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Millet Upma (Instant Pot & Stove Top Method)

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Millet upma is a healthy, delicious, and filling breakfast recipe that can double up as lunch. Loaded with veggies and protein-rich millets, this vegan and gluten-free Proso Millet upma is a good replacement for traditional Semolina Upma.

Millet Upma served in a bowl and on a brown mat with some mint on the side.
Proso Millet Upma

This Instant pot Millet upma is a one-pot meal kinda thing. All you do is add the veggies, millet, spices, and water and let the Instant pot or the pressure cooker do its magic. If you do not have either a pressure cooker or an Instant pot, do not worry, this can be done in an open pot too.

What are Millets?

Millets are whole grains that are packed with nutrients. It is a starchy grain, rich in carbs but has the essential nutrients. It is gluten-free and hence good for people with celiac disease. Believed to help in reducing weight and controlling your blood sugar levels. So good for Diabetic people too.

I love cooking with millet and making a lot of millet recipes. Most of the time it is for family or at times just for me. Typically I would have 1-2 millet recipes a week, though the count should increase. 

How to incorporate millet into your diet

Millets at times are an acquired taste and hence take time to get used to. So when you are trying to add millet to your diet, add it slowly. Replace the rice or whatever ingredient you are replacing by half and then proceed. 

Millet Upma served in a bowl and on a brown mat with some mint on the side.
Proso Millet Upma

Recipe with millets

If you like to add a few, try Proso Millet Idli, Bajra Idli, or this Ragi Idli which are a good way to start breakfast for kids and family. Kids even love khichdi, and slowly replacing the rice with the millet helps them acquire the taste. So one can make this Jowar moong dal Khichdi, Bajre ka Bhat or this Bajra and Split Green Moong Dal Khichdi.

And if you like to make roti or paratha, try this Ragi Roti, Bajra Aloo paratha, or this Bajra Methi Paratha. Another good way is to make kids’ favorite cookies and cakes. So this Buckwheat Oat cookies or this gluten-free and vegan Ragi Brownies is another good option. And if you are looking for a processed sugar-free option try this Ragi banana cake.

Cooking Millet in good amount or excess water

For today’s recipe millet upma as said is quite easy and a one-pot meal. When I first made it I liked it, but I was not sure what I will make again. But then I thought about what was wrong with the first one. I made it a little on the thicker side. Millets always taste good when they are cooked properly in a good amount of water. So I changed the water ratio and I was good. When I cooked it the second or third time I was confident that I would be making this again and again.  So yes Millets need water.

Proso Millet upma top and close up view served in a bowl.
Proso Millet Upma

Should I soak the millet?

It is always advisable to soak the millet. The best is to soak it overnight or for a minimum of 6-8 hours. One of the main reasons for soaking millets is that it helps break down the phytic acid in them. Phytic acid impairs the absorption of good minerals and makes the digestion process easier. So it is always advisable to soak the millet before cooking. Another reason is that it helps in the cooking process and it is much faster.    

Veggies used in Millet Upma

When I make upma or pulao recipes, I  add a lot of veggies and spices. Especially with millets, this. They help in enhancing the flavor of millet and also increase the nutrient content of the dish.

Today I am using Corn, carrot, pepper, aubergine, cauliflower, onion, and tomatoes. One can add any sort of veggies to this. I would say it is a good recipe when you are looking to clean out the fridge and have 1-2 pieces of veggies left over. At times I add mushrooms, broccoli, or even zucchini. So to be honest one can add any sort of veggies and make it colorful and appealing. 

Millet Upma served in a bowl and on a brown mat with some mint on the side.
Proso Millet Upma

Type of millet used

One can use any variety of millet for today’s recipe. I am using Proso millet today. One can use foxtail, little millet, jowar, or bajra too.

Today I am using Proso Millet also called Panivaragu in Tamil, Barri in Hindi, Varigulu in Telugu, Baragu in Kannada

Recipe process of millet upma

As said, the recipe is quite simple. All I am doing is tempering or a tadka in cumin seeds and green chili, followed by onion and ginger. Then the tomatoes and the veggies go in along with millet, water, and salt. Pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles or 8 mins on high in an Instant pot. If you are using an open pot, cook it in water until done. That’s it you are done nutritious and a filling meal is ready.

