raw rice – 1.5 cups
Thur Dhal – 1/2 cup
Cook the dhal and rice together in a pressure cooker with 6 cups of water , some salt and 2 tsp of oil. You can cook them in a regular pot, add enough water so that cooked rice-dhal has a soft texture.
I have small onions, radish, cooking banana, eggplants, flat beans and drumsticks. Traditionally, we use what we call as “Naattu Kaai” for this rice and avoid vegetables like carrots, peas and cauliflower.
Chop the vegetables in big chunks as they have to withstand a long cooking process.
Tamarind water and asafoetida.
For the masala, grind red chillies, cumin, small onions, garlic and 1 tbsp. of coconut.
In the pot add some sesame oil and fry curry leaves and onions.
sauté the veggies.
Add the tamarind water.
Add salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida and cook until the raw smell of tamarind goes away in medium heat for at least about 30 mins. Add the masala and cook for another 15 minutes.
Traditionally, drumstick leaves are added. As I can’t get them in my place,I have added some chopped methi.
Add the cooked rice and dhal to the curry and mix well. Simmer for 15 mins, making sure the rice is not getting dry.
Fry some curry vadaam (if you don’t have it, mustard seeds will do), red chillies and curry leaves in a separate pan and add the seasoning to the rice.
Tastes good when its hot and tastes even better at room temperature. This is a great all-in-one dish with rice, lentils and vegetables and the combination of red chillies, cumin and garlic add layers of flavor. Back in my hometown, I have even tasted this dish with shrimp in it. You can try that too !