Black Rice (or other Grains) with Curry Leaves and Tomato

There are so many different rices in India – what we see here is one small fraction of the varieties across India. Many varieties are regional and rices are not only white, but brown, black and red too. There are other grains very common in areas, ones that we never hear of here, sadly. For example there are a dozen or more varieties of millet. And here? One or two varieties.

However we can cook our locally grown grains with Indian flavours, there is nothing to stop us doing that, right? For example, I will often cook up a grain with tomatoes, onions, chillies and curry leaves. It is that easy. This method can be used with quinoa, millet, buckwheat, freekeh, pearl barley, many rices, amaranth, and so on. Today I have cooked up a pot of glutinous black rice and given it the same treatment. It is a hearty and gorgeous accompaniment to the meal. Because black rice is quite assertive, we have paired it with more subtle dishes, but if you are using quinoa or moriya, for example, you can boost up the flavour levels of the accompaniments.

BTW India has black rices too, and from what I gather they are very similar to the black rice that we can get from our Asian stores here.

Most people I know associate glutinous rice with a sweet, divine pudding from S. E. Asia. But glutinous rice can be used in savoury dishes as well. I love the nutty crunchiness of it. If you are a kindred spirit in that you love breakfasts that break the mould of cereal-and-toast, then this is the best of breakfast dishes. Black rice is very warming to the body, so it is a great Winter Morning dish. You could add mushrooms.

Similar recipes include Black Rice Congee, and Mushrooms with Black Rice.

Browse all of our Black Rice recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Aama Vadai

Aama Vadai (also called Paruppu Vadai or Masala Vadai) is a traditional snack that is made during Tamil New Year and also Ramnavami. Made from a variety of lentils and spiced with chillies, asafoetida, curry leaves and coriander, it is a delicious snack. It is also a very popular street food snack in South India.

Aama means tortoise in Tamil. But never fear, they do not contain tortoises, it is named this way because of the hard crispy outer shell of the vadai.

Similar recipes include Vadai with Yoghurt, Broad Bean and Mint Vada, Thattai Vada, and Pea and Mint Croquettes.

Browse more Vadai recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Red Rice – Rice in Tomato Juice

Remember Rice-a-Riso? It seems it is still being made and sold in supermarkets, but only in Chicken flavour. As a teenager and young adult I loved the tomato one. Imagine my surprise when I first made this dish and it tasted exactly like tomato rice-a-riso. It was a nostalgic moment.

This recipe is very simple, but because it is versatile I need to walk you through a few things first.

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Moth Bean Kitchari | Matki Khichuri

There are many many versions of Kitchari – I recently saw a list of 90 different kitchari recipes. And that would just be the tip of the iceberg. Today we make kitchari with Moth Beans.

Moth Beans (pronounced Mot-h) are packed with nutrition. Here they are cooked with rice, onions, garlic, spices and tomato, for a delicious any-time meal or snack. Omit the onions and garlic if preferred.

Similar recipes include Bisi Bele Huriyanna, Moth Bean (Matki) Dal, Latka Kitchari, Bengali Vegetable Khichuri, and Cauliflower and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Kitchari dishes, and all of our Rice recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Persian Saffron Rice

Saffron rice – it’s a classic of the Middle East, and one that is so gorgeous. This is a simple recipe that gives 2 colours to the rice. Always use good saffron – nice long threads with an earthy and sweet aroma.

Serve with any Middle Eastern or even Indian dish. You will love it.

Are you wanting other ways to use saffron? Try crushing a tiny piece of saffron into a glass of champagne or sparkling apple cider, turning the drink into a golden elixir. And coffee spiced with saffron and cardamom is a wonderful, soothing drink. Try our Saffron and Spices Tea – relaxing and amazing.

Similar recipes include How to Cook Buttery Steamed Rice, How to Cook Rice with the Absorption Method, and Simple Oven Finished Rice.

Saffron dishes include Saffron Mograbieh with Broad Beans, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, and Dates and Saffron Soaked in Spiced Ghee.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, all of our Saffron dishes, and all of our Persian recipes. Our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Green Mango Rice | Mamidikaya Pulihora

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 Red Rice in Tomato Juice, 30 Indian Dishes for Mid Summer, Saffron RiceSaffron, Date and Almond Rice, Ghee Rice with Pandanus, and Green Mango and Coconut Rice.

