Upma kozhakattai/ Upma kozhukattai/ Arisi kozhakattai ( Steamed rice dumplings)

I have already mentioned in my ‘about me’ column what a wonderful cook my mom is. I try to replicate many recipes just the way she does. This is one such recipe and I simply love it. My mom used to make these for breakfast and I used to gobble around 10-12 at one go. 
Literally arisi means rice and kozhakattai /kozhukattai means dumplings in Tamil. So basically, arisi kozhakattais  are steamed dumplings made of ground rice. When I made these and arranged them on the table to click a picture my son asked, “Ma are these south Indian easter eggs?” I couldn’t help laughing. My husband an mom in law call these atom bomb (don’t know why??)


  • 2 cups idli rice/ idli rava (rice rava)
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon urad dal
  • 3 green chillies finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies split into quarters
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • a pinch of asafetida
  • 1 tablespoon oil for tempering
  • salt to taste

Soak the rice for 5-6 hours. Then grind it adding water. It need not be a very smooth paste and a little coarseness is fine. If using idli rava you can use it as it is. You need not undergo the process of soaking and grinding.
Now, in a kadai/ wok heat oil and add the mustard seeds, urad dal followed by green chillies, red chillies, curry leaves and asafetida. Stir in the coconut and add 2 cups water (4 cups if using idli rava directly) and add salt and allow it to boil.Add the ground rice/ idli rava and stir it nicely, scraping the sides and bottom of the wok and taking adequate care so that it doesn’t form lumps. Stir it until it absorbs all water and forms a mixture of uniform consistency, just the way you would prepare upma.
Remove from heat and spread it on a plate and allow it to cool. Now roll them  between the palm of your hands to form dumplings.
Steam the dumplings on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. You can use an idli pan for steaming the dumplings.
Serve with coconut chutney.


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