Recipe by Daydream
Lovely with curries, particularly sea-food, this rice dish from Tamil Nadu is seasoned with lightly roasted coconut, cilantro, curry leaves, dried red chillies, and mustard seeds. It also contains a small amount of chana dal and urad dal, which, when roasted, provide a nutty taste and texture. If you cannot obtain fresh coconut, soak 1 1/4 cups of unsweetened, desiccated coconut in warm water (to barely cover) for 1 hour then drain and squeeze dry.
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 6 dried red chilies, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons channa dal
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons Urad Dal
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 15 fresh curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt (more or less, to taste)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
- 1 3⁄4 cups freshly grated coconut
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Directions See How It's Made
- Wash the rice well and cook until tender in a rice cooker or by the absorption method.
- While the rice is cooking, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a medium-sized pan or skillet, and when hot add the chillies, chana dal, urad dal and mustard seeds. Stir and fry until the chillies darken and the dals turn golden brown.
- Add the curry leaves, salt, asafetida and coconut, and stir and fry for a minute or two before reducing heat.
- Gently cook the coconut mixture until the coconut turns a toasted reddish-brown and becomes quite crisp. It burns easily, so don't take your eyes off it for a second, and keep the coconut moving by stirring and tossing constantly.
- As soon as the coconut is the right colour and texture, turn off the heat. If the rice is not ready, transfer the coconut mixture to a bowl, so that it doesn't continue browning in the hot pan.
- Mix the coconut mixture gently through the hot, cooked rice, then stir through the chopped cilantro and serve immediately.