Coconut Rice


Its quick, its fresh, its nutty, its light…so why not ? Coconut rice is one of the many quick and easy variety rice recipes. I love the flexibility it offers : got some leftover rice and trying to make a meal out of it without sweating much or make an exotic aromatic party food, coconut rice will be your best friend ūüôā . ¬†Whether you go for simplicity or embellish it to the core, this flavor packed rice will take you to your happy place.

You will need :

  1. Rice – 1 cup
  2. Grated coconut – 3/4 cup
  3. Green chillies – 3
  4. Ginger – 1/2 inch piece
  5. Peanuts – 1/4 cup
  6. Cashew – 1/4 cup
  7. Mixed vegetables – 1 cup
  8. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  9. Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  10. Channa dal – 1 tsp
  11. Curry leaves – few

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  • Cook rice by your preferred method. You can also use leftover rice. Adding a tsp of oil to the water while boiling rice helps the grains to stay separate.
  • Grind green ¬†chillies and ginger along with a few peanuts to a coarse mix. It doesn’t have to be a paste, just grind enough to blend everything. Else, you can just finely mince the chillies and ginger.

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  • In a wok, add a tbsp of oil (preferably coconut oil or sesame oil) and fry the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal and the curry leaves.

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  • When the mustard seeds splutter and the dals turn golden add the peanuts and cashewnuts.

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  • When the nuts turn slightly golden add the mixed vegetables. This is optional,I prefer adding a lot of veggies to the rice, so that I can skip making a side ūüôā . Sprinkle some salt and cook for two minutes and then add the ground green chillies+ginger paste.

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  • Once the green chillies and ginger paste coats all the vegetables add the cooked rice to the wok, reduce heat and mix well.

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  • Check for seasoning, add salt if needed. Three green chillies should pack enough punch, but if you need more heat you can add red pepper flakes. Finally add the grated coconut and mix with rice thoroughly, remove from heat after a minute.

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  • You can also toast the coconut before adding to the rice. While it deepens the flavor, I feel that freshness is compromised. ¬†You can try both ways and see which you would prefer.

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While the cold, windy weather and the 5 p.m. dark skies keep warning about the bitter winter, it feels like spring in my kitchen and thats what matters, right ?

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Sesame Rice


This is my attempt to re-create the “prasadham” I enjoyed in my hometown temple when I was a kid (when temple visits were culinary experiences ūüôā )…..I remember sprinting around the navagrahas so that I can get my share from the priest. I guess it was the offering for Saturn (Saneeshwararn)…..
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  • Cook 1 cup of rice and allow it cool down.
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  • black sesame seeds,¬†red chillies,¬†urad dhal and¬†channa dhal

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  • Fry urad dhal, channa dhal, chillies and sesame (in the same order) in a tsp of sesame oil.

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  • After they cool down grind them into a coarse powder ( which looks like top soil ) ūüôā

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  • For the final seasoning ¬†you need curry leaves, peanuts and mustard seeds.

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  • Fry the mustard seeds, curry leaves and peanut in a tsp of sesame oil.

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  • To the cooked rice, add the sesame powder and the fried seasoning.

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  • Mix them all together and add salt to taste. Also drizzle a tsp of sesame oil and mix.

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Tamarind Rice


 

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.

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  • 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) Image
  • Red chillies,¬†Urad dhal,¬†channa dhal,¬†mustard seeds,¬†peanuts,¬†vellam/jaggery/brown- sugar,¬†curry leavesImage
  • 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.¬†

         Black pepper, Coriander seeds, fenugreek and channa dhalImage

  • 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.Image
  • Heat about 3 tbsp. of sesame oil and add the ingredients in the order below :

         mustard seeds
         urad dhal
         channa dhal
         red chillies
         curry leaves
         peanuts

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  • When the peanuts get roasted slightly, add the tamarind juice.Image
  • Add turmeric powder, Asafoetida , jaggery and salt. Bring to a good boil.Image
  • Allow it to reduce and lower the heat.Image
  • 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.Image
  • 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.Image
  • 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 !Image