Arisi Upma Recipe | How to make Tamil Style Rice Upma | Foodomania

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Arisi Upma

Aug 03, 2019         no comment.
A South-Indian delicacy, this simple vegetarian Arisi Upma is great as a breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Arisi Upma Recipe by Foodomania - South Indian Rice Upma with step by step recipe tutorial | Video recipe for arisi upma | Vegetarian Indian Breakfast recopes

One of my earliest memories of eating the Arisi Upma is at a traditional Hindu temple in Mumbai. Made with no-fuss ingredients, this dish is the perfect example of just how simple, yet tasty the Tamil Brahmin cuisine is.

So, let me break this down for you. Arisi = Rice, Upma = a thick Porridge. Upma is a very popular breakfast dish in the Indian subcontinent, especially in South-India and Maharashtra. This Rice Upma is made with broken rice (also known as Rice Rava) and a handful of ingredients. Traditionally, it is cooked in a bronze vessel (called vengala paanai) which renders a beautiful aroma and a crust to this upma. But you can also make this is in a non-stick pan or a pressure cooker (which is what we prefer, since it is so easy).

The Arisi Upma is served with something tangy. An eggplant curry known as Kathirikkai Gothsu is typically served with this dish. But it just as well can be served with any delicious chutney or Sambar you prefer.


Arisi Upma

  • Author: Kavitha Ramaswamy
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x


A South-Indian delicacy, this simple vegetarian Arisi Upma is great as a breakfast, lunch or dinner. Get the recipe for making this broken Rice Upma in a Pressure Cooker.



Spice Powder for the Upma 

  • 1 Tablespoon Toor Dal
  • 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorn

Main Ingredients for Arisi Upma

  • 4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 inch or 1 teaspoon Asafetida powder (Hing)
  • 2 pieces Broken Dry Red Chili
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Mustard Seeds (Rai / Kadugu) 
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 teapsoon Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Tablespoon Chana Dal
  • 1 Tablespoon Urad Dal
  • 2 Green Chili (adjust for spice)
  • 1 cup fresh Curry Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Coconut
  • 2 teaspoons Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 cup Broken Rice or Rice Rava
  • Spice Powder (as prepared above)
  • 2 cups Water (adjust if required more or less)

Note on Water

  • For 1 cup of the rice, you will need around 2 cups of water

Note on Rice Rava or Broken Rice

  • Wash 23 cups of White Rice well. 
  • Dry it completey on a clean cloth.
  • Grind coarsely and use as required
  • OR buy readymade Rice Rava from the store


  1. Grind together the ingredients mentioned under “Spice Powder”. Set aside.
  2. To a pressure cooker, add 4 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil and let it get hot.
  3. Add the Asafetida powder (Hing) and fry for 20 seconds.
  4. Add the Dry Red Chili and Black Mustard Seeds. Let the seeds splutter.
  5. Add the Cumin (jeera) and Black Peppercorns, Chana Dal and Urad Dal. 
  6. Fry till the seeds are golden (for 30-40 seconds).
  7. Add the green chili, curry leaves and ginger. Fry well for 10-20 seconds.
  8. Add 2-2.5 cups of Water and bring it to a boil.
  9. Add the freshly grated coconut and salt and mix well. (You can taste the water here to check for salt and adjust if needed).
  10. Add all of the Ground Spice Powder and mix well.
  11. Keep the stove on low flame. Slowly add the rice and keep stirring until the it is all in. Keep stirring and cooking on low heat for 1-2 minutes until the rice rava has started to cook.
  12. Close the cooker, put the lid on and cook on medium heat for 3 Whistles.
  13. Let the pressure release completely.
  14. Open the lid and use a forked spoon or the back of a spatula to fluff up the upma,

Serving Suggestion –

  1. Serve it with your favorite chutney or sambar varieties
  2. Or you can make the Eggplant Gothsu, which is a more traditionaly tangy gravy based dish that is served with Arisi Upma

If you don’t have a pressure cooker …

  • You can cook on a large pot on non-stick pan with high sides. DO the same steps as above. 
  • Close the lid, and cook on a simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice upma is done

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Steamed
  • Cuisine: South-Indian

Keywords: arisi upma, arisi upma recipe, rice upma

If you liked this Iyengar-style Arisi Upma recipe, do leave a comment down below with your thoughts! 🙂 You can also have my recipes delivered to your inbox or follow me on social media – YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or TikTok.

Until next time,


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