Arisi Upma | Rice Upma

Arisi Upma, a simple savory tiffin delicacy prepared with rice and toor dal. It is spiced up with cumin seeds, pepper and red chillies and tempered in coconut oil with the hint of grated coconut. Arisi Upma – IMO it is a mix between Ven Pongal (Savory pongal) and milagu sadam. I usually grind rice and toor dal together along with cumin seeds and pepper and cook them.

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 I am starting this A-Z challenge with A for Arisi Upma. Let’s learn the ABCs with food. (What can you expect from a foodie?) You can read about this challenge here and as it is A-Z I thought why not participate here too? So sending this recipe for both the challenges. When we were in Periyakulam, Amma used to prepare this with Kurunai Arisi (Broken Rice). During the process of husk removal, rice breaks and they collect these broken rice and they are called as kurunai. They can be used for idly or dosa too. For this recipe, I am going with regular raw rice. I have tried this recipe with boiled rice also. Basically you can use the regular that your are using.

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I learnt this recipe from my MIL. The secret ingredient in her Arisi Upma is the addition of coconut oil and grated coconut. Those two ingredients take this recipe to next level and the coconut and coconut oil clearly distinguishes from savory pongal. (Ven pongal). This is a one meal perfect for breakfast and also dinner. 

I have tried both pressure cooker method and kadai method. For pressure cooker method and 2 whistles are enough for this recipe. Below is the traditional kadai method. Depending upon the rice (old or new) the water and the cooking time differs. So in this method, make sure you have enough water so that it doesn’t get browned and also once the rice is cooked turn of the heat.

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Ingredients:

  • Rice – 1.5 cups
  • Toor Dal – 2 tbsps
  • Dried Red Chillies – 1 +3
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Black Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1.5 tsps
  • Water – 3 cups + 1 cup (If required, if you want mushy and soft upma like pongal add more water. I usually prefer soft upma, so I add more water)
  • Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Hing – 1/2 tsp

Steps:

  • Pulse together rice, toor dal, 1 red chilly, black pepper and cumin seeds together. It should be coarse and half ground and make sure you don’t grind it smoothly.

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  • Now heat the kadai and add coconut oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, hing and break the remaining three red chillies and add it.
  • As they start to splutter, add the grated coconut and fry for two minutes.

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  • Now add the water and salt and let it boil.
  • Check for salt at this stage and if required adjust accordingly.

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  • Once the water starts boiling, add the coarse rice mixture. Make sure you stir while adding the rice mix. This ensures that there are no lumps.

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  • Mix well and reduce the heat to medium low and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Now mix well and at this stage if required add more water (not more than 1 cup) and mix again.
  • Reduce the heat to low and Cover and cook till the rice is completely done. This will take about 5 to 6 minutes. 
  • Add the curry leaves in the end and that’s it. 

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Arisi upma is ready. Serve hot with gojju or chutney. I served this with coconut chutney and onion gojju.

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Notes:

  • Make sure you are pulsing the rice mix and it should be coarse. 
  • Stirring while adding the rice to boiling mix is very important for avoiding lumps.
  • Always cook the rice in medium low heat. (Number setting between 3 and 4)

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Arisi Upma | Rice Upma
Arisi Upma, a simple savory tiffin delicacy prepared with rice and toor dal. It is spiced up with cumin seeds, pepper and red chillies and tempered in coconut oil with the hint of grated coconut.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. Rice - 1.5 cups
  2. Toor Dal - 2 tbsps
  3. Dried Red Chillies - 1 +3
  4. Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
  5. Black Pepper - 1 tsp
  6. Salt - 1.5 tsps
  7. Water - 3 cups + 1 cup (If required, if you want mushy and soft upma like pongal add more water. I usually prefer soft upma, so I add more water)
  8. Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
  9. Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
  10. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  11. Urad Dal - 1 tsp
  12. Channa dal - 1 tsp
  13. Curry leaves - a few
  14. Hing - 1/2 tsp
Instructions
  1. Pulse together rice, toor dal, 1 red chilly, black pepper and cumin seeds together. It should be coarse and half ground and make sure you don’t grind it smoothly.
  2. Now heat the kadai and add coconut oil.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, hing and break the remaining three red chillies and add it.
  4. As they start to splutter, add the grated coconut and fry for two minutes.
  5. Now add the water and salt and let it boil.
  6. Check for salt at this stage and if required adjust accordingly.
  7. Once the water starts boiling, add the coarse rice mixture. Make sure you stir while adding the rice mix. This ensures that there are no lumps.
  8. Mix well and reduce the heat to medium low and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Now mix well and at this stage if required add more water (not more than 1 cup) and mix again.
  10. Reduce the heat to low and Cover and cook till the rice is completely done. This will take about 5 to 6 minutes.
  11. Add the curry leaves in the end and that’s it.
Notes
  1. Make sure you are pulsing the rice mix and it should be coarse.
  2. Stirring while adding the rice to boiling mix is very important for avoiding lumps.
  3. Always cook the rice in medium low heat. (Number setting between 3 and 4)
Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen http://www.vidhyashomecooking.com/
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51 thoughts on “Arisi Upma | Rice Upma

  1. What a yummy, homey and comforting dish that is Vidhya. My mom something similar, but I rarely make it at home. You are tempting me to try it some time.

  2. Amara

    Nice start with Upma Srividhya, my dad’s favorite Upma so mom always made it. Looking forward to see more delicious Tamil cuisine from you..:)

  3. Same pinch pa on 3 counts; I also learnt this dish from my MIL , was to post this too as my first dish here , and we also add coconut 😊!! Yay … So hi-fi there on a Tamil cuisine series too —- look forward to ur spread ..

  4. usha

    We make something similar with few variations. We use either chana or moong dal and the dal is use whole. Looking forward to your traditional Tamil dishes.

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