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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Arisi Upma Kozhakattai

Arisi Upma Kozhakattai

These steamed coarse ricemeal balls, Arisi Upma Kozhakattai, is my mom's specialty. She whips up a batch or two in no time at all and it is an all-day kind of meal - breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner, these taste good with suitable chutneys and dips.

Now, the recipe is my mom's, so, the measurements are not precise; which suits me fine as I rarely measure the ingredients before I cook.

Basically, coarse rice meal, "arisi ravai" or "rice idlee rava" as sold in Indian stores, is coarse ground raw rice about the texture of coarse cornmeal. It is versatile in south Indian tiffin/snack dishes.

This rice meal is cooked in water with some salt and oil to a fairly thick consistency - like the standard Upma - so as to be able to take a handful and shape into egg-shaped balls. Then, steamed gently and served hot with chutneys on the side. Alternately, I've tried this with leftover thick polenta shaped into ovoids and steamed as well.

During my fledgling days of pottering about in the kitchen, I often goofed up and made the upma too thick so that after steaming, they became hard as rocks, making my dad nickname them hand grenades. But, I think I've learnt a thing or two since then, so, am happy to make this dish whenever the mood calls for it.

2 cups rice idlee rava
½ cup dry grated coconut
4-5 cups hot water (more or less)
salt to taste

tempering: 1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 2-3 dry red chilies (broken)

optional: ¼ cup toor dal, soaked for 2-3 hours and ground to a fine paste

  1. Heat oil in a pan and when shimmering add the mustard seeds, when they pop, add the dry red chilies, then add the hot water, some salt, and bring it to a boil
  2. Slowly add the rice meal while stirring constantly so as to not form any lumps
  3. Add the dry grated coconut and the toor dal paste, if using and stir till well incorporated
  4. Adjust salt to taste, cover and cook on low heat till all the water is absorbed and the rice idlee rava is cooked through and comes together to a medium-thick scoopable consistency
  5. Allow to cool a bit so it is easier to handle, and scoop a handful of it and form little oval balls
  6. Steam them in idlee cooker or other simple steamer apparatus for about 8-10 minutes
  7. Serve warm with chutneys like mint chutney or curry leaf chutney, or my favorite ridge gourd peel chutney

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  • At 7:35 AM, Blogger meltyourfat said…

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  • At 4:07 PM, Blogger Cynthia said…

    Do you think that this can be made with finely ground cornmeal?

  • At 8:40 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    hi cynthia, yes, i think cornmeal would be fine too... i have tried it with cornmeal, but, it came out brittle and didn't taste quite the same as with ricemeal which i think is starchy enough to be cohesive. But, I also think it is because I am used to the ricemeal that I did not find the cornmeal one as tasty... let me know what you think when you make it with cornmeal.

  • At 6:55 AM, Blogger Sangeeth said…

    this is a great idea....luved ur kozhukattai.....

  • At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey! its turned to be great This makes my mouth water. I tried your recipe, it turned to be great.Thanks for same,,, But It was tough time finding the various ingredients you had mentioned where I live and then I found a great resource online having good selection of various ingredients


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