Samak ka Pulao/Upma

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Samak ke chawal or bhagar or varai are used regularly for fasting and are a very healthy option. This is a gluten free grain that is light on the stomach, helping in the detox process.

For those looking for a variation or alternative to their wheat and rice meals, this can make a great weekday or weekend lunch or dinner meal.


  • 3 serving spoon of  raw barnyard millet/samak/bhagar/varai
  • 1 small to medium sized potato, cut into cubes
  • 12-15 roasted peanut seeds
  • 1 tbsp desi ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (optional, only if you like it or consume it)
  • 1 green chili, smashed with a mortar and pestle
  • ½ litre or approx. 2 cups water
  • Sendha or rock salt to taste

Dry masala:
In case one does not use garam masala during fasting, they may skip adding them.

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 green cardamom seeds
  • 8 to 10 peppercorns
  • 1” piece of cinnamon


  1. Dry roast the millets on a low flame for about 8-10 minutes, until they acquire a nutty flavour. Ensure that they do not turn brown. This step is crucial to get cooked millets which are fluffy and do not stick to each other.
  2. Crush the green chilies coarsely in a pestle and mortar. Keep it aside.
  3. Roast the peanuts over a slow flame. Once done, let them cool down. Then crush them coarsely too.
  4. In a small iron skillet, put in the whole spices and roast until aromatic. Keep aside.
  5. In a large pan put in the desi ghee and heat it over a medium flame until it melts. Lower the heat and put in the cumin and green chilies, stir fry for a minute.
  6. Add the roasted peanuts and the whole spices to this. Then add the chopped potato. For those who consume other vegetable during fasts, can add those chopped at this juncture.
  7. Stir in the potato and other optional vegetables and cook covered for about 3 to 4 minutes on low heat.
  8. Pour in the water over the vegetables and bring to a boil. Lower the heat.
  9. Wash the millets and put them into the water, just as it comes to a boil.
  10. Add salt to taste.
  11. Cover and cook till done on the lowest heat possible, for about 15 to 20 minutes. If after 15 minutes, you still find that the top layer is uncooked, then sprinkle a little water over it, cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  12. Garnish with coriander. Serve with curd and flax seed chutney.


You can add any seasonal vegetables like bottle gourd, pumpkin and etc.

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