Every evening from school meant having tiffin prepared by dear Madurai amma. It would not be a lot in quantity, just a little bit to satisfy that crazy hunger pangs when you come home from school after a tiring day and a crowded journey jostled in public transport. It would not even be warm, let alone hot, but lovingly served. When you are a student, somehow you crave for exotic eatables like Gobi Manchurian, fried rice. pulav, channa batura and the like. In contrast, madurai amma would make Upma, Pidi Kozhakattai, Poha, Dosa etc. After some years, in my hostel for my Masters, I would recount those lovely home made preparations waiting for you when you come home after a tiring day. Life after masters was completely different. I started eating all fruits and vegetables and an thing that amma or Madurai amma would prepare and serve on my plate. I had realised the importance of what I had taken for granted!!!
One such tiffin entree that Madurai amma was an expert at, was Arisi Upma. Many times, it would be the dinner for every one on Amma Vasya, festivals, Pradosham etc.This evening, I had made Arisi Upma for dinner and was recounting those lovely days of my childhood…..
It is a quick preparation, that does not need any prep work done ahead of time.
1 cup of Raw Rice ground coarsely in the mixer.
1/4 cup of Toor Dhal.
1 spoon of Urad Dhal.
1 1/2 spoons pf Black Pepper.
1 spoon of Jeera.
1/4 cup of fresh coconut.
2-2 1/4 cups of water.(Depending on induvidual preference of Upma consistency)
A handful of broken cashews.
Mustard, Jeera, Red Chillies, Urad Dhal, Channa Dal, Cashew, Hing and Curry Leaves.
- As already mentioned coarsely grind the rice in the mixer and set aside.
- In the mixer jar add – toor dhal, pepper. 1 red chilli and give it a quick pulse. Then add the fresh coconut and 5-6 cashew pieces.
- Pulse it for a few more seconds and set aside. You will have a coarse mix.
- Set the kadai on the stove and add 2-3 spoons of coconut oil. (You could also use ghee/canola.)
- Add urad dhal, channa dal, mustard, cashew, jeera, 2-3 red chillies coarsely broken, hing and curry leaves.
- After a few seconds add the coarse ground rice and then the coarsely ground dal coconut mix.
- Allow to saute in the oil for a minute or two.
- Now add the water and mix well. Switch off the heat and transfer to a vessel along with the water.
- Pressure cook it just as you would do with rice.
- Generally I allow 3 whistles after the weight. Give a couple minutes for the steam to work off and then open the cooker.
- Hot, cooked Arisi Upma is ready to be served.
- Serve with Coconut Chutney or Tomato Ginger Gravy.