Monday, April 26, 2010

Mixed Vegetable Rice with Sesame seeds and dried Coconut and the answer....

In my last post I had posed a riddle, the question was.......

What English word retains the same pronunciation even after you take away four of its five letters?

The answer is.................... "Queue".
Some of you promptly guessed the right answer and I was moderating comments on the post, so that the others would get a chance at the riddle too ! Anyway I have published all the comments that contained answers in them now. You can head out there if you are curious to see how many readers got it correct :-)

Moving on, some days I want nothing more than a single dish meal that is nutritious,flavorful,  filling and quick. This variation of savory sesame rice (ellu saadam) that I thought up one day fits the bill perfectly. This rice is more like a cross between coconut rice (thengai saadam) and savory sesame rice (ellu saadam) with a chock full of vegetables to make it more healthy. If you are looking for something quick and flavorful to take to a potluck with a south Indian theme, or are cooking for someone who is avoiding onions and garlic or simply looking to make a one dish meal for dinner, then this is the dish for you :-)


Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Mixed Vegetable Rice with Sesame and Coconut
6 cups of cooked brown basmati rice (see notes)
2 green bell peppers(capsicum) deseeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 head cauliflower cut into florets
1 cup sweet corn kernels (optional)
2 carrots cut into 1/2 inch pieces
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder (hing/ perungayam)
1 tsp split black gram lentil (udad dhal)
1 dry red chili (optional)

For the masala
1 tbsp split yellow chick pea lentil (chana dhal)
1 tbsp split black gram lentil (udad dhal)
1 tbsp coriander seeds (dhania)
6 tbsp brown sesame seeds (ellu/til)
2 tbsp dried curry leaves
30 1 inch pieces of dried coconut (copra)
5 dry red chilies (or to taste) (see notes)

In a heavy bottomed pan, dry roast each of the ingredients mentioned for the masala separately, chana dhal and udad dhal until they turn light brown/pinkish brown, the coriander seeds until it browns lightly, the sesame seeds until it browns and starts popping,curry leaves for just a few seconds,dried coconut until it browns and red chilies until it starts to turns a little darker. Remove and allow these spices to cool to room temperature.

Using a spice grinder, grind these lentils and spices to a fine powder.Use short bursts of power to do this as over powdering can cause sesame seeds to start lumping.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add udad dhal and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to splutter and udad dhal starts to turn pinkish, add asafoetida powder and dry red chili if using. Stir a few seconds and quickly add bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower and sweet corn kernels.
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Stir vegetables frequently until they are all evenly cooked, yet not mushy.

Add cooked rice, salt to taste and mix well. Add the powdered masala and mix well.

Allow to heat through and serve hot with raita and papad/chips or any type of south Indian curry if you chose.

You can make this with white basmati rice or white short grained rice too. If you use white rice you may have to lower the amount of dry red chilies used in the masala powder because white rice will not hold as much heat/spice as brown rice.

Use quantity of dry red chilies as per taste, my current batch of red chilies are very mild so even with this quantity of red chilies I only get mildly spiced rice.
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