Friday, May 23, 2014

Coconut Rice

Rice is the staple diet of South Indians and the South Indian cuisine is replete with mouth-watering variety of rice dishes, ranging from gravies and sauces that can be mixed into plain cooked rice to one-pot dishes like pongal, coconut rice, lemon rice, tamarind rice, curd rice, sesame seed rice, to mention just a few. The Tamil festivals of Pongal and Aadi Perukku are celebrations of the versatility of this grain and the rich cuisine it has spawned.

Among the several one pot rice dishes, coconut rice and lemon rice are the easiest and foolproof dishes to make. The ingredients for the two dishes are also commonly available now-a-days. Interestingly, after years of bad press coconut is also making a comeback as a good for you natural food. I make coconut rice often. I made it today and as I was making it I decided to take photos of the preparation and post it here. Below is the recipe for coconut rice.

What you will need: (see 2nd photo above)
(based on your taste and preferences, you can add more or less of the ingredients below)

long grain rice, 1 cup
grated coconut, fresh or dried, 2 tablespoons
coconut oil (can be substituted with any other oil) 1 tablespoon
salt to taste
black mustard seeds, a pinch (optional)
urad dal, 1/2 teaspoon (optional) 
chana dal, 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
one red chile (optional)
cashew or peanuts (optional)
asafoetida, a pinch (optional); asofoetida promotes digestion

1. Rinse the rice in cold water several times to remove as much starch as possible. The cooked rice has to be loose and fluffy to get the right texture for a tasty coconut rice. Cook the rice according to instructions. However, if the instructions call for 1:2 ratio of rice to water, reduce the amount of water to 1 1/2.

2. Transfer the cooked rice onto a baking dish and let it completely cool.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet. If you are not planning to use any of the optional ingredients, simply roast the coconut in the oil till it turns golden brown. Add the roasted coconut to the rice. Add the desired amount of salt.

4. Blend the rice, salt and coconut with a spatula. You are done!

5. If you want to add any or all of the optional ingredients, this is the order in which you would proceed:

(All the roasting should be done in low heat)
a. Heat oil in a skillet and add the asafoetida
b. Add the mustard and let it pop
c. Add urad and chana dal and roast them till they turn gold brown
d. Add and roast the nuts till they turn golden
e. Add the chile
f. Add the coconut flakes and roast till they turn gold brown
(for reference, see the third photo)
g. Follow steps 3 and 4 above to finish the dish.

Thanks for visiting.

1 comment:

  1. I love Indian cuisine. I don't have the patience to cook very much anymore. But it looks like a dish I would very much enjoy, Thanks for sharing. Nice painting.


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