Lemon rice and Tamarind rice are like twins. But I’ve seen more people prefer lemon rice, may be its bright color and the fresh lemon scent helps. But tamarind rice is a comfort food, often offered in Hindu temples. Its used to be a great travel food, as it tastes good in room temperature and it actually tastes better 3-4 hrs after you make it. I don’t know if its still popular in this age of pulavs and fried rice, but I think its a rice dish that we just can’t let go.
- Tamarind water
(Soak tamarind preferably overnight to get the most out of it. If in a time crunch, soak it in hot water and take the juice filtering out the seeds and other solids)
- Red chillies, Urad dhal, channa dhal, mustard seeds, peanuts, vellam/jaggery/brown- sugar, curry leaves
The ingredients in the picture below are to make a flavor enhancing pixie dust that you sprinkle at the very end. The quantity of black pepper could be alarming, but you need only 1 tsp of this powder for 1 cup of rice. If you are still not a fan of heat, reduce the black pepper and increase channa dhal and coriander seeds. Be careful with fenugreek though, more can make the powder bitter. This powder can also be used in curries like sambar or vegetable sides. Sprinkle at the very end for a fresh flavor.
- Fry the ingredients in the above photo in 1 tsp of oil. Let them cool down completely. Grind it to a smooth powder. Store in an air-tight container for later use.
Heat about 3 tbsp. of sesame oil and add the ingredients in the order below :
- When the peanuts get roasted slightly, add the tamarind juice.
- Add turmeric powder, Asafoetida , jaggery and salt. Bring to a good boil.
- Allow it to reduce and lower the heat.
- You know its done when the oil separates. This quantity is good for 10 – 12 cups of rice. Allow it to cool completely and store it an air-tight container. Doesn’t have to be refrigerated.
- Cook 1 cup of rice and mix with 1 tbsp. of the prepared wet mix. Finally sprinkle 1 tsp. of the powder and mix well.
- No matter how many new cuisines we expose ourselves to and how many new tastes we get introduced to, some foods scream ” Home”, “Warm” and “Comfort”. This is one such rice. Enjoy !