Friday, April 18, 2014

Karama Upma | Arisi Maavu Upma | Tirunelveli Special Upma recipe | No-onion, No-garlic recipe | Under 30mins recipe

There is this lovely event 'Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge' stared by Priya of Priya's Versatile Recipes with an idea to enable fellow bloggers to come a little more closer and have fun at the same time. It works this way - members are paired and each pair mutually agrees on two secret ingredients with which they need to cook either 1 or 2 dishes. The interetsing part comes in when we post the recipe picture on our FB group and our fellow foodie friends pour in their guesses. The secrets unfold on 16,17 and 18th of the month with all of us revealing our secret ingredient with the nice recipe on our blogs. This event was fabulous and I enjoyed every bit of the guessing game. It was too hard to guess the secret ingredients and I was amazed to find really healthy and creative recipes of my friends which I could ever thought of using a particular ingredient.

As I came of know of this event quite late by when the pairing part was over, Priya akka graciously agreed to give me my two secret ingredients and helped me join in the fun. As I thought of what specially could be done using rice and turmeric powder, I remembered this 'Karama Upma' which is a favourite dish in my in-laws place. Typically a Tirunelveli speciality, it resembles Puli upma and can be done under 30mins. My mom-in-law does this quite often and had totally forgotten about this until this event came my way. It does require a little more oil than usual upma recipes to make it crispy but it tastes awesome.

Preparation time  - 5mins
Cooking time - 20mins
Serves -3


Sesame oil - 4tblsp
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Urad dal - 1tsp
Channa dal - 1tsp
Curry leaves - a sprig
Asafoetida/hing - 1/2tsp
Water - 1and a 1/2cups
Chilli powder - 1-2tblsp (adjust to your spice level)
Salt - As needed
Rice flour - 1cup


1.  Heat 3tblsp oil in a skillet reserving the rest and add mustard seeds. Once it pops, add the lentils, asafoetida and curry leaves.

2.  Once they are browned, add in chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Pour in the water and let it come to a boil.


3.  Measure the rice flour and keep ready. 1cup rice flour requires 1.5cups water.


4.  Now, reduce the flame to medium-low and stir in the rice flour little by little. Stir well and use the back of the ladle to press and break the lumps. At first it looks like a thick mass and starts to thicken as it gets cooked.


5.  Add remaining oil and keep sauteing on medium heat until it gets cooked well and turns crispy. It takes around 15-20mins for this.


Serve this 'Karama upma' with sambar and chutney. Why not try this upma for a change?

Sending this to Priya akka's Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge, a monthly event happening @ Priya's Versatile Recipes.


  1. oh that looks like very different upma ..looks so good

  2. This is something very new to me.. Havent heard of this.. Interesting..

  3. G'day! This looks wonderful and congrats on completing Priya's challenge this month too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  4. Different upma and very new to me. Lovely colour.

  5. This dish sound almost like mor kali na, Karama upma from Nellai is definitely a new dish for us, thanks for sharing this interesting dish with ur secret ingredients.

  6. My hubby's favourite....I add little tamrind also ....Looks very yummy....

  7. A new dish for me and an interesting recipe, thanks for sharing..