Believe me, the planning of this meal needed some sort of DD acronym like Operation Dal, or Coconut Freedom or something. It was that meticulous. Paula Wolfert once said after eating here that it was truly shock and awe considering I did it all without any sister-in- laws to help. I've been doing this for years and so I've built up a big cooking muscle, but even so, I like to make things easy if I possibly can. That's where this delicious rice comes in.
Mustard seed rice is a staple dish and it's great for any sort of cooking because it goes well with any cuisine, not just Indian food. Also I love any recipe that starts with the words... make rice. The fancy part, which is actually not that fancy comes later, after everything is done.
Make rice. Two simple words which always remind me of one former sister-in-law of mine who didn't understand rice that didn't come pre-made, boil in a pouch. She didn't last long in my husband's family where they are all big time foodies. She was replaced rather shortly by my new sister-in-law Chong, who knows all sorts of food secrets thank you very much. But family drama aside let's start with rice. Make rice. Okay, there are a number of ways in which to make rice. I'll tell you one particular way used in this recipe.
Rice With Mustard Seed
Rinse 2 cups of basmati rice in cold water then soak it in 5 cups of water for 30 minutes. Drain it.
In a large pot heat 1 Tbs of vegetable oil when it's hot, add the drained rice and stir it around for a minute or so.
2 and 1/4 cups of water
3/4 tsps of salt
Bring it to a boil, pop a lid on the pot and turn down the heat to very low. Let it cook like that for about 25 minutes or so until the rice is tender.
While the rice is cooking
Make the Paste:
This is the fun part. Get out a blender or food processor.
1 Tbs of brown mustard seeds
1/2 cup grated dried coconut
4 dried red chilies
1/2 tsp of turmeric
A piece of tamarind pulp as big as a marble (you can used a bit of lemon juice as a substitute)
1 Tbs or so of water
Grind all of this up into a fine paste.
Now for the chaunk! or poppu which is the Telegu word. This is what gives the dish it's pop, or zing, or bam or whatever exclamation you wish.
In a heavy skillet (I have a several cast iron ones in varying sizes) Heat 1 Tbs of vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot toss in:
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 and 1/2 tsp of urad dal
1 and 1/2 tsp of chana dal
1 dried red chili broken in half
About 4 curry leaves
When the mustard seeds start to pop toss in:
3 Tbs of raw peanuts. Stir them around for about 3 minutes.
Add the mixture to the already cooked rice and serve it up .
Coming next, spinach that can run hot or cold depending on how you feel about it.
tomorrow I'm going to be turning my new waffle iron on for the first time and hopefully making delicious coconut flour waffles. At least that's my fantasy. I'll be taking some of my home-cured bacon out of the freezer to accompany it. Wish me luck and follow along with Twitter @kathygori