Sunday, December 29, 2013

Akki Tari (Rice rava) Uppittu - an old classic rejuvenated with fragrant herbs

Staying home during Holidays is fun and exhausting, fun because of all the stuff we get to do together as a family in a relaxed manner and exhausting because that is when I start opening closets and cupboards for a deep cleaning :-). We enjoyed the mundane things such as a lazy breakfast as the pace was so much slower compared to a week day rush. Actually, I have been cooking sporadically this past week, did minimal cooking when it was the three of us at home, skipped cooking altogether on some days and had sandwiches on the go and then went back to the kitchen with a vengeance to cook elaborate meals on the days I had guests. No pictures taken so will get to the new recipes next time I make them. I baked 3 different cakes within a span of a week, starting off with the fruit cake, followed by the muffins (not a cake exactly, but..) and finished it off with a carrot cake for the dinner on Friday. All three cakes were shared with different groups of people and devoured. After all the baking, I am a little caked out and baked out for now :-). I tried a few variations in my carrot cake recipe this time and it turned out as delicious as the previous version, I have updated the post, so if you haven't tried this recipe yet go ahead and make it your dessert next time. Served with a scoop of ice cream, it reminded us of the carrot halwa+ice cream combo.
The past week has been a mixture of sweet and sad events as we try to bid farewell to 2013 and welcome the new year. First of all, I don't even know how the entire year consisting of 12 months with an average of 30 days went by so fast, I look back and still remember the beginning of the year, I like to think this is because we had fun doing what we did and had a good year overall. Last week, I heard the news of one of my favorite Kannada poets passing on. Dr. G.S. Shivarudrappa whose poems made such wonderful Bhavageethegalu (light music genre) was someone I had the privilege of personally meeting at his home. While he became a household name with the music his songs made, he wrote much poignant pieces outside the genre too. The writer is gone but the writing lingers in the hearts of many and the legacy lives on.., here is a wonderful piece of poetry sung beautifully by 2 of Karnataka's greatest light music singers - for those of you who do not understand Kannada, the song is from the perspective of a singer, how he/she derives happiness just by the act of singing and does not sing for the listeners or the accolades.

Click here to listen - Yede Tumbi Haaduvenu

Two days back came the news of Farooque Sheikh's sudden death from a cardiac arrest. If you enjoy old Bollywood movies, go watch this natural actor in movies like "Chasme Baddoor" and "Kissi se na kehna" for a light comedy or "Umrao Jaan" and "Katha" for a more serious fare. Handsome, sincere and charismatic, he was one of the heroes I enjoyed watching movies of.

2 exits that act as a reminder of life so transient, and the weather is not helping much either. I am actually looking forward to starting work tomorrow and keep the brain engaged a little more rigorously elsewhere.
Before we end the year, here is a very homely and simple uppittu/upma made with a different ingredient than the usual upma rava. In our house, it featured on special days during the winter season when avarekalu abounded the market. Nammamma always made this with avarekalu (papdi lilva). After that one year of making a rare finding of this bean in my local grocery store, I haven't been lucky again. I resort to the frozen packs to satisfy my cravings when they hit bad. Since I didn't have the avarekalu this time, I used the frozen green Toor beans (these are whole beans and are available in frozen bags at most Indian groceries).

If you are used to avarekalu, you will be familiar with their unmistakable aroma which makes this uppittu very special, since I didn't have it, I used some fresh Dill leaves to make up for the missing aroma and the result was a delicious uppittu. This upma tastes very different from the regular upma and is a refreshing change. It is a saatvik uppittu usually made without onions.

What do you need to make Akki Tari Uppittu?
2 cups akki tari/rice rave - See below to make recipe at home
2 cups water
2 Tblsp grated coconut
3/4 cup frozen green Toor or avarekalu (papdi lilva)
1 cup chopped dill leaves
2 Tblsp oil
1 Tsp mustard
1 Tsp cumin
2 green chilies
1/2 Tsp black pepper coarsely crushed
few curry leaves
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)

How do you make Akki Tari at home?
  • I used brown rice for a richer fiber alternative.
  • Wash rice twice in running water and drain all the water from it.
  • Spread a cheese cloth or kitchen napkin in a dry spot on your counter and spread the washed rice evenly in a thin layer.
  • Let it dry overnight or for 6-8 hours until the dampness is gone completely.
  • Powder in your mixer/grinder to a coarse rava consistency.
  • A cup of brown rice yields about a cup of rice rava.
  • This can be preserved for a few weeks stored in a dry container with lid. Make sure rice is devoid of any moisture before you powder it. I have learnt this lesson the hard way as damp rice results in distasteful growth in the powder and makes it inedible.
How do you make Akki(Rice) Tari(Rava) uppittu?
  • Remove stems and cut green chilies into 2 or 3 pieces.
  • Clean and chop Dill leaves finely.
  • Cook Toor or avarekalu with a pinch of salt in 1 cup of water until soft.
  • Measure 2 cups of rice rava, heat a skillet on medium heat and roast the rice rava stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes or until it warms up. It doesn't need to be browned but just heated through.
  • Take the rice rave onto a plate and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in the same pan, add mustard, cumin and green chilies. Let mustard pop.
  • Add coarsely crushed black pepper and curry leaves.
  • Add the chopped Dill leaves and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the leaves wilt and you get the aroma of the leaves.
  • Drain and reserve the water used to cook Toor (or Avarekalu) and add the cooked beans to the seasoning along with remaining salt.
  • Add the roasted rice rava and grated coconut and give a good mix.
  • Measure 3 cups of water (use the water from the cooked beans) and add it to the rava mixture slowly while stirring the mixture with a spatula to avoid lumps.
  • Cover, reduce heat to low and let it cook for 8-10 minutes until the rava fluffs up and becomes soft.
  • Serve with a drop of ghee and a side of pickle and yogurt.
Notes:
  • You can make rice rava with white rice (Sona masoori), follow the same process above.
  • If you are pressed for time, a quick alternative is to use store bought idli rava. This is a decent replacement if you do not want to make the rice rava at home. Use the coarser variety.

4 comments:

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

A different take on the rice upma...like your version.
Wishing u and yours a very happy new year.

Lakshmi Grandhim said...

ahaa..akki tari uppittu nodi eega bayalli neeru barta ide. Slurrp! Adding sabsige soppu gives upma a very special taste. yummm..

NamsVeni Pothas said...

rice rave upma with Avarekalu is my favorite. nice recipe. this year also very fast going as usual. every year we think so.... very very happy new year to all Sattvaa readers, enjoy.

kitchen queen said...

delicious recipe.