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Millet Upma

From Mira Gugnani, United Way India 

Recipe Story

This year, 2023 the United Nations declared as the ‘International Year of the Millets’, and United Way India is spearheading the initiative by promoting millets as low-cost, nutritional superfoods inspired by traditional recipes, aiming to improve the overall wellbeing. Since 2023, United Way India under the “Swahar'' program has been supporting 4600+ beneficiaries at 435 Aanganwadis (mother and child care centers) catering to children under 6 years of age, pregnant and lactating women. Each beneficiary receives a monthly supply of traditional and healthy food packets that include millets such as Ragi (finger Millet), Sorghum (great millet) and Pearl millet.


  • 1 cup millet (barnyard, little, or kodo millet) 
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped vegetables (carrots, peas, bell peppers, etc.) 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 green chilies, chopped 
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 10-12 curry leaves 
  • 2 tbsp oil or clarified butter 
  • Salt to taste


1. Dry roast millet in a pan until it turns golden and emits a nutty aroma. Remove and set aside. 2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. Let them splutter. 3. Add chopped onions and green chilies. Sauté until onions become translucent. 4. Add chopped vegetables and cook until they soften. 5. Add the roasted millet and mix well. 6. Add 2.5 cups of water and salt. Cover and cook until the millet is tender. 7. Fluff it with a fork and serve hot.