How to make Varai ka Upma -

This is a dish that is ideally consumed during vrat but can be enjoyed at other times too

Sanjeev Kapoor

This is a Sanjeev Kapoor exclusive recipe.

Main Ingredients : Varai or samo, Ghee (घी)

Cuisine : Gujarati

Course : Snacks and Starters

Varai ka Upma

Varai ka Upma Recipe Card


Gujarat has long stretches of unspoilt coastline and an endless supply of fish and shell fish. But strict Jainism in the past and orthodox Hinduism today has encouraged widespread vegetarianism.  The Gujarati cuisine is not heavily spiced but slightly sweeter than the cuisines of the neighbouring states.
Gujarati food is distinctively vegetarian with about 65% of its population shunning the meat.  The remaining 35% of the state’s population consists of Bohra Muslims and Parsis. Bohra Muslims are the followers of Abdullah who were Hindus who adopted Muslim religion.  The Parsi cuisine on the other hand is a blend of western influences.

Prep Time : 6-10 minutes

Cook time : 21-25 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Easy

Taste : Tangy

Ingredients for Varai ka Upma Recipe

  • Varai or samo 1 1/2 cups

  • Ghee 1-2 tablespoons

  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon

  • Green chillies slit 2-3

  • Curry leaves 2 sprigs

  • Rock salt (sendha namak) to taste

  • Ginger-green chilli paste 2 teaspoons

  • Lemon juice 2 teaspoons

  • Fresh coriander leaves chopped to garnish

  • Fresh coconut scraped to garnish


Step 1

Heat ghee in deep non-stick pan, add cumin seeds and saute till their colour changes. Add green chillies, curry leaves and samo or varai, mix well and sauté lightly for 1-2 minutes.

Step 2

Add rock salt and ginger-green chilli paste and mix well. Add 3 cups warm water, mix well, cover and cook on low heat till varai is completely done. If necessary add a little more water so that the varai cooks well.

Step 3

Add lemon juice, mix well, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Step 4

Transfer upma into a serving bowl, garnish with coriander leaves and coconut and serve hot.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.