Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins
Again, this is a recipe from my "cooking guru" and best friend Rupali. Jeera means cumin, so you can guess what the dominant flavor of the rice is. the Daal fry is made with Toor Daal which is a yellow lentil with a mild flavor. These two dishes are meant to go together and they are so absolutely delicious and so easy to make that I did it right on my first try.
For the Jeera Rice
- 3 cups basmati rice (long grain, fragrant rice from India)
- 6 tablespoons ghee or 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1⁄2 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 -2 thin green chili (depending on how much heat you can handle)
- 2 tablespoons salt
For the Daal fry
- 1 1⁄2 lbs toor dal (you can buy this at an Indian grocer)
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 large onion
- 2 large fresh tomatoes or 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 -3 thin green chilies (depending on how much heat you can handle)
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 tablespoon garam masala (can also be bought at indian grocer)
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons salt
- Wash toor daal in 4 changes of water, then set to cook. put enough water in the toor daal to be about 1 1/2 inches above the daal. If you don't have a pressure cooker, it should take somewhere around 45 minutes for the daal to become soft.
- Set the rice to cook at the same time. The rice will cook a little faster and it will be perfect timing for you to add the spices to the rice and have it all prepared as the daal is becoming ready to have the spices added to it.
- The ratio of water to rice is two to one. add the salt to the water before cooking as it will be difficult to mix in later. the water should taste nice and salty.
- When the rice is almost done, take half of the ghee or butter in a large sauté pan.
- Add the cumin seeds, cilantro leaves and chopped green chillies.
- Sauté for about 3 minutes on med heat, then add the cooked rice and mix.
- Add the rest of the ghee or butter to the rice and mix until consistent.
- Set aside and cover to keep warm.
- Wash out the sauté pan and begin the spices for the daal by adding the oil, cumin, finely chopped onion and green chillies. Sauté until the onions are transparent.
- Add diced tomatoes and sauté for 2 more minutes.
- Check the daal to make sure it is soft, then mash with a potato masher until you have a porridge-like consistency. If you need to retrieve water from the pan, then do it beforehand. Just remember, you can always put the water back in if there isn't enough, but you can't take it out once the lentils are mashed.
- After the daal is mashed add the sauté mixture.
- Add red chili powder for more heat if necessary.
- Add garam masala, salt and sugar. stir over heat for 2 minute and it is ready.
- Serve over jeera rice with papad and mango pickle.
I made this for my 5th grade class after we completed a section on India in History. I went easy on the hot spices. The students loved the rice and daal. They took chiapattis (pita bread) and stuffed it with the daal and rice. Even the other teachers liked it! Prep time was longer than specified because the daal took a long time to get tender. Next time I'll put everything in a crockpot and let it simmer to blend the flavors better.
This was really good. In a pinch and far from a supermarket, I substituted ground cumin for the seeds, spinach for the cilantro,and pickled jalepenos for the green chilies.I used half yellow, half green lentils for the daal fry. I'll try this again with all the right ingredients and I am sure it will doubly good. Thanks, alice Dave, and your cooking guru Rupali.
This dish lives up to it's name!! I served it with a little mango chutney, and papdums. YUM!!