One of the things you have to love about Keralite food is their liberal use of ghee. Enriching and energy giving, ghee is ladled into special dishes with abandon. This is a cross between Kerala Ghee Rice, Coconut Rice and Carrot Rice – a mixed rice dish of vegetables, warming spices and coconut milk.
As we head into another heatwave, thoughts turn again to cooling dishes. One of the most nutritious and cooling is yoghurt rice, also called curd rice. It tastes cool and refreshing on the hottest of summer days.
Yoghurt rice is made from rice cooked until mushy, then cooled and mixed with yoghurt and spices. It can be garnished in various ways, including with fruit, cucumber, onion, herbs and pomegranate. Today we have kept it simple. It can be eaten as-is or accompanied with a papad and pickle. Yum!
This dish is also often used in Temples as Naivedyam and Prasadam. We have made it quite thick here – just add more yoghurt to get a thinner texture.
This is a lovely South Indian rice dish with the gorgeous flavours of peanuts and sesame seeds – distinctly South Indian. It is a traditional Tamil and Kannadiga dish made especially during festivals. Truth be told, with the sesame seeds, it tastes a little like a tahini rice with peanuts, coconut and chilli.
It is also a great “packed rice” dish – food packed for a long journey – katu saadham was traditionally given to wedding guests for their travels back home.
This recipe works well with any variety of rice. Sona Masuri is the preferred rice in South Indian, and so it is most common to make it with this variety. But it can even be made with basmatti as I did today.
Sesame seed is a wonderful ingredient. In Ayurveda sesame is a wonderful rejuvenative food, especially for vata. It has a strong heating effect that soothes the cold quality of vata. But it should be avoided by those with high pita. They are also said to be strengthening to the lungs and help alleviate an aggravated kapha.
There are infinite varieties of rice and vegetable dishes in South India, each one absolutely delicious. Today’s recipe is a spicy eggplant rice. It can be made with green or purple eggplants.
Coconut rice is a staple in South India, a common festival dish and often served as prasadam in temples. It is a wonderful cooling dish in the heat of pre-Monsoon season and easy to make given the proliferation of coconuts around the coastal areas of South India.
Each region has it’s own recipe – the spicing will vary from town to town, and family to family. We have another Coconut Rice from South India, that varies a little in the spice combination.
India must be the country that has the most appreciation of rice. It boasts thousands of different rice varieties and many many more dishes that feature rice as the main ingredient. Rice is never ever relegated to a side dish, playing second fiddle to the main dish or dishes of the meal. There it is, front and centre, always. Pulaos, Kitcheri, Biryani, Bhats, Pongal and Mixed Rices are examples of well known rice dishes.
Pulihora is a South Indian rice which is usually made with tamarind. But the same dish can also be made with green mango or with lemon juice as the souring agent. It is a rice dish that plays homage to the love of sour tastes in Tamil Nadu and beyond. In this recipe, the tamarind is replaced with green mango, and some carrot adds a sweet counterbalance and colour.
This dish is also called mangai sadam and mavinakayi chitranna in different regions. The recipes vary a little, e.g. coconut might be added, but the base is essentially the same. In South India mango pulihora is made during certain auspicious occasions and festivals too.
Similar dishes include Green Mango Pachadi, Jeera Rice (Cumin Rice), Red Rice in Tomato Juice, 30 Indian Dishes for Mid Summer, Saffron Rice, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, Ghee Rice with Pandanus, and Green Mango and Coconut Rice.
Sundakkai have amazing health giving properties, and it is helpful to include it in your diet regularly as a preventative measure for almost everything. We know them here as Thai Pea Eggplants. Dried Sundakkai, or Sundakkai Vathal, (soaked in yoghurt and salt then dried in the sun), retain their health giving properties. They are used in dishes such as Sundakkai Vathal Sambar, and are ground and mixed with other spices for a Sundakkai Vathal Podi (spice mix).
In this recipe, the dried berries are ground into a powder and mixed with rice along with other spices. It is delicious addition to our collection of rice dishes.
Similar recipes include Arachuvitta Vathal Kuzhambu with Sundakkai and Drumsticks, Ghee Rice with Pandanus, Green Mango and Coconut Rice, and Carrot Rice.
Rice is of course a feature of our kitchen. Not every day, as we mix cuisines a lot, but often enough. Here is a delicious common South Indian rice dish that is rather divine. It does take a kitchen pantry full of ingredients, but they are all usual items in a kitchen that cooks a lot of South Indian dishes. So it should not be a bother.
Cooked rice is added to a spicy mix of tomatoes, onions and spices. Dal is added to the tadka for texture and crunch. This is a dish that will bring applause at the table.
Here is a tip. If you want to enjoy this dish in the middle of winter without using tinned, processed tomatoes, place some of the best of summer tomatoes in the freezer – you can freeze them whole – and use them for tomato rice in the colder weather.
There are infinite varieties of rice dishes in Indian households, from the very complex to the simple and quick recipes. Today’s rice dish is in the latter category (and you know by now how much I love simple in our complex culinary world.)
This can be made with freshly cooked rice, or with left over rice. If using left over rice, it can be fried with the spices. For fresh rice, it is best to saute the spices and stir through the rice.
This rice really is simply flavoured and can be made in a jiffy. It will also go with any Indian meal or with any other dish that you want to serve with rice. If you would like a recipe for pepper and cumin rice that has more spices and a tadka, check out our Pepper and Cumin Rice here.
Browse all of our Mixed Rice dishes, and all of our Rice recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Black Pepper and Cumin Rice | Milagu Jeeragam Saadham”
This rice dish, very delicious I must say, is cooked in the oven. This method is very handy if you are cooking a large meal and want to leave the stove top for other dishes. The general method can be used without the addition of the aromatics. Ottolenghi has this recipe in his book Plenty More but I have tarted it up just a little. As much as I love Yotham and crew, they need to get a better handle on Indian ingredients (IMO), so I have added or changed out a couple of things in this dish.
Try to get hold of fresh curry leaves on the stem for this dish – they freeze or dry well, so don’t worry if you end up with a big bunch. One of the ways in which curry leaf flavour is layered into a dish is to use them in several different ways in the same dish. Flavour a broth with them, as Ottolenghi does, saute/fry them in ghee or some other oil because the flavour is most easily transported by oils, and add crushed leaves to the final dish. I have used the last two methods in my version of this dish.
Serve the dish with an Indian pickle and a vegetable or lentil curry.
Also check out Delightful Pilaf Recipes.