When you’re up early in the morning for work, one may not want to go to the lengths of making a lavish breakfast. Something that is quick, easy, and filling is often the go-to choice. Instead of packaged foods, dishes like upma are considered light and healthy options. A breakfast staple from South India, upma is a porridge-like dish that is made with suji/rava, which is also known as semolina.

Also Read: 3 Snacks You Can Make With Leftover Upma

However, that’s not the only way to make this breakfast dish. You can always make it with other healthier varieties like oats, quinoa, and more. This dish is very light on the stomach yet keeps you full for a long time. Filled with vegetables like carrots, peas and potatoes, upma is easy to make and delicious to eat. Here are some ways in which you can spruce up an upma without suji.  

1.   Oats Upma  

While suji upma is generally made with roasted semolina, this recipe makes use of oats. The oats are dry-roasted in a pan. Packed with iron in the form of chana dal and urad dal, the oats upma is filled with vegetables like onions, carrots and french beans. To this, curry leaves, mustard seeds, ginger and green chillies are added. Mix it all together and garnish with crushed peanuts.

2.   Ragi Upma

What could be a better substitute for suji than a healthy grain like ragi. The upma is made with ragi powder as the base that is mixed with urad and chana dal. Any veggies of your choice can be added, including carrots and onions. Spruce it up with green chillies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and salt. Toss it all together and your thick porridge is ready. 

3.   Sabudana Upma

This one is the perfect fasting breakfast that anyone can have. Not only is it tasty, it is quite healthy too. Sabudana or tapioca pearls are combined with vegetables and spices to give a savoury touch to your breakfast. Sabudana is soaked before being cooked and the vegetables like carrots, peas, potatoes etc. are mixed with it. Roasted peanuts and coriander leaves are used for finishing the dish.

4.   Quinoa Upma

Quinoa is a great healthy alternative for rice. Apart from biryanis and pulaos, quinoa can also substitute for suji in upma too. The quinoa is a healthy grain that is obtained from amaranth plant and for upma, it is tossed with carrot, peas, broccoli and onions. Filled with spices and combined well, quinoa is usually a short-grain that is soft and easy to eat and keeps you full for longer.

5.  Bhutte Ka Upma

Sounds fascinating, right? Bhutta, for the uninitiated, is a Hindi word for corn. The corn kernels are plucked and boiled. These are then cooked along with spices, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, and lemon juice. Flavoured with grated coconut and curry leaves, this is a popular dish in Madhya Pradesh known as bhutte ka kees.