Foxtail Millet Upma / Thinai Vegetable Upma Recipe

If you are trying to incorporate Millets in your diet, what better way than starting with Breakfast – Try the Foxtail Millet Upma or Thinai Vegetable Upma Recipe loaded with vegetables, cooked in a pressure cooker and you will not be disappointed.

Foxtail Millet Upma / Thinai Vegetable Upma Recipe

If you are looking for healthy millet based Indian Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes, then this Foxtail Millet Upma Recipe that I am sharing today is just the recipe you should be trying at home!

Foxtail Millet also known as “Thinai” in Tamil. It is called as “Navane” in Kannada. “Kangni” in Hindi and “Kang” in Gujarati.

Upma is the most common breakfast in every Indian home and one of the most popular South Indian Breakfast recipe ever! While Semolina is what makes the traditional Upma truly delicious, I love the Millet based Upma too. Loaded with vegetables, these can be quite filling with a side of vegetable sambar and South Indian chutney varieties.

I like to serve this Upma with Kothamalli Chutney or the Coriander Coconut Chutney (as seen in the pic). You can however, serve Thakkali Chutney or Tomato Chutney, Peerkangai Thol Chutney or Ridge Gourd Skin Chutney as Side dish or Accompaniment too.

Foxtail Millet Upma served with chutney and tea
Vegetable Loaded Foxtail Millet Upma served with Coriander Coconut Chutney

One of the best part about this recipe is that the Millet Upma is cooked in a Pressure Cooker. Absolutely easy and life saving when you have crazy mornings or want to settle for something simple as dinner. You can prep for this recipe by bulk chopping vegetables and then its a matter of sauteing, pressure cooking while you get your other chores done.

Since the Upma is vegetable loaded plus millets, it is quite filling as a meal. The leftovers stay fresh in the refrigerator for couple of days. I sometimes plan this for lunch and pair it with a thayir pachadi or South Indian Raita and /or a Piping hot dal for a complete meal experience.

Last month, I had shared a Millet Based Breakfast Recipe called Proso Millet Idli which had No Rice and I had some readers asking for Foxtail Millet recipes, especially Upma with tips to cooking it right, as excess water leads to mushy upma texture which is hard to please the family.

Tips on How to Cook Foxtail Millet in Pressure Cooker

  • Always soak your millets before cooking. Ideal soaking time 20 minutes for 1 cup (250 ml).
  • This has 2 benefits (1) you would require less water to cook and (2) your millets will be non-sticky and each grain would be separate (as you can see in the pictures).
  • For 1 cup of Foxtail Millet, I have added 1.5 cups of Water. Pressure cooked with 4 whistles in a 20 litre Pressure cooker.
  • I use the same measurement when using Barnyard Millet, Proso Millet too. The grain size of all these millets are almost similar, so it works.

Below is the pictorial example of how I cook these millets in a 20 litre pressure cooker.

Filling the Cooker with water and placing the ring inside. It should sink to the bottom and not float
Front View of the 20 litre Pressure cooker
The Millet Upma is placed in the container over the ring. Cover the vessel with lid. Note – I can place 2 more vessels of the same size and shape one above the other.

Note – If you have a smaller cooker, you can do the entire process of sauteing and cooking directly in the cooker itself.

For much better understanding of the process, let us look at the step wise process below.

Step by Step Recipe to Cook Foxtail Millet Upma in Pressure Cooker

(1) Start by washing the Foxtail Millet under running tap water, rinsing and then soaking it for 15 to 20 minutes, until the prep work is done.

(2) Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadhai, add 1 tsp chana dal, 1/8 tsp mustard seeds and 3-4 nos. whole red chillies. Allow the mustard to crackle, add a pinch of asafoetida or hing.

Tempering for upma

(3) Now add the grated carrots (1/2 cup) and fresh or frozen green peas (1/2 cup). Saute them on low heat for a few seconds.

Mixed Vegetables for Millet upma

(4) Add grated ginger, finely chopped green chillies and curry leaves.

(5) Now add 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder or haldi and salt to taste. Mix well.

(6) Now add the soaked and drained Foxtail Millet to the vegetable mixture. Mix Well.

Foxtail Millet or Thinai upma recipe

(7) Allow to cook for a few minutes until the water evaporates.

(8) Transfer this to a pressure cooker vessel and add water (1 cup millet : 1 1/2 cup Water). Mix well and cover with lid. Pressure cook for 4 whistles.

(9) Once pressure is released, remove the vessel from the pressure cooker and open the lid. Use a fork to mix. Delicious Foxtail Millet Upma is ready to serve with an accompaniment of your choice.

