Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sago / Javvarisi Upma

Sago Upma is an easy to make meal which calls for less ingredients, less cooking time, more taste and contentment!

I tasted this yummy dish for dinner at my sister in law's house a while back and instantly fell in love with it!

Though the dish is meant to be taken as an evening snack, I make it for breakfast or dinner as it's heartily filling.

Try this and I bet you will decide making it often at home as it needs no onions or even vegetables!
I am not very sure about the nutritional part of the dish; sago being low in nutrient content, you may also try adding vegetables while making this.

The recipe which follows is the basic one for the sago upma which I had tried and relished as such!

Ingredients: (to serve 4)

Sago/ javvarisi/chavvari- 2 cups (pick up the right sized pack of sago pearls..ie..slightly smaller than pepper corns, not the opaque white ones but the transparent ones)
Thick sour curd- 1 1/2 cups
Moong dal/pasi paruppu/cherupayar parippu- 1/4 cup (dry roasted)

To temper:

Oil- 1 1/2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal- 1/4 tsp
Green chillies-2-3-slit lengthwise
Curry leaves- a sprig
Salt- to taste

Method: (seems a little elaborate, but believe me, it's breeze!) :)

1. Wash sago well to remove any dust particles present. Beat the thick sour curd for 2-3 seconds to make it smooth and homogeneous. Transfer to a clean wide utensil. Wash the mixie with 1/2 cup of water and add to the thick curd. Drain washed the sago and soak in the beaten curd, immersed in such a way that liquid part is an inch above the sago.

2. Let is sit for 8 hours (generally 4-5 hours is said to be enough, but I resort to longer soaking hours as we prefer a tangier version of the Upma). It shouldn't be too dry and should be hydrated well enough in the curd. If you feel the liquid part being absorbed, add a little water now and then to make the pearls moist and happy :)

3. Fluff it with a fork once in two hours to facilitate even soaking of the pearls. (if you soak it for overnight, fluff it after an hour or two after you soak and repeat it before you cook it in the morning).

4. After 8 hours, drain away the excess liquid from the sago (you can even reserve this as you need some liquid to be sprinkled while cooking).

5. Cook dry roasted moong dal until 'just' done in an open pan of boiling water. (To dry roast the dal, heat the dal for 3-5 minutes medium flame until it acquires a light brown hue and the aroma spreads).

6. Heat oil in a wide, thick bottomed kadai or in a nonstick pan, splutter mustard seeds, brown the urad dal and throw in the green chillies followed by the curry leaves. Mix in the drained sago and combine gently. Within a couple of minutes the sago pearls turn transparent.Mix in gently the cooked dal. Sprinkle water if needed. The upma should be moist.Close the pan with a lid for 2 minutes.Turn again. By this time the excess water would have been used up and sago get rids of its stickiness if any, and turns soft. Switch off the flame.The whole cooking process here takes not more than 4-5 minutes.

7. Enjoy the hot sago upma with coconut chutney.

I would highly recommend Varalakshmi Sago to make this upma. They are smaller in size than the variety I have used in the above recipe and of higher quality. The soaking time of this sago is only 4 hours and has a much better taste!


  1. Beautiful looking upma, those sagos looks awesome..

  2. I thought its sabudana khichdi but your recipe is quite different. love the addition of curd in this. perfectly cooked with each grain separate.

  3. I too love sago upma,your version is very different,looks very nice,tempting to make.. I thought theres only one kind of sago,I have seen only the white pearl kind sago,will look for the transparent one..not sure if I could get it here :)

  4. U got it so perfect...we dont add e dal in this ...I should search this sago too ;)

  5. Looks to good, havent tried upma with sago, looks tasty

  6. very different version of sago upma. will try this sometime for sure

  7. never tried uppuma or kichadi with sago, yours look just perfect

  8. I totally love this upma :) used to call it balls upma when I was a kid and would event sit for hours and pop in one at a time testing my mom's patience :P

  9. lovely upma--the pearls just stand out ! yum yumm!!

  10. hey, i followed the link in ur sisters blog and landed here:)

    tried this upma with some slight variations to make spicier..

    along with the curd i added chilly powder, ginger garlic paste and a hint of garam masala.. i minced some cut onions in a mixie and added them too..

    then i let it sit the whole night and made upma in the morning..

    tangy and spicy upma :)

  11. Welcome, Maya! :)

    Your variation seems to be very interesting and I am going to try it tonight as I have soaked 2 cups of sago in the morning! :)

    Thank you for the lovely idea!

  12. Hi,
    I would love to make this - can we use the white opaque sago for this. I haven't seen the transparent sago in supermarkets in chennai...

  13. Welcome to my space, Ambika :)

    I havent tried with the opaque ones, but see to it you buy the smallest ones. shouldnt be that different after you make it..see to it that its well soaked before cooking..try and let me know..
    you can also try maya's variation above..its really good! :)


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