Broken Rice Upma

This is my favorite tiffin from my childhood; this is one of those never satiating foods that we love to have from our mom’s kitchen. Another unique thing about this upma is, it is made from ‘upma kappi’ which is broken rice; I have never seen this in stores, it is home made or mom-sent. It is a staple in our home and a comfort food for everyone. My paternal grandpa used to say, ‘Ponni rice is born to take the form the upma kappi’ meaning that upma kappi made of ponni rice (a variety of rice) is best suited for upmas.

1. Broken rice – 2 cups
2. Carrot – 2
3. Onion – 2
4. Green peas – 1 fistful
5. Corn kernels – 1 fistful
6. Green chilies – 2
7. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
8. Water – 4 cups
9. Oil – 3 tbsp
10. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
11. Urad dal – 1 tbsp
12. Bengal gram – 1 tbsp
13. Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

Step 1: Wash the vegetables; chop the onion, carrot and green chilies.
Step 2: Heat a kadai, temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, bengal gram, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chilies and saute onion in that until translucent.
Step 3: Heat measured water with salt in another stove in parallel.
Step 4: Add carrot to the kadai and saute for 2 minutes, roast the broken rice along with the vegetables for 2 more minutes.

Step 5: Pour the hot water and close with a lid immediately; simmer the stove.

Step 6: After 5 minutes open the lid, add peas and corn and stir well.

Step 7: If uncooked and dry, sprinkle some water. Adjust salt and close the lid again for 5 minutes.

Step 8: Open stir well and switch off stove. If you prefer ‘kandal’, slightly burnt upma forming a thick bottom layer; keep in simmer for 5 more minutes.
Step 9: Serve hot with coconut chutney or idli podi or curds. Jaggery or sugar also goes well with this upma.


Kanjeepuram Idly

The other day, Priya my neighbor had given this recipe of a traditional dish called ‘Kanjeepuram idly’, a soft white mildly spiced idly which I really liked. Thank you Priya for sharing your paati’s recipe. Later, I learnt from my mother in law that, in her mother’s place they have a practice of making a special type of idli on diwali called ‘Maraka idly’ which shares the batter recipe with the kanjeepuram idli. The interesting part about maraka idlis is that these giant idlis are prepared in large bronze pot shaped vessels, with the help of big muslin cloth in which the batter is poured and steamed. ‘ However, the seasoning for kanjeepuram idly is so aromatic while maraka idli has a usual tadka. For me, practically kanjeepuram idli is what I prefer.


1.       Raw rice – 1 cup
2.       Boiled rice – 1 cup (preferably idly rice)
3.       Urad dal – 1 cup
4.       Gheel – 2 tbsp
5.       Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
6.       Crushed pepper – 1 tsp
7.       Dry ginger powder – 1 tsp
8.       Curry leaves – 1 sprig
9.       Salt as per taste
10.   Baking soda – ½ tsp

Step 1: Wash and soak rice (both the rice together) and dal separately for 2 hours. Grind the dal with enough water first and then the rice. Mix thoroughly both the batter together with salt to in pouring consistency. Leave this overnight for fermenting.

Step 2: Grease dhokla plates or large circular plates with oil to make short cylindrical idlis. Heat water in the steamer or idli pot.

Step 3: Now, heat ghee in a tadka pan, splutter cumin seeds, add crushed pepper & dry ginger powder and throw in curry leaves. Be careful not to burn the tadka.

Step 4: Put the tadka over the batter and mix well. Add the baking soda and mix well again.

Step 5: Pour the batter in the greased plates and steam them immediately. It takes 5-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the plates.


Kuzhi Paniyaram

This is a very simple-to-do and appealing dish by looks and taste. Conventionally kuzhipaniyaram (called paddu in karnataka) is made of left over idly/ dosa batter; leftover, because it turns sour in time and this dish requires more sourness. My amma and I prepare it with added finely chopped vegetables (carrots, peas, corn kernels, and the like) to make it healthy and colourfull; however, its basic version is so yum which I have shared below.

  1. Idly/ Dosa batter – 3 cups
  2. Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
  3. Green chilies – 2
  4. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  5. Ginger – 1″ size, finely grated
  6. Oil – 2 tbsp
  7. Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
  8. Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
  9. Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  10. Bengal gram – 1 tbsp
  11. Urad dal – 1 tbsp
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp chopped
  14. Vegetables – 1 cup finely diced (Optional)


Step 1: Take the idly/ dosa batter and let it ferment a bit to get sour in case it isn’t.
Step 2: Heat oil in a pan,  splutter mustard seeds & cumin seeds, add bengal gram & urad dal, add chopped curry leaves & green chilies, sprinkle asafoetida, add the chopped onion and saute until it is translucent. Add required salt.

