Jowar upma | Jonna upma | Jowar recipes

Updated: August 2, 2022, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Jowar upma recipe – Healthy whole grain upma with mixed vegetables. Jonnalu, jola, cholam are the other south Indian names to sorghum or jowar. Broken jowar or the jowar rava is available in the super markets and can be used to make upma, pulao or porridge. The recipe i am sharing here uses whole jowar to make upma. Using whole grains has many benefits over the processed rava like hygiene, more nutrition, free from additives.

jowar upma recipe

Most kinds of rava /semolina sold contain additives or are treated with certain kinds of gases to prevent infestations and extend the shelf life. About 60 to 80 % of the nutrients are lost with in 3 to 5 days of grinding the grains to flour or rava. So consuming whole grains is always a better choice.

I have grown up eating jowar roti almost daily since ragi and jowar are staple grains in our region. Making jowar roti regularly is not possible for me now since we are not accessible to fresh flour or a flour mill. So i try to include them whole. I make jowar dosa more often as it is very easy. This jowar upma is another one which i make though not very often, for the evening snack and sometimes for lunch.

If you are trying to include jowar in your diet for the health benefits it provides, do try this upma. It is very easy, delicious and keeps your energy levels good for hours. It is suitable for those trying to lose weight, diabetics, gestational diabetics and even to kids as it contains a good amount of calcium and magnesium along with copper and iron.

How to make jowar upma – whole grain upma

1. Wash jowar several times until water runs clear. You may need to rub them in between your palms. Add fresh water and soak for 8 to 12 hours. If soaking for over 8 hours, change the water after 6 to 8 hours. Soaking breaks the hard to digest fibers and increases the bio availability of nutrients.

soaking jonnalu for jowar upma

2. Drain up the water completely. Add fresh water and turmeric. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. 2 whistles on a medium flame and 1 whistle on a low flame.

Add fresh water and turmeric

3. When the pressure goes off, fluff them up. With the amount of water i mentioned in the recipe card, there was no water left after pressure cooking. If it is left, then continue to cook and evaporate the left over water. Set this aside. Even after thoroughly cooking, they will be chewy but easy for digestion.

pressure cooking jowar upma

4. Heat oil in a pan. Saute cumin and mustard. When they splutter, add urad dal and fry until golden.

seasoning for jonna upma

5. Add onions, chili and ginger.Saute until the onions turn soft.

Add onions, chili and ginger

6. Add chopped veggies. I used potatoes, beans, peas and capsicum. You can add whatever you like.

Add chopped veggies

7. Cover and cook on a low heat until the veggies are soft cooked. If needed sprinkle little water and cook.

Cover and cook

8. Add salt and turmeric. Mix.

Add salt and turmeric

9. Add the cooked jowar and coconut. You can skip coconut. But it adds taste and flavor.

addition of coconut for jonna upma

10. Saute for 1 to 2 mins. Add lemon juice and coriander leaves.

Add lemon juice and coriander leaves

Serve hot. It can be served alone or with papad or yogurt.

jonna upma recipe

If you are keen to try healthy whole grain recipes, you can take a look at these collections
Ragi recipes
Oats recipes
Quinoa upma
Quinoa salad

Jowar upma recipe below

Jowar upma recipe | Jonna upma | Jowar recipes

4.87 from 38 votes
Upma, this south Indian breakfast is made using jowar or sorghum. Tastes great and a good way to enjoy whole grains in your diet.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Jump to Comments

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time8 hours
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time8 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ¾ cup jowar
  • 1 cup water to pressure cook
  • oil as needed
  • ½ to ¾ tsp cumin / jeera
  • ½ to ¾ tsp mustard
  • 1 to 1 ½ tsp urad dal
  • 1 pinch hing
  • 1 onion , small , sliced
  • 2 to 3 green chilies , slit
  • 1 tsp ginger , chopped (optional)
  • ¾ cup mixed veggies , chopped finely
  • salt as needed
  • turmeric as needed
  • ¼ cup fresh grated coconut as desired