foxtail millet upma ready in a pressure cooker

Recipe Notes

  • This can be easily made in a pan too and doesn’t need a pressure cooker, if you don’t have one. Just follow all the steps up to adding the soaked millets and allowing the water to evaporate. Now add water to the kadhai and cover with a lid. Allow to cook on low heat until done.
  • The recipe is vegan but not gluten free as I have added asafoetida or hing. You can skip the same or use alternative.
  • You can serve this Upma with a dollop of ghee, would taste amazing!
  • In case you are in a hurry and have not soaked the millets, just wash it a couple of times, rinse and while pressure cooking, add 1/2 cup extra water.
  • Add any vegetables of your choice for this recipe. I have added seasonal vegetables like carrots and peas. You can add bell peppers, boiled corn, broccoli, cauliflower, beans etc.
  • I tend to add a little extra turmeric powder in most of my recipes as I love the ingredient. You can add any home made masala too to this Upma. Garam Masala would be a good choice.
  • I have kept this recipe No Onion No Garlic. You can add chopped onions after the mustard seeds have crackled and the chana dal has roasted.
Low Oil No Onion No Garlic Foxtail Millet Upma
A cup of Tea, Millet Upma and Chutney is your perfect breakfast
Foxtail Millet Upma

Foxtail Millet Upma / Thinai Vegetable Upma Recipe

Vidya Narayan
Foxtail Millet Upma or Thinai Vegetable Upma is a Wholesome healthy and filling South Indian Vegetarian Millet Breakfast Recipe. Step by Step Recipe includes how to cook Foxtail Millet in a pressure cooker for the perfect non sticky texture.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Foxtail Millet or Thinai 1 cup is 250 ml
  • 3/4 cup Green Peas (Fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup Grated Carrot
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Chana Dal
  • 1/8 tsp Mustard Seeds or Rai
  • 3-4 nos. Whole Red Chillies
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Green Chillies finely chopped Optional or can be adjusted acc to preference
  • 1 tsp Grated Ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups Water for Pressure cooking + extra for soaking the millets as required
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Start by washing the Foxtail Millet under running tap water, rinsing and then soaking it for 15 to 20 minutes, until the prep work is done.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadhai, add 1 tsp chana dal, 1/8 tsp mustard seeds and 3-4 nos. whole red chillies. Allow the mustard to crackle, add a pinch of asafoetida or hing.
  • Now add the grated carrots (1/2 cup) and fresh or frozen green peas (1/2 cup). Saute them on low heat for a few seconds.
  • Add grated ginger, finely chopped green chillies and curry leaves.
  • Now add 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder or haldi and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Add the soaked Foxtail Millet to the vegetable mixture. Mix Well.
  • Allow to cook for a few minutes until the water evaporates.
  • Transfer this to a pressure cooker vessel and add water (1 cup millets : 1 1/2 cup Water). Mix well and cover with lid. Pressure cook for 4 whistles.
  • Once pressure is released, remove the vessel from the pressure cooker and open the lid. Use a fork to mix. Delicious Foxtail Millet Upma is ready to serve with an accompaniment of your choice.

Notes

  • This can be easily made in a pan too and doesn’t need a pressure cooker, if you don’t have one. Just follow all the steps upto adding the soaked millets and allowing the water to evaporate. Now add water to the kadhai and cover with a lid. Allow to cook on low heat until done.
  • The recipe is vegan but not gluten free as I have added asafoetida or hing. You can skip the same or use alternative.
  • You can serve this Upma with a dollop of ghee, would taste amazing!
  • In case you are in a hurry and have not soaked the millets, just wash it a couple of times, rinse and while pressure cooking, add 1/2 cup extra water.
  • Add any vegetables of your choice for this recipe. I have added seasonal vegetables like carrots and peas. You can add bell peppers, boiled corn, broccoli, cauliflower, beans etc.
  • I tend to add a little extra turmeric powder in most of my recipes as I love the ingredient. You can add any home made masala too to this Upma. Garam Masala would be a good choice.
  • I have kept this recipe No Onion No Garlic. You can add chopped onions after the mustard seeds have crackled and the chana dal has roasted.
Keyword Foxtail Millet Recipe, Foxtail Millet Upma Recipe, How to Cook Millets in Pressure cooker, No Onion No Garlic Recipe, South Indian Breakfast Recipe, Thinai Upma, Vegetable Upma Recipe with Millets
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @masalachilli_vidyanarayan or tag #masalachilli_vidyanarayan

Suggested Recipe Variations and Leftover Ideas

  • Turn this Foxtail Millet Upma into a Khichdi – Add 2 1/2 cups water and 1/3rd cup of Soaked yellow lentils or Toovar Dal (Arhar Dal) to this mix. Serve it with a side of Curd and papad for a complete meal.
  • Make Vegetable Millet Tikkis – Add boiled and mashed potatoes / sweet potatoes along with vegetables of your choice such as boiled corn, beetroot. Add spices like garam masala, amchur, season it and shape it into tikkis. Air Fry them or pan fry them with little oil.
  • Alternatively, you can cook these tikkis in an Appe Pan with oil and pack them for your kids lunch box or serve them as after school snacks at home.

Some Millet Recipes on the blog

  • Ragi Idli – Made with Whole Ragi Seeds, Rice and Urad Dal, this is Not an Instant Recipe but made with fermented batter. Check out the recipe for spongy idlis and fermentation tips.
  • Oats Mixed Millet Dosa – An Instant Dosa recipe with Oats and Mixed Millets that can be whipped up easily for a busy morning or early dinner option. Can be paired with a vegetable sambar or chutney.

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Thank you for visiting

Vidya Narayan

Views: 3060

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Monika

    5 stars
    Tempting and Healthy option…a must try soon.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Glad you liked it Monika. Please let me know.

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