Akki Thari Upma (Broken Rice Uppittu)

Arise, awake, up…up…up Ma! Make your mark by cooking this….
Dish with a difference! This uppittish dish is just like you Ma. Wow…for its feel of fresh green charm and old world charisma. And like you, this dish too plays pranks Ma. Starts with seasoning saying it is Upma and ends up steaming out like an Idli…hee hee. Made out of Akki Thari….so don’t you worry. 

“Bapa” my father held an unbeatable record amngst our kith n kin of having nothing but “Uppittu” or “Upma” for breakfast all through his 4+ decades of service. A slight deviation from this rule, if at all permitted, during his lighter, brighter moods was “Avalakki”, so much so that, my mom would mumly experiment endlessly with Uppittus of several kinds.
 My joy knew no bounds in 1977 or so, when I, the handpicked one amongst v4 sibs, accompanied my father, an avid movie buff, to watch my first ever Hindi film “Amar Akbar Anthony”at Kapali Theatre. I barely understood the story, yet I enjoyed the movie. For the first time ever, if I remember right, I was the privileged one to be taken to a restaurant, when then, watching movie and going to a restaurant or two (“Vidyarthi Bhavan” or “Dwarka Hotel”) was almost always a “Housefull Family” event. When I shared about this “Away Alone with Bapa” with the rest of my family, they asked me wide eyed “What did Bapa buy for you?” The proud me declared “Khara Bhaath” only to be bullied by my brothers back home “Ayyo dinaaglu thinno uppittu, ashtenaa?!!”. My overjoy toppled with a tear or two. How tasteless I was about taste and how ignorant I was about cooking! That timeless, endless JOY however remains evergreen!
One of those Uppittu experiments by Amma done under the able guidance of my Bapa was “Akki Thari Upma”. Read down for Recipe.

Dish Type:  South Indian Rice Variety
Cooking time: 30  to 40 min
Serves:  8 to 10 persons

Oil                                   50 ml
Mustard seeds                 ½ tsp
Cumin seeds                    ½ tsp
Pepper corns                   ½ tsp (coarsely crushed)
Green chilli                      4 nos. (slit)
Curry leaves                    1 sprig
Ginger                             ½” pc (grated)
Turmeric pwd                 A pinch
Broken Rice                    500 gms
Salt to taste                     1 tsp approx.
Cooked avarekaalu         (optional)

For garnishing:
Raw coconut                  ½ coconut (grated)
Coriander leaves            1 cup (fresh and fine chopped

Wash green chillies, curry leaves, coriander leaves and ginger. Drain out the water. Chop, grate or split them as mentioned above (under “Ingredients”). Keep them aside.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add cumin seeds and crushed pepper corns. When they splutter, add slit green chillies, grated ginger and coarsely chopped curry leaves, salt  and turmeric powder. Now add broken rice and fry them together for 6 to 8 min. Add grated coconut. (If using cooked avarekaalu, add them at this stage along with the water used for cooking.)  If not add 500 ml of boiled water.  Mix well. Adjust the quantity of water and salt at this stage. If more water is required, then add more boiling water as required. Add fine chopped fresh coriander leaves. Mix well. Switch off the flame.
Shape them into balls with your hands made damp for making each ball. Arrange them on a greased plate and steam them in pressure cooker like idlis for about 10 min.
Switch off the flame. Let it cool a bit.
Akki Thari Upma is now ready. Serve this with a dash of ghee.
Choice of side dish: Urad Dal Chutney, Coconut chutney, Green Chillies Gojju, Hasi Majjige Huli.

Tete a Tete:
To make broken rice, wash rice thoroughly with water.Drain out the water completely. Dry the washed rice in shade by spreading it on a thin clean cloth. It takes 4 to 6 hours or more depending on the weather. Grind the dried rice coarsely to rava consistency. Or.
Soak the washed rice in curd (quantity just enough to cover the rice) for 15 to 20 min. and then grind.
Rice Rawa need not be roasted like Upma Rava. If Idli Rawa is used, upma becomes a bit sticky.
A handful of Tur dal can also be powdered and added along with broken rice.

Recipe Contributor: My sis Shyla H Rao on behalf of our dear mother Late Smt. Indira J Rao (Kaveri) 

Also view in this blog: Cucumber Dosa Gulipaavate
Few other sections in this blog include "Nostalgia" "Play with Words" "Glimpse of my Gallery"  "My Paintings" "Portaits"

Also read in this blog "My First Post" 
You are welcome to meet me at "Hey... Meet Me!"

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