  • Wash and soak jowar for at least 8 hours. Drain and add 1 cup water and pressure cook for 2 whistles on medium flame with little turmeric. 1 more whistle on a low flame.
  • When the pressure settles down, fluff up.
  • Heat a pan with oil, allow cumin and mustard to crackle. Add urad dal, saute until golden.
  • Fry chilies, onions and ginger.
  • When the onions turn soft, add mixed veggies and saute for 2 mins.
  • Cover and cook until soft done. If needed sprinkle some water and cook.
  • Add salt and turmeric. Stir.
  • Add cooked jowar, coconut and mix.
  • Stir well and saute for 2 mins.
  • Add lemon juice and coriander leaves.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Jowar upma recipe | Jonna upma | Jowar recipes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 389 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Sodium 212mg9%
Potassium 512mg15%
Carbohydrates 74g25%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 3465IU69%
Vitamin C 16.6mg20%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 4.8mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

Follow Swasthi’s Recipes

Popular Recipes


Recipe Rating

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

Can i soak jowar in the afternoon and pressure cooker at night so that i can store in fridge to make upma next day morning??? Will it become more chewy even after cooking in the next morning ??

Hi Swasthi,
Do you have a stovetop version of this recipe please?
I bought some Jowar from my local Halal Grocery without really knowing what to do with it and this recipe sounds really good. I just don’t have a pressure cooker.

5 stars
Hi swathi for 1 cup of Jowar how much water to put n 2ndly y is my jowar taking long to b soft as want to sprout

5 stars
Boiled jowar will it be soft and not like rubber or can we crash raw jowar then pressure cook it.recepe is yummy.

Hi Swasthi…Does cooking Jowar in pressure cooker reduce its nutritional value?
Can one boil it after soaking instead of pressure cooking.
If yes, then for how much time to boil to make it edible?

Hi Swasthi,

Is it ok for a 3 year old to eat jowar dishes during summers

It is wonderful to know how our traditional jowar is utilised for making interesting recipes ,retaining the nutritional values.Expecting more such type of delicious recipes from milets.

Very useful..

5 stars
Hello Swasthi, Thanks for this wonderful recipe. Me and my husband loved it. I have a question- does it tastes good for the lunch box? I wanted to include this in my kids diet and they don’t get to heat the food in microwave in school. Any tips would be much helpful.

Thanks again for the wonderful recipes. Keep up the good work.


Hi, I have a doubt I. E. Jowar is heat to body or not.. People are telling that jowar is heat to body.. Not good for planning for pregnancy.. Is it true..

Thank you for replying to me.. Daily can I have 1 jowar roti with curry in afternoon. It doesn’t harm know..

5 stars
This upma looks yummy, will try it sometime. We are trying to reduce wheat usage so I was looking for alternatives to wheat chapati. Jola roti is something we used to have in our native (Dharwad) so I was looking for an easy way to make it – back in the native they beat it to flatten it – not an easy task 🙂
So do you happen to have a recipe for Jola roti? It would great if you could share it. I am looking for something that is easy to make and also should stay soft for the lunch next day (I carry cooked dinner as lunch for the following work day). Thanks in advance.

4 stars
Hi mam
I’m BALA I tried u recipe definitely I want to reduce my weight with good diet is there any relevant to the ragi and jonna

Thanks for the recipe (Jowar upma). Looks perfect and healthy. Will definitely try to prepare this.

Just a small suggestion. Can you add pinterest button on your blog? it will be easy to tag for all of us.

How do you make roasted Jowar snack with all spices without jowar turning into popcorn?

5 stars
I have never eaten jowar/sorghum. This looks like a good recipe for it that I want to try. I noticed there are some leaves added in the picture for step 5. Are they curry leaves?

I normally use Idli rice for making dosas. But this time I used different rice. As you said this may be the reason. I will try with idli rice next time. Thanks for all your healthy recipes.

5 stars
Tastes great.
I tried jonna dosa, but dosa is sticking to tawa. I used all 1 cup.. Rice, urad and jonna. Little bit of methi seeds.

Hi Swasthi..this time I tried with idli rice and dosas came out well..thank you.

Hi Swasthi…this time I tried jonna dosa with Idli rice and they came out well. Thank you

5 stars
Can I use bajra instead of this?please help..thank you.

Its informative and very good information.. kindly tell us how to make jowar granuels or jowar rava
soft and per your guidelines we could not make it soft..

is this dish healthy for HDL or LDL Cholesterol?

5 stars
Really a helpful recipe with jowar. I am the one who doesn’t know to prepare jowar roti. This recipe really helped me to include jowar in our diet apart from jowar roti.