Varai phanna (little millet upma)

                               Varai/Samo is a  millet used like rice in vegetarian,vegan and gluten free dishes. It is a healthy grain that should be added to our diet, as it offers many benefits.It is high in source of nutrients,essential amino acids, has low impact on blood sugar.
                          There are various kinds of millet ,but we GSBians mainly include Ragi(finger tail millet) and Little millet in our menu especially during saatvik days or when we hold vrat (fasting),where rice is not to be  included.
               I have already shared some more details about varai in my varai idli post in this blog.  I have also shared recipe of  Huggi / Varai pongal in this blog. Today I am sharing the recipe of varai phanna /upma/seasoned varai here.I tasted this at Konchadi temple during my visit there . I have tweaked the recipe by adding some vegetables as per my family taste. You may also do without adding the vegetables too ,
Lets us get into the recipe.


  • 1 cup varai
  • 1 cup vegetables (carrots, Beans, and fresh Green Peas) chopped finely
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 1 tsp Jeera
  • 1 tsp Urad dal
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 1 ” inch piece ginger chopped
  • 2 tbsp Oil/ghee (can use 1 tbsp  of each too )
  • 3 cups water + 1 cup to cook vegetables(measure in the same cup used to measure varai)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat a pan and roast varai with out oil for just 5 minutes and keep aside to cool.                
  2. Heat a pressure pan/ cooker -add oil – when hot  – add urad dal,jeera and mustard.
  3. Wait for the mustard and  jeera to crackle,then put ginger, green chillies hing and curry leaves. Stir well.
  4. Add chopped carrot,and green peas + 1 cup water and little salt and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Check whether the vegetables are soft.
  6. When they are 3/4th done add 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Then add the roasted varai  while stirring all the time . Check for salt and add if necessary.
  7. Close lid of the pan and cook for 2 or 3 whistle on medium flame.
  8. Let the cooker cool and let steam go off completely  ,remove the lid and mix well.
  9. Serve with papad and curd or with sambar or any curries.


  1. Vegetables can be precooked and added to save time.
  2. Can be prepared in a kadai too.
  3. Water quantity may differ – in that case add little more  or less to  adjust the consistency/texture.

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