Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ulundu Sadham ( Black gram daal rice) : A quick lunch box option

"Oh look at that giant bug! hahahahaa! April Fool! "
"Look, Loooook, what is that?" hahahaha! April Fool!"
" Looooooook, a giant... monster ( animal/ bug/person).. hahahah! April Fool" chants Little S in a sing-song voice.
He loves April Fools and refuses to believe that we fool others only on the first day of April. 
It's been a long 3 weeks of April fooling in our car and home.
It reminds me of all the silly pranks I pulled on my parents, mind you, some were good.
And so, just as my dad participated in all my pranks (whether he fell for them or not) I do the same for Li'll S. All the way back from school, going for karate and on the way back. 
It's been a long 3 weeks......

I have been cooking a good deal, jut not posting. It's weird, I want to but something holds me back. It isn't lack of time, just motivation, I guess and that I am reading books and watching TV. 
On my last trip to the library, I picked up Climbing the mango trees by Madhur Jaffrey  and am thoroughly enjoying reading about her memories of growing up in India. It also brings back a surge of memories of my childhood and how some things do not change with time.

I am also watching a series on Netflix, 'Midsomer Murders' which Nupur mentioned on her blog and I find them very engrossing. 
I mentioned the series to some friends here and they are thrilled to have something to watch in the afternoons (one friend and I share our liking for Brit books as well as TV series, as she rightly put it, "English  drama is so classy..." I agree, there is a quiet dignity to how everything is portrayed). 

And now we move on the topic of cooking ( which is the reason, this blog exists) I must add, we have cut down on white rice, significantly. Earlier no meal was complete without rice. Many a times, rice and daal were our meal, but that has changed now. And when I do make rice, there is always some left over. This left over rice is usually sauteed with vegetables and converted to fried rice or a quick Lemon rice for M's lunch box.
There are so many variations to transform plain ol' white rice into a spectacular dish with layers of flavors. 
I prefer working with left over rice, it's quick and easy.
For my recipe today, I use left over rice and the recipe is adapted from Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan.

I used:

approx. 2 Cups Cooked Rice
approx. 10-12 Cashew Nut pieces 
1 Green chili, slit ( seeds removed)

In a pan, dry roast, 2 tbsp. Urad daal, 1 tsp. Black Peppercorns (kali miri), 2 tbsp. Sesame seeds and 1 1/2 tbsp dry flaked Coconut.
Cool the roasted spices and grind to a powder in the coffee mill.

Heat oil in  wok / kadhai/ saute pan. Add 1 tsp. mustard seeds and 1 tsp each urad and chana daal ( I usually have this mix in my spice container and never measure, I just add it, eyeballing the amount) As the mustard seeds pop and the daals turn golden, sprinkle in a couple of hefty pinches of Asafetida and then add one (halved) dry red chili, the green chili  and a few curry leaves.
Stir the tempering and then add the rice and the spice powder and salt to taste. Mix well, be gentle though, don't break the rice. Taste to check salt. Switch off the flame and serve.


-If you cannot tolerate heat, reduce the amount of peppercorn to half or as less as you prefer, ( that is a safer and better option in case kids are going to eat it) but do not skip it.

-This rice is best served warm, however it keeps well and tastes good at room temperature too. 

- The original recipe uses fresh cooked rice

- You can use fresh coconut, however that means the shelf life of the rice is short. 

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  1. That looks so simple and flavorful! I am so glad you're enjoying Midsomer Murders. There are so many episodes, I can watch one now and then for months/years ;) And I enjoyed Jaffrey's memoir as well.

    1. Thank you, Nupur. I like these kind of rice dishes. Great way to use up left over rice.

  2. The rice looks so simple and tasty. Giving up or cutting down rice is a difficult task for people like us, but if you can manage I salute you. I am trying hard but its the only comfort food for me after a days job, nothing like varan bhat and tup.
    Love Ash.

  3. Oh my, that rice looks incredible. I love south Indian prepared rice dishes-- one just can't have enough of them. This is very likely going to be my next lunchbox meal. Thanks!


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