Nuvullu Annam (Sesame Flavored Rice)

Sesame flavored rice or Nuvullu Annam is a light flavoured rice delicacy, enriched with nutrients from seasame seeds and Indian spices.This dish is simple unlike a pampered biryani..:)in the fact that the main ingredient is only sesame seeds with the infusion of spices like curry leaves and mustard seeds in the tempering. Sesame seeds have no aroma but the flavor intensifies by lightly dry roasting the seeds giving it a sweet and nutty.

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 advice… If you don’t have fresh curry leaves on hand,I suggest you prepare this rice only when you have fresh leaves as the dry ones don’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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Nuvvulu annam

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  sesame seeds


  •   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
  •   ¼ 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

Method for making Nuvvulu annam

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).


  • maRLinda

    Hi there 🙂
    Thanks for your comment at my journal. Though I have yet to browse through yours, I am so glad came over. Now I have a very good infomation and recipes of Indian food! Thank you mate 🙂

  • Priya

    wow, looks delicious. Thanx for sharing the recipe. I love ur way of explaining the nutritional values. And all ur recipes are just too good.

  • Saffron Hut

    sounds wonderful and healthy!

  • CJ’s Food Fantasy

    It’s so funny – I just made a basic fried rice last night..yours look amazing and the ingredients is so exotic..thanks for sharing your recipe Sailu..


  • Santhi

    Its has been a looong time since i made this one sailu. Its almost like i forgot about it!!!!! Thanks for bringing it back.

  • shammi

    Hi Sailu, I love sesame rice but have never made it myself. Will definitely try your recipe soon! 🙂

  • shammi

    Hi Sailu, I love sesame rice but have never made it myself. Will definitely try your recipe soon! 🙂

  • Mika

    Sesame rice is one of my favorites. That looks mouth-watering.

  • fooDcrazEE

    sailu, simple and delish recipe. Thanx for it. I made a mistake though…..shouldnt have come before dinner.

  • sailu

    Thanks for dropping by,Marlinda.

    Thanks so very much,Priya.

    Do try it,SH.

    I am glad it brought back memories,Santhi.

    Your most welcome,Cj.

    Do let me know how it turns out,Shammi.

    One of my fav’s too,Mika.


  • KrishnaArjuna

    Sailu this is a great recipe with nuvvulu. I have never tasted it. This joins my must try list.

  • Indira

    Like Santhi mentioned, it’s been a while since I prepared this rice. Few weeks ago some other Indian blogger blogged about it, I forgot where I saw this recipe before, from then on I’m dreaming of making this recipe. Now looking at yours, I can’t stop my salivating tastebuds. 🙂
    One question, I’m curious to know what other things accompany this rice? Do you take it like ‘chitrannam’ or with sidedish like some curries or yogurt?
    Thanks Sailu!

  • Indira

    I just reread your post again. Got the answer to my question.

  • Annita

    Hi Sailu,
    I’m really glad i’ve found your blog.
    Now i’ll be a regular visitor of your blog.Your photos make me drool!!

  • Kitchenmate

    Sailu: I heard my friend talking about this recipe,and since then it keeps me hooked, though i never had chance of getting the recipe from her. I am going too try this. Thanks for sharing this recipe:)
    BTW: I have recipe for Sesame thovayal (thick chutney made from white sesame seeds and really yummy side dish), i will post it sometime.

  • sailu

    Your welcome,Indira.Nuvvullu annam chaala ruchikara maina vantakam.Andharaki eshtapade vantakam..:)

    KM,look forward to your sesame thovayal post.

  • ramya

    Namaste! Sailu , Thanks for visitng my blog .congrats for your blog.Sorry for belated comment.I was busy with my work.please do visit again.Let me add more from my general knowledge,Sesame oil is right ingredient in weight control issues.I mean no obesity problems .
    I hope you follow my point.
    Bye and good wishes.

  • Devagi Sanmugam

    Hi there, Talking about sesame seeds and sesame oils…….a few years ago I did a research for a food magazine in Singapore and would like to share what I found out. You know how it is about the Indians having to drink sesame oil after their get their first menses. They usually do that for 1 month right and if they are non vegetarians they have to eat a raw egg too. After one month they will have the ceremony to announce to the world that the “daughter is now a big lady”. The research showed that the girls who drank sesame oil for 1 month grew up to be girls with very pretty shiny skin as well as turn out to be very shapily……..bustier and a bigger hip. This is due to the plant estrogen the sesame seeds and oil have. So girls if you want clear beautiful sking, use sesame oil on your body and eat lots of sesame seeds.
    Hey, I am from Singapore and just started a food blog. Please visit

    Devagi Sanmugam

  • rums

    great recipe sailu! i love sesame, i use sesame seeds along with suji to coat fish pieces before frying. but tell me does sesame heat up your system?

  • Puspha

    This is something new to me. Very interesting recipe.

  • Kelvin

    Kia Ora (Hello) from that blogger down under in New Zealand. Hey – what a really great foodie blog !!! You are most welcome to join my food blog, if you want. I will also list you blog, if you don’t mind.

  • sailu

    Namaste Ramya!Yes,your absolutely right in saying its a healthy vegetable oil..its an oil rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s).. (“good” kind of cholesterol cutting fat).

    Hi Devagi,its so nice to have an renowned chef comment here.Thanks so much for your valuable inputs on sesame seeds and sesame oil.Sesame Oil is the very best natural conditioner for the skin(softens and rejuvenates) and it neutralizes oxygen radicals which are thought to be one of the major causes of aging.Its an anti-aging oil with many therapeutic qualities and through the centuries,sesame seeds have been used for cooking and beauty / body care in India.

    Thanks rums!Yes,sesame has warming properties and is recommended for ‘vata’ imbalanced individuals.And its not harmful when taken in moderation(any kind of food infact).

    Do try it sometime,Pushpa.You will love the taste of sesame flavored rice.

  • BDSN

    Hi Sailu…
    Very interesting post..Will try this soon..

  • Priya

    Sailu its me again, i made this rice yday and just loved it. It was so easy and very tasty . And adding lots of curry leaves enhaces the taste.Its so different from the usual variety rice. Thanx for sharing such a wonderful recipe. Wanted to take a picture and post it in my blog, but it quickly dissappeared 🙁

  • Roush

    Hello Sailu
    i saw ur recipes..they are simpily great

  • Lera

    Sailu, This is something new…I am sure the aroma of nuvvulu is appetising!

  • Menu Today

    Your version of seasame rice is different and nice…)..

  • SaltnPepper

    hi sailu,
    i will try ur recipe and let me enjoy that taste. ur concept of food blog for ayurvedic home remedies.great!!!!

  • Kathy

    wow, this sounds fantastic! I like that you list the health benefits of sesame seeds, too. Good read!

  • desiknitter

    Sailu, I made the sesame rice last night and it came out wonderfully. It was a totally new recipe for me and I loved the taste. I wish the curry leaves had been fresher – next time! Thanks. I love your recipes and along with Indira’s have really been learning a lot about Andhra food!

  • Linda

    Hi Sailu,

    I’ve had this bookmarked for some time, and finally got to try it tonight — it tastes as delicious as it sounds!

    I am so glad you enjoyed it, Linda..:)

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