2 Cups (260 grams) Basmati Rice (for best results use Tilda): for approx for 4 persons.
2-3 Tablespoons gee or oil.
½ teaspoon asafoeitida (hing)
1 Tablespoon split black gram (urad dal)
1 Tablespoon slip gram (chana dal)
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ Cup peanuts (ie approx 6 Tablespoons)
15-20 curry leaves
5 Tablespoons lemon juice (or lime juice) from fresh lemons or limes.
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 Tablespoons (unsweetened) desiccated coconut (if available freshly grated coconut is preferred)
Salt (to taste)
2-3 chilies, cut in half (optional)
We learn from our teacher: “Fenugreek comes from an aromatic Mediterranean plant that produces long pods that contain oblong brownish coloured seeds. The seeds have a slightly bitter taste and are roasted and ground and used as a flavouring in curries. The leaves from the plant (often sold as “methi”) can be used in salads, and both fresh and dried leaves are used in Indian cookery. The seeds and leaves have a strong aroma.”
I also wanted to know more about “slip gram / chana dal” and more specifically, if these were maybe just a different names for split peas. On the “Yahoo Answers”website I found an excellent answer that tells me the diffeence between Chana Dal, Yellow Split Peas and Pigeon Peas:
The native variety of Indian chickpea is called Desi Chana. The mature seed has a seed-coat that is rough brown.
Due to its color, it is also called Kala chana. India is the largest producer and consumer of Desi Chana. Decorticated split Desi chana is called Chana Dal. Chana Dal is yellow in color.
Yellow Split pea
This is the fully mature green-pea that has been dried. In Hindi, green-pea is called Mattar. The deorticated ‘dried split pea’ is called called ‘Peeli Mattar Dal’.
The yellow split pea looks like like Chana Dal. Yellow split pea is cheaper than the Chana Dal. It is illegal but some manufactures mix the two seeds to produce lower cost ground flour called Besan.
The pigeon peas are only second to Desi Chana in consumption in India. The seed-coat of the whole seed may be red, or brown. The whole seeds are deorticated and split and called Arhar Dal or Toor Dal. Some of the toor Dal is coated with castor oil for preservation
All the three decorticated split seeds look yellow. The chana dal is more rounder and smaller. The Arhar Dal is flatter. The Mattar dal is about same as chana dal but lighter pale.”
I understand that people around the world have different access (or not) to specialist ingredients and therefore since I have quite a few recipes in this series I will also shortly be running a competition where you are invited to make a comment on getting to know these genuine Indian recipes.
One lucky winner will then receive a small parcel of the more specialist items so that they can make and enjoy these recipes at home as well. Watch this space!
Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water and pour into a microwave container (or Pyrex container). Add four cups of cold water (important note: always use the same cup for measuring the rice as well as the water) . Place in a microwave for 20/21 minutes at 900 Watts.
For Step-by Step photos of how to easily do this in your microwave click on this link: http://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/new-1118/
In the meantime, heat the gee (or vegetable oil) in a deep frying pan (Wok pan is ideal)
To the hot gee add the peanuts, fry for a few minutes, remove, drain and keep to one side.
To the same gee, add the split black gram (ural dal) and slip gram (chana dal)…
Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) and fry for approx. 3 minutes until the dals change colour to a light brown.
Then the mustard seeds, leave for about 30 seconds…
Take some curry leaves from your frozen stash…
Stir and add the curry leaves and the chilies (if using).
Add the asafoeitida …
Now add the fried peanuts and stir as they cook for a further few minutes…
Now you are ready to add the cooked rice…
Fold the spices through the rice…
Then add the turmeric powder…
Then salt (sorry, not pictured) and lemon juice. (or you can use lime juice if you prefer).
Stir well and garnish with grated coconut or (unsweetened) desiccated coconut.
Teacher’s Notes: Serving tip: Can be served with most vegetable preparations.
Kiwi’s notes, I was undecided if I liked this recipe or not. I love the flavour but the crunchiness of the Dal’s in the recipe means it might take a few goes to get used to the texture.
My fellow class-mates loved it, so as usual this is entirely personal preference. I have the added difficulty that Himself is not a fan of citrus flavours and would therefore love Lemon Rice if there were no lemon (or lime) in it and that Kiwi Daughter has a severe peanut allergy so I can see that I might be eating this one alone at home. (I loved the peanuts and the lemon!). I am fast liking the idea that plain white rice can be so easily transformed and take it from me, there might be quite a few photos but this is a really easy recipe to make!