2 cups of cooked white rice (each grain should be separate)
2-3 green chillis slit length wise
1 1/2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp mustard seeds
15-20 curry leaves (fresh leaves only)
1/2 tsp Bengal gram (senaga pappu,channa dal) (optional)
2-3 dry whole red chillis (you can add more if you want more spice)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
Â¼ cup of seasame seeds (dry roast the seeds in a pan for a few minutes on medium heat tossing them around and make a coarse powder and dont grind them too much…the nutrients of sesame seeds are better absorbed if they are ground)
salt to taste
Dry roast the red chillis and coriander seeds in a pan for 4-5 minutes on medium heat tossing them about till the flavours come out and make a fine powder.Keep aside.
Heat ghee in a pan and add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.Add Bengal gram and let it turn brown.Add the curry leaves and green chillis and fry for a few seconds till the leaves turn a little crisp and the flavours blend in the oil.The curry leaves along with seasame give an aromatic flavor to this dish and that is why the recipe calls for a wee bit more leaves than usual..:)
Add the red chilli pwd,coriander pwd,seasame powder and salt and combine.
Add the cooked rice and combine it such that the spices coat the rice well.
Serve hot with any gravy curry or plain rasam and appadam(papad).
Note:You can use red chilli pwd and coriander pwd instead of whole chillis and coriander seeds.But the best flavour is derived from dry roasting the whole spices and grinding them fresh.There is no substitute to that.Another piece of adviceâ€¦ If you donâ€™t have fresh curry leaves on hand,I suggest you prepare this rice only when you have fresh leaves as the dry ones donâ€™t give out that unique aroma and flavour which only the fresh ones impart.Remember its always the freshest ingredients that bring out the best of Indian cooking.
Since I have blogged about one of the important ingredients used in South Indian cooking,let me elaborate on the nutritional value of sesame seeds.These seeds are high in iron content (equivalent to liver ,if not more),rich in manganese, copper and calcium and also contain Vitamin B1 (thiamine) and Vitamin E (tocopherol).They also contain powerful antioxidants called lignans, which are also anti-carcinogenic.Ancient Ayurvedic nutrition recommends foods prepared with til or seasame seeds for Vata imbalance (feeling low,depressed,anxiety and restlessness)persons. Seasame seeds which have warming properties are one of the powerful vata balancing herbs other than cinnamon, cumin and ginger.Read more about the health benefits of sesame seeds.
Southern Indian cuisine uses sesame oil or gingilly /gingelly oil for cooking purposes and flavoring a couple of vegetable curries and stews.Its very common in many homes to find, Idlis (steamed rice cakes) being doused with gingilly oil and served with a spicy podi mixed in gingilly oil instead of ghee. Infact the famous mango pickle of Andhra “aavakai” is prepared with gingilly oil.Tamarind Rice or Pulihora taste is further enhanced by adding sesame seeds powder or nuvvulu podi.Among the wide variety of rice dishes of South India , Nuvullu Annam is one of my favorites and the addictive flavor of sesame in the sesame rice is sure to touch and delight your taste bud.
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