Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lemon Rice

My first tofurobot post from India! This is one of my favorite dishes here . . . a little spicy, a little salty, a little sour, and a lovely yellow color. I warn you that the measurements are in no way exact, though -- I tried to just guess as I watched my homestay aunt make it. It's made with white rice here, but I bet it would also be good with brown. And once you stock up on all the ingredients at the Indian grocery store, you can use them to make Priya's amazing cabbage curry!

2 cups cooked and cooled rice
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp "putani" -- yellow split peas, I guess? I think I've seen it labeled as chana dal . . .
4 dried red chilis (more or less, depending on how spicy you want it), stems removed, broken into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp black mustard seeds
about 15 curry leaves
3 tbs shelled peanuts
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 small lemons, or 1 1/2 large (American-sized) lemons. The ones here are itty-bitty!

Spread the rice out on a plate or shallow pan.

Heat about 2 tbs oil in a pot till it's REALLY hot. Add the cumin, dal, chilis, mustard seeds, curry leaves, peanuts, and turmeric and stir for about 30 seconds, till the chilis start to darken. Dump the spice mixture onto the rice (quickly, or it'll burn!). Sprinkle with salt and let it cool for a few minutes. Squeeze the lemons over everything and mix it all together with your hands. Serve with plain yogurt. Soooo yummy!

This definitely needs a protein with it, though. I'm wondering if it might go well with spicy fried tofu for an intensely flavored dinner. Hrm. Lu, experiment and get back to me on that :)

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