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Proso millet Upma served in a bowl and on a brown mat with some mint on the side.
Proso Millet Upma
Proso millet Upma served in a bowl and on a brown mat with some mint on the side.

Millet Upma

Vegan and gluten-free Millet upma loaded with veggies, is a protein-rich healthy, delicious, and filling breakfast or lunch recipe.
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Course: Breakfast, Lunch
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Keyword: Diabetic Friendly, Gluten Free, Millet, Vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Soaking Time: 6 hours
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Equipment

Ingredients

  • ½ Cup millet Proso / Foxtail / Little
  • 1.5 Cups of Water
  • 1 Cup mixed veggies Cauliflower, carrot, pepper, aubergine
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies finely chopped As per taste
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oil/ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (to taste)

Instructions

Ingredients

  • Millet Upma Ingredients.

Prep Work

  • Rinse and Soak the Millets for 6-8 hours or overnight.
    Soaked Millet.
  • When you are ready to cook, Clean and rinse all the veggies.
  • Chop them as required, preferably in bite-size pieces.
    1 Cup mixed veggies
  • Chop the onions and tomatoes and keep them aside.
    1 small onion finely chopped, 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • Finely chop the ginger, and green chili.
    1/2 inch ginger, 1-2 green chilies finely chopped
  • Rinse the millets again and drain the excess water.

Instant pot method

  • Switch on the Instant Pot in saute mode.
  • Add oil /ghee to the inner vessel of the pot.
    1 tablespoon oil/ghee
  • Once hot, add the cumin seeds and let it splutter.
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    Tempering of Cumin seeds in Oil.
  • Once done, add onion, ginger, and green chili and cook it for a minute or two until translucent.
    Adding of green chili and ginger.
  • Now add in the tomatoes, and turmeric powder and cook it further for 1-2 minutes.
    1 small tomato finely chopped, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
    Adding of Tomatoes and Turmeric.
  • Add in the veggies and cook it for a minute.
    ½ Cup millet, 1 Cup mixed veggies, 1 teaspoon Salt (to taste), 1.5 Cups of Water
    Veggies Added to Masala.
  • Veggies Getting cooked in Instant Pot.
  • Add millet, water, and salt.
    Millet added to Masala.
  • Adding of Salt in veggies and millets in Instant Pot.
  • Water added in Instant Pot.
  • Close the instant pot lid and cancel the saute mode.
  • Switch it to pressure cooker mode for 10 minutes.
    Instant Pot Timer set to 10 minutes.
  • Once the pressure has settled and the pin dropped open the lid of the Instant Pot.
  • Gently fluff it with a fork and serve.

Pressure cooker Method

  • In a pressure cooker vessel, add oil /ghee.
    1 tablespoon oil/ghee
  • Once hot, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Once done, add onion, ginger, and green chili and cook it for a minute or two until translucent.
    1 small onion finely chopped, 1/2 inch ginger, 1-2 green chilies finely chopped
  • Now add in the tomatoes, and turmeric powder and cook it further for 1-2 minutes.
    1 small tomato finely chopped, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Add in the veggies, millet, water, and salt.
    ½ Cup millet, 1 Cup mixed veggies, 1 teaspoon Salt (to taste), 1.5 Cups of Water
  • Close the pressure cooker lid.
  • Pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles or depending on your pressure cooker settings.
  • Once done, switch it off.
  • Once the pressure has settled, open the lid of the Pressure cooker.
  • Gently fluff it with a fork and serve.

Open Pot Method

  • In a heavy bottom pot, add oil /ghee.
    ½ Cup millet
  • Once hot, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Once done, add onion, ginger, and green chili and cook it for a minute or two until translucent.
    1 small onion finely chopped, 1/2 inch ginger, 1-2 green chilies finely chopped
  • Now add in the tomatoes, and turmeric powder and cook it further for 1-2 minutes.
    1 small tomato finely chopped, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Add in the veggies, water, and salt.
    1.5 Cups of Water, 1 Cup mixed veggies, 1 teaspoon Salt (to taste)
  • Once the water comes to a boil, add in the millet.
  • Cook it on medium until almost all the water is absorbed and the millets are done.
  • They are done, when you are easily able to press them between your fingers.
  • Switch it off, and cover it for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, fluff it with a fork and serve.

Notes

  • Standard US Size cups and spoons were used. 1 cup = 237 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
  • Read above for replacements for Millet.
  • Read above for replacements for vegetables.
 
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