Puffed rice upma is an easy brunch & breakfast recipe made with puffed rice, spices, peanuts, onions and tomatoes. It a popular dish from the South Indian state of Karnataka and is also a street food. It is known as mandakki oggarane in some parts of the state. Uggani, pori upma or murumura upma are the other names. It is mostly eaten with mirchi bajji or stuffed chilli bajji.
Puffed rice are nothing but rice puffs which are mostly eaten in India and neighboring countries as a snack. There are a lot of Indian street foods made with puffed rice like bhel puri, jhal muri, churumuri and this mandakkai oggarane.
This recipe is easy to make and takes just 25 mins. We usually have it on the weekends for breakfast or brunch. There are a few different ways of making this dish. I have shared the way my mom makes it.
Puffed rice upma is made by first rinsing puffed rice in lots of water to soften them. Then the excess moisture is gently squeezed up. Later a onion tomato masala is made to which the softened puffed rice is added and stirred.
We sprinkle fried gram flour as it enhances the flavor and taste of the dish. A generous amount of lemon juice is added towards the end.
To make it slightly healthier, you can also add some steamed veggies like peas & carrots. Sometimes I use bell peppers in the tempering.
Puffed rice upma
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 250 gms puffed rice cleaned
- 1 large onion cubed
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 2 to 4 tbsps fried gram
- 2 tbsps Lemon juice or tamarind paste as needed (refer notes)
- 2 tbsps coriander leaves chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 3 tbsp oil
- 3 green chilies slit
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ½ tsp mustard
- ½ tsp jeera (optional)
- 3 tbsp peanuts
- 1 tbsp channa dal
- 1 tbsp urad dal
- 2 tbsps grated coconut (optional)
Vegetables (optional)(refer notes)
- ¼ cup capsicum chopped
- ¼ cup carrots chopped or grated
- ¼ cup green peas boiled (skip if using peanuts)
How to make the recipe
- Pour lots of water to a large pot and add puffed rice to it stirring with your hand.
- If you are using thicker variety, leave it in water for around 5 mins. If you are using the very airy variety, just dunk them in water and squeeze up the water immediately else they turn mushy.
- Squeeze away the excess water from the puffed rice fully and transfer to a wide plate.
- Puffed rice should be soft enough but not soggy at this stage.
- Add fried gram to a blender and make a fine powder. Set this aside.
- Heat a wide and deep pan with oil.
- Add mustard, cumin, dals and peanuts (if using).
- Fry until the peanuts turn golden. Then add green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for a minute.
- Add onions and fry for 2 to 3 mins until they turn pink.
- Next add tomatoes, turmeric and salt.
- Fry till the tomatoes turn mushy. If needed cover and cook on a low heat.
- Saute the mixture till it begins to leave the sides.
- Lower the flame completely. Add the rice puffs and mix well.
- Cover and cook on the lowest heat until the puffed rice turns hot. Do not leave for long time as they burn quickly or stick to the bottom.
- Turn off the stove and add 2 tbsps fried gram powder & coriander leaves. Mix well.
- Taste it & add more fried gram powder, salt if needed and then lemon juice.
- Mix well and serve puffed rice upma with mirchi bajji or plain yogurt.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
If using tamarind, soak it in hot water and extract a thick paste and filter it. Pour this to the seasoning once the tomatoes soften. Let it bubble and thicken. Then add puffed rice.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
Recipe originally published in Nov 2012. Republished in Nov 2019.
1.Add them to a blender jar.
2.Make a fine powder. Set aside.
3. Fill a large pot with lots of water. Add puffed rice and keep stirring for 30 seconds. They will turn softer and soak up water. If you are using the thicker variety, then soak it for 5 minutes to soften. The airy variety just needs a quick wash otherwise they turn mushy.
4. Squeeze off the water from with both your palms. After squeezing they should be just moist and no excess water.
How to make
5. Heat oil in a pan. Then add mustard and cumin (optional). Also add chana dal, urad dal and peanuts. Fry peanuts and dals till golden & crunchy.
6. Add curry leaves, green chilies, onions and fry till onions turn lightly pink.
7. Add tomatoes, turmeric and salt.
8.Cover and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy. Then fry till the oil begins to leave the sides of the pan.
9.Lower the heat completely. Add puffed rice and mix well.
10. Cover the pot and heat on a low flame until the puffed rice upma turns hot. Do not do it for longer it will get burnt.
11. Turn off the heat. Add fried gram powder and coriander leaves. Mix well. Taste and add more salt if needed. Then squeeze the lemon juice.
Do not add all the powder at once. Add little by little and adjust to suit your taste.
Serve pori upma hot or warm with mirchi bajji, any fried snacks or even with plain yogurt.