Browse all of our Mixed Rice dishes, all of our Rice dishes, and Green Mango Recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Pulagam | Telegu Ven Pongal / Kitchari | Ghee Pongal

Across India there are many versions of rice cooked with lentils, called various names such as kitchari (and variations on this) and pongal. In Andra Pradesh, it is called Pulagam and is made with short grain rice and mung dal.

It is a very pared-back version of pongal, without any tempering and with only turmeric as spice. But it is surprisingly delicious, mixed with a little ghee and well seasoned.

It is often used as naivedyam in festival such as Sankranti and Varalakshmi Puja.

You might want to browse our 25 or so Kitchari recipes, collected together for you.

Similar dishes include Moth Bean Kitchari, Ven Pongal, Goan Bisibelebath, and  Masoor Sprouts Kitchari.

Browse all of our Kitchari and Pongal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Sundakkai Vathal Saadham | Dried Pea Eggplant Rice | Dried Turkey Berry 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 Ghee Rice with Pandanus, Green Mango and Coconut Rice, and Carrot Rice.

Other Sundakkai dishes include Sundakkai Vathal Sambar, and Sundakkai Vathal Podi.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, and all of our Sundakkai recipes. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore all of our Early Summer recipes.

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A Collection of 22 or So Kitchari Recipes

Kitchari is one of the most well known recipes outside of India amongst people intent on keeping healthy and eating healthily. It is really a simple dish based on rice cooked with lentils, although variations on this theme exist. The simplest is the highly flavoursome Parsi version, and the Bengalis, who adore kitchari, take it to spice heaven by layering different flavours using a dozen or so spices.

Kitchari can be cooked with long grain or short grain rice, resulting in different dishes. Basmati rice is preferred by Ayurveda and other practitioners, due to its digestibility. Long grain rice is also the rice of choice in the North of India. The kitchari is quite loose and open, not unlike a pilaf.

In the South, short and medium grained rices are used for Pongal and other variations on Kitchari. This means that the dish is more porridge-like than pilaf-like.

Kitchari can be made thick or soupy. The ratio of lentils to rice can be adjusted to suit your mood, the season and your health. Also, the lentils can be toasted before cooking to make it warming for the body, good for the Winter months.

All styles are delicious, comforting and very nourishing. It is a dish that you return to again and again when feeling overwrought, tired, anxious or unwell. It lightens the body and lifts the spirits.

Please enjoy these different kitchari dishes. Note that kitchari can be spelled a dozen different ways throughout India, and beyond. There are many English alternate spellings — kitchari, kitchadi, khichdi, kitchari, khichri, khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari, kitcheree, kitchree, khichdi,  and many other variants, and each Indian language has it’s own variation e.g. Hindi खिचड़ी khicṛī, Urdu: کھچڑی‎ khicṛī, Oriya: ଖେଚେଡ଼ି khecheṛi, Bengali: খিচুড়ী khichuṛi, Gujarati: ખીચડી khichḍi. And more….

Other Collections include:

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Bisi Bele Huriyanna | Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi Bele Bath, meaning hot lentil rice, is a much loved dish of the Karnataka and surrounding regions of South India. In some parts of Karnataka it is also known as Bisi bele huliyanna which means hot lentil sour rice. The dish usually includes a range of vegetables. “Huriyanna” is sometimes written as “Huliyanna”.

There are many modern versions of Bisi Bele Huliyanna. As the name suggests it has to be served hot. It tastes best when spices are seasoned in ghee and it is served as soon as it is cooked.

The rice and dal can be cooked together or separately. We have cooked them together today but added the rice after the dal has been cooking for some time. Cooked separately, it is a great way to use up left over cooked rice and/or toor dal, and makes it a very easy dish to prepare.

Similar dishes include Goan Bisibelebath, Punjabi Aamti Bhat, Eggplant with Toor Dal (Rasavangi), and Indian Dal Soup.

Browse all of our Bisibelebath recipes, Kitchari dishes, and all of our Rice recipes. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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