Healthy Barnyard Millet Upma Recipe

by Rachna
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

Healthy Millet Upma Recipe

Rachna Parmar
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.
4.38 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4
Calories 311 kcal


  • 1 cup millet
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 2 tomatoes chopped finely chopped finely
  • 2-3 green chillies slit in halves optional
  • 1 cup vegetables chopped beans, carrots, bean sprouts, mushroom
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder optional
  • finely chopped cilantro or coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. Ghee for serving optional
  • For tempering
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal split black gram
  • 1 pinch asafetida
  • A sprig of curry leaves


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


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.


Nutrition Facts
Healthy Millet Upma Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 311 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 88mg4%
Potassium 469mg13%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 1025IU21%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let me know on Instagram @rachna.parmar or tag #rachnacooks
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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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Soumya Prasad -

This sounds so easy and delicious! I’ve only used Foxtail and Kodo millets until now, I’ll try this for sure.

Thanks, Rachna! ?

Rachna -

I hope you like it. This is very similar to foxtail millets. If you can’t find it, use foxtail millets instead.

writershilpa -

I am going to try this out as I like using millets, and I like experimenting. Thank you, Rachna, for this healthy recipe! The ghee definitely adds flavour to the whole dish!

Rachna -

I hope you like it and the ghee definitely is very important. 🙂

Rekha @ Dew Drops -

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.

Rachna -

This is a really simple recipe, Rekha, that you can easily make. Do try.

Megala -

Nice to add spices to make upma tasty !

Rachna -

True. Thanks. 🙂

Shailaja V -

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 ?

Rachna -

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.

the bespectacled mother -

I definitely have to try this recipe since I have replaced rice with millets. The challenge is to get it right with the correct quantity for 1 person.

Rachna -

Yes, try it first time and adjust quantities after that. I think water is the only thing you have to worry about.

Parul Thakur -

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.

Rachna -

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. 🙂

Parul Thakur -

Yes please – this is the recipe I need.
I also make broken wheat and millets at rice and khichdi 🙂 I also do chicken curry with millets and make my own healthy biryani 🙂

Rachna -

Sounds really good, Parul. 🙂

Jyoti Gupta -

At which stage do you add the chopped vegetables? You have not mentioned?

Rachna -

Hi Jyoti, You are right. Will add to the recipe now. Add vegetables along with millets when making it.


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