cooking. Must try soon. Hopefully, it won’t turn too soggy? I can use the exact water content you’ve mentioned and try 🙂

    1. Yes, it is not very different from the regular upma. No, it won’t turn soggy. These millets are water suckers. 😉 The danger is of not having enough water to make them fluffy. After the first try, you will know if you need to adjust the water quantity.

  3. I love millets and mostly use them like your recipe for breakfast. I would love to get millet from the local market. I do get fox tail from big basket and that is good too.
    What’s adais, Rachna? Never heard of that.

    1. You can make khichdi too. It comes out quite nice. I actually have a farmer’s market that happens every Sunday. Here, there is an NGO which brings reasonably priced millets straight from the farmers. They are reasonably priced as well. Else, sourcing them could be slightly challenging. Adais are dosas which require no fermentation. I make them with a mix of dals and rice. Just take a few dals with rice and soak them in water at night. Blend them to a dosa consistency in the morning. Then add a few things like chopped onion, curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, cumin etc. and cook them like dosas. Tasty and healthy. Serve with chutney or dal. I make many variations of these. Must put up the recipes. 🙂

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