So, upma made out of semolina/rava is commonly known. But this less known steamed upma dumpling is a delicacy that is yet to gain popularity. It may be because it requires a little more planning and effort, but I am going to give you alternatives that will work just as well and make this just as delicious!
Rava made out of rice or Ready made Idli Rava, Tur Dal, Freshly grated coconut or Dry unsweetened coconut flakes, Canola oil, Mustard seeds, Urad dal, Chana dal, Dried red chilies, Curry leaves.
- Make the coarse rava from rice (Soak 1.5 cups of rice in 3 cups of water for 15 minutes. Wash it well and drain off all the water completely. Spread it in one layer on a soft absorbent kitchen towel and allow to rest for about half hour. Pulse the rice in the blender to make a really coarse powder. Sieve the powder to retain only the coarse mixture. Coarse rice rava is ready! OR Simply substitute with 1.5 cups of ready-made Idli Rava from the store!)
- Roast 5 tbsp of Tur dal in a skillet and make a coarse powder and keep aside.
- Grate 1/2 cup of fresh coconut or thaw 1/2 cup of frozen freshly grated coconut (if you do not have fresh coconut handy, you can substitute it with dry unsweetened coconut flakes).
- Boil 4 cups of water in a pot. Bring it to the boiling point before proceeding to the next step.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan.
- Add 2 tbsp of mustard seeds + 2 tsp of Urad dal + 2 tsp of Chana dal + 5 dried red chilies broken into small pieces. Saute till the dals get golden brown.
- Add 1.5 cups of coarse rice rava or Idli Rava + the coarse tur dal and roast well on medium heat till it get light brown.
- Add salt to taste and 1/2 cup of coconut.
- Tear up 8 curry leaves into small pieces and add to the mixture.
- Reduce the heat to the minimum and carefully pour the boiling hot water on the coarse rice rava.
- Quickly place the lid on the pan and seal tightly.
- Allow the ‘Arisi Upma’ (rice upma) to cook for about 8 minutes.
- Uncover and mix well. The rice rava should have absorbed the water completely. If not, allow to cook a little more till it is done. (Note: This upma will be moist and a little gooey and that is exactly how you want it. If it is dry, you cannot make dumplings. If you have let it cook for too long and it seems dry, boil some more water and sprinkle slowly on the upma to make it moist so the dumplings can hold their shape).
- Switch off the heat and allow the upma to cool for 10 minutes.
- When it is slightly warm, make 2″ balls of the upma and shape them into short thick cylinders (like koftas). Place the ‘kozhakattais’ on a plate making sure that they do not stick to each other.
- Place them in a steamer and steam for 10-12 minutes.
- Allow them to cool down before taking them out of the steamer.
- Serve warm with any chutney of your choice!