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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.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Author: Srividhya G


  • 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


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


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)