Kodo millet/ Barnyard millet Masala upma(Varai upma)

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These are tiny, white, round grains belonging to the millet family. It is an erect plant 60-130 cm tall. In India, cereal grains are not consumed during fasts. Hence, samvat is a popular ingredient during Navratras. While cooking any rice based dish during fasts, samvat or sama grains are used instead, as they do not belong to the rice family but act as an healthy alternative. It does not cook into separate grains like long grained rice. It is sticky once it is cooked and stays a bit soggy. They are somewhat like smaller versions of sabudana look wise.

Barnyard millet in english is  Varai in konkani , Harka in kannada,  Koovaragu in malayalam, Kodra in hindi  and  vari in marati.  I have been  longing to put up Barnyard millet recipes on my blog since a year.  But was unable to find the same.  I have tasted it in my child hood days at my grany’s place.  She was preparing the normal bland upma and we were relishing it as it is very good from the health point of view.  Today i would like to put up an advanced version of the same called the masala millet upma using a ouple of veggies etc..,I have also tried out out a couple of more recipes and would like to put it up in the coming days.  Here is my version of the upma!!!KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                         Ready to serve masala Barnyard millet upma

Serves 4-5

Time taken: 45 minutes

What you need to have:

1. Barnyard millet/Varai – 1 cup

2. Water to cook – 2 cupsKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                                 Barnyard millet/Varai

Ingredients of Seasoning and Garnishing

1. Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

2. Blackgram dal/urad dal – 1 teaspoon

3. Ginger – 1 ” piece

4. Curry leaves – a few

5. Rasam powder/sambar powder – 1 teaspoon

6. Garam masala powder – 1/2 teaspoon(home made)

7. Green chopped veggie – 2 cups in all (one’s choice)

8. fresh grated coconut – 2 tablespoon(to garnish)

9. chopped cilantro – 2 tablespoons(to garnish)

10. Either sev or mixture – as needed(to garnish)

11. cooking oil – 1 tablespoon

12. Salt – as per taste

13. Sugar – for taste(optional)KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                               Ingredients of SeasoningKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                            Chopped fresh veggies

What you do with what you have:

  1. Dry roast the millet till it changes the colour on medium flame and keep it aside.

2. Wash and chop all the veggies and keep it aside.

3. Wash, peal and chop onions and also chop cilantro and keep it aside.

4. Place a wide skillet with 21 Tablespoon of cooking oil in it on medium flame.  When heated add mustard seeds to it and when it starts spluttering add  blackgram dal to it.  KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                                    Seasoning in progress

5. When done, add curry leaves to it.  Once it is fried, add chopped onions and a little salt to it and fry till transparent.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                               Chopped onion and salt being added

6. When done, add chopped tomatoes and fry till mushy.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                       Chopped tomatoes being added

7.When tomatoes turn mushy, add chopped veggies and cook till done closing it with a lid lowering the flame.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                     Chopped veggies being added to the seasoning 

8. In the mean time boil around 2 cups of water on the other burner, so that it is easier to pour it to the millet-veggie mix.  Add roasted Barnyard millet/varai to the cooked veggie  from step-1 to it in addition to rasam powder, garam masala powder, sugar  and roast for a few seconds  and add the boiling water to it and close it with a lid simmering the flame.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                 Barnyard millet/varai being added to the vegie mixKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                       Rasam powder & garam masala powder being addedKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                           Boiling water being added to the varai mix

8. Keep a watch to see every now and then to see if cooked.  When done, check for salt , and  would be as shown in the image below.  Garnish with cilantro and coconut.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                          Ready to serve Barnyard millet masala upma

8. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with cilantro, coconut , sev and tomato sauce!!Yummm!!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                             Ready to serve Varai masala upma

Serves 4-5

Time taken : 45 minutes

Good to remember:

1. Use fresh millet for best results.

2. Use any vegie of your choice.

3. The water proportion to the millet is as per the quality of the millet.(normally it is 1:2)But do not pour water at once.  The dish may turn soggy!!!

4. Garnishing with tomato sauce is one’s option.


7 thoughts on “Kodo millet/ Barnyard millet Masala upma(Varai upma)

    noodlesforthoughts said:
    September 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    wow.. quite a dish I say!


      prathibalrao responded:
      October 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Noodles for thought,
      Thanx a lot for your comments and this is a lovely dish to relish once in a fort-night for a change….

    Priya said:
    September 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Super healthy and definitely my kind of food.

      prathibalrao responded:
      October 7, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      Hi Priya,

      As you say it is a super healthy dish for one and all. Sorry for the delay in responding…

    […] put up detailed introduction to this wonderful millet in my earlier recipes namely Barnyard Millet Masala Upma, Idli, Dosa and Spicy pongal/kichadi. So without formally introducing this ingredient, let me put […]

    patitpavan said:
    February 6, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Varai/barnyard millet is oodalu or udalu, not harka in Kannada. Harka/arka is kodo millet.

      prathibalrao responded:
      February 7, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Hi Patitpavan,

      Thanks a lot for your keen observation. I will correct the spelling for sure. Once again thanks a lot.

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