Step 3: This step is, if you plan to add vegetables. Add vegetables and saute until half done as it may be cooked again with batter. I personally feel adding vegetables is just to add the nutritional value and look of the dish; taste-wise it is softened instead of crispy and sweetened slightly which is not how the dish tastes. Sprinkle necessary salt.

Step 4: Now add this with the batter and mix well. 
Step 5: Heat kuzhiyappakal, add few drops of oil in each kuzhi  and pour batter in each of them; simmer the heat for say 3 minutes.
Step 6: Check for browned surface and flip each of them and sprinkle little oil. Brown both the surfaces and take them in a plate using fork or pin provided with kuzhiyappakal.

Step 7: Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar. My granny prefers to have it with rasam; and my husband has it with idly podi and curds.


Arisi Adai

Arisi adai in tamilnadu or akki roti in karnataka is a very common tiffin; it is had as breakfast in karnataka and dinner in tamilnadu. I’ve seen people adding greens in adai (Keerai adai) or carrot and adais are made with ragi flour in the same way. Conventionally, for adais the par boiled rice is soaked and wet ground and cooked partially to get dough consistency before making adais.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2
1.     Idli rice– 2 cups
2.     Salt as per taste
3.     Carrot – 1 grated
4.     Coriander – 1 tbsp chopped
5.     Green chilies – 1 chopped
6.     Ginger – 1 “piece grated
7.     Oil – 3 tbsp
Step 1: Wash and soak rice for a couple of hours and grind it into fine batter.
Step 2: Add salt and pour the batter in a non-stick handi and heat it by stirring. It thickens soon, add to it carrot, ginger, coriander, green chilies and a tablespoon of oil. Stir until you get a soft dough like consistency.

Step 3: While the dough is still hot divide into equal portions and roll them into balls. Now there are two ways of making them into circular shapes. On a plastic sheet either grease your hands and pat them thin or sandwich ball between two plastic sheets and roll into a thin disc. This needs some practice and also depends on dough consistency. Do this one by one.

Step 4: Heat the tava, grease some oil over it; carefully toss the adai from sheet to tava.
Step 5: Let it cook for a minute, then with dosa ladle flip it and cook the other side. This wil not brown much but you can see brown spots as in phulkas when done. Cook thoroughly; it takes about 3 minutes for 1 adai.

Step 6: Serve hot with jaggery and ghee or butter or chutney of your choice or pickle or even idly podi. I can have it without any supplement.
* Some people prefer to temper mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida and saute the vegetables in it, mix in the dough instead of adding them raw.
* Some people add mashed stead- rice to get soft and textured adais.
*Instant adais can be made by kneading rice flour with other ingredients. The taste is not comparable to fresh ground wet flour though.


Rava Idly

Rava idly is a favorite for many of us at restaurants but at home are we fans of rava idly? I had given few attempts in the past and they have come out ok and was not closer to what we get in restaurants, however this time it was closer to the one’s we get in restaurants…


1.     Sooji – 2 cups
2.     Thick curd – 2 cups
3.     Water – 1 cup
4.     Salt to taste
5.     Ghee – 1 tbsp
6.     Cashewnut – 1 tbsp
7.     Oil – 1 tbsp
8.     Asafoetida – 1 pinch
9.     Mustard seeds -1 tsp
10. Bengal gram – 1 tbsp
11. Urad dal – 1 tbsp
12. Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
13. Pepper – 1/2 tbsp
14. Curry leaves – 1 spring
15. Green chilies – 3
16. Baking soda – 1 tsp


Step 1: Heat ghee and roast broken cashew nuts in it, drain the cashews and roast sooji in the same ghee until the flavor emanates. Let it cool for few minutes.
Step 2: Take the roasted sooji, Beaten curds, water, salt and mix well. Keep it aside for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Heat oil, crackle mustard seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, add bengal gram, urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chilies and fry until the dals get golden brown color.
Step 4: Keep the steamer or the idly cooker on heat; add the tempering, roasted cashews, baking soda to the sooji batter and mix well.

Step 5: Pour batter into idly plates and steam cook for 5-10 minutes. Check for proper cooking with a tooth pick or knife before taking out.

Step 6: Serve hot with coconut chutney.

* Usually grated coconut, carrot, ginger and chopped coriander are used in rava idlies. I did not use them as they de-color on steaming; also pepper and cumin have digestion properties and so i replaced ginger with those.