The husband loves rice and I can easily live without rice for the rest of my life. I love cheese and the husband runs away at the mere mention of it. So most of our fights are about food – what to make, what to eat, where to go out for a meal.
Back in India, our formula was simple – rice and sometimes roti at home and all other cuisines and dishes when we go out. But here, that formula fails because of the almost zero availability of good vegetarian food outside.
So I strive for the balance while cooking at home. Once in a way, he gets all nostalgic and comes up with sudden requests – like this morning he had a craving for tamarind rice. I agreed because – it’s damn easy and more importantly I did not have any post ready for this week’s CCC challenge. But let’s not tell him that. Let him continue to think I fulfilled his wishes!
This recipe is partly from mom and partly from Venkatesh Bhat (who is finally back on Samayal Samayal on Vijay TV).
So here goes –
WHAT WE NEED
Rice 3/4 cup
Tamarind Size of a lemon
Mustard seeds 2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Black peppercorns 2 tsp
Black sesame seeds 2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
Gingelly oil 1 1/2 tbsp
Dry red chillies 2
Bengal gram 1 tsp
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Peanuts 4 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder 1/2 – 1 tsp
WHAT TO DO
- Cook the rice as per your usual method.
- Once cooked, spread it out in a plate and mix little ghee or oil into it and let it cool completely.
- Heat 1 cup of water and once it boils, take it off the heat and add the tamarind to it. Set aside.
- Once the water reaches room temperature, squeeze the tamarind in the water to extract maximum flavor. Remove the tamarind and keep the water aside.
- Dry roast 2 tsp mustard seeds, peppercorns, sesame seeds and fenugreek seeds individually and set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, grind all the four together to a fine powder.
- Heat the oil and add mustard seeds.
- Once they splutter, add the Bengal gram and curry leaves.
- Add peanuts and the tamarind water.
- Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder and salt.
- Add 2 tsp of the ground powder and let it cook for 8-10 minutes.
- It will become a thick paste and the oil will start floating on top.
- If you find it too thick before 5 minutes, add some water and cook it.
- Switch off the gas and add the coked rice.
- The dry powder can be made in advance and stored.
- The entire tamarind mixture can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a week. Then all you need to do is cook the rice and mix with the tamarind paste and eat.
- It is an oily dish and that is what gives it the taste and flavor. Reducing the oil may not be a good idea.