Heat a pan or kadhai first. Add rava and begin to roast.
Stir often while roasting the rava. The rava or sooji grains should become fragrant and start to look dry, separate and crisp. Don't brown the rava.
Switch off the flame and then add the roasted rava in a plate and keep aside.
In a pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee or oil. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds.
When you hear the crackling sound of mustard seeds, it means they are getting fried.
Now add the cumin seeds along with chana dal and urad dal. Fry till they begin to brown a bit.
Immediately add cashews and begin to fry. By the time, the cashews get golden the dals would also get golden.
Now add the finely chopped onions. Saute the onions till they become translucent.
Then add the chopped green chilly, ginger, curry leaves. Saute for a minute.
Then add water to this mixture. Add salt as required.
Add sugar. It is optional and you can skip it. We prefer a slight sweet taste in the upma and hence we add it. Stir well.
On a medium to high flame, heat the water and let it come to a rolling boil.
When the water comes to a rolling boil, lower the flame to its lowest.
Then add the rava in 4 to 5 batches with a spoon. Once you add the rava, stir immediately.
Add the next batch of rava. Stir again. This way keep on adding and stirring the rava up to the last batch.
Quickly stir and mix well. The rava grains absorb water and thus swell and get cooked.
Cover and allow the rava upma to steam for 2 minutes on the low flame.
Switch off the flame. Here the rava is cooked and the upma is ready.
Lastly add chopped coriander leaves. Stir well.
Serve hot upma with coconut chutney or lime wedges.