Friday, January 19, 2007
Recipe: Mixed Vegetable Rice
When any tamilian or kerala iyer hears about kalanda sadham it is usually the Puliyodarai/Lemon rice/Thengai sadham (coconut rice) that comes to mind. But when we were growing up, as I always say, these rice preparations were not popular in our rural Kerala village. Instead, we had Ulundu Sadham (Urad dal rice) and Ellu Sadham (sesame rice) and of course, Thayir sadham (curd rice), which for some reason was referred to as Thimiral. I wonder why. It was Keerai Masiyal for the side dish. Since all vegetables that we used came from the kitchen garden or from our farm, we used the keerai (spinach) from our backyard, which was the seasonal vegetable. So it was keerai masiyal on Kanu day.
When I started my own family I made a small change to the menu. In addition to the various mixed rice preparations, I invented a mixed vegetable sadham, as my husband and I could not imagine a meal without vegetables.
This rice is different from the usual fried rice or pulao or veg. biriyani in that no garam masala, whole or powdered, is used and it is only flavoured with the Kerala’s own coconut and green chillies and ginger.
This Kanu I again prepared mixed vegetable rice, puliyodarai and thayir sadham with home made vadam. Here is the recipe for the mixed vegetable rice.
French beans: 100 gm
Green Peas : 100gm
Capsicum (green bell peppers): 50 gm
Rice: 1 cup
Grated coconut : ½ cup
Green chillies : 2 or more according to taste
Ginger : ½" piece
Salt to taste
Cooking oil : 1 tbsp. + 1tsp
Hing (asafoetida) powder : ½ tsp.
Mustard : 1 tsp
Urad dal : 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal: 1tsp
Ground nuts: 1 tbsp.
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp.
Pressure cook the rice with 1tsp of oil, so that the rice grains don't stick to each other. Spread the cooked rice on a plate to cool, so that it doesn't get mashed up while mixing.
Grind the coconut with green chilles and ginger coarsely without adding water.
Cut the all vegetables into small cubes, about 1 cm long. Cook the vegetables, except the capsicum, retaining the crispiness (don’t over cook) and strain the water out. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the hing powder and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the urad dal, bengal gram dal and grounds nuts. When the nuts and dal turn light brown, add the curry leaves and capsicum pieces. Saute for a few minutes, until they are cooked. Add all the other cooked vegetables and salt. Saute for few more minutes. Now add the ground coconut mixture. Mix well. Remove from the stove. Add the cooled rice and mix well, until the rice and vegetables are mixed well. Garnish with finely cut coriander leaves.
ENJOY THE COLOURFUL MIXED VEGETABLE RICE.
P.S. I don’t add turmeric powder in this rice, as I feel it spoils the colour coordination of the otherwise colorful rice. Being a die hard Keralite, I use coconut oil for this rice, as it imparts a special flavour to the dish. In the olden days, in rural Kerala the Iyer families did not use onions. Even today it is so on festival days. Onion may be added while sauteing, to improve the taste.