Coconut Rice

I know I know I know, it has been almost a year since we posted.  While cooking has been my therapy, I have not had the mind to sit down and write a post. A lot of things happened in 2014.  Ashwin turned 4, my dad passed away. I am slowly trying to focus only on the positive side of things.  Ashwin is a riot to be around, a super picky eater, loves fruits, will run a mile away from rice and yet loves his idly and dosas, asks his teachers if his water is gluten free with a straight face. He insists, “He does not like that kind of food” when biriyani is served, but quickly forgets what he just told us, when we hear a satisfactory Mmmmm.

Coconut rice and roasted potato curry is my all-time favorite combo. My mom would make it for me every birthday along with Vermicelli kheer for dessert. When I made it today, I tried to have Ashwin taste it, “too many seeds in the rice amma” was his response.  I told him the story of how I would beg my amma to make this for me every day and made a statement that I would have been thrilled if he liked it too. His response was so philosophical, “it is ok amma, I sometimes like your food and sometimes I don’t”. So true right? While we worry about simple things, there are people facing bigger challenges than we have. I had the privilege of teaching three students in my cooking class who are blind. They requested that they should not be treated any differently and to be descriptive when explaining the process. It was inspiring to see their enthusiasm. I emailed the recipes to them and they listened to it as we cooked in class.  We broke open a coconut in class and they were quick to learn how to scrape it off the shell, grated it using a food processor and then sautéing it as well. I was in awe!!! I was honored to teach them and would love to do more cooking classes like this. Greg mentioned that If I teach a lamb curry in class, he will come back. I have to work that into my menu now. A child hood favorite now is all the more special after I taught this class

Basmati rice – 1 cup

Ghee – 3 tsp

Channa Dhal – 2 T

Mustard seeds – 1tsp

Unsalted Cashew nuts – 1 T

Curry leaves – 6 to 8 leaves (optional)

Asafetida – 1/8th tsp

Dried red Chilli – 1

Freshly grated coconut or dried desiccated – ½ cup

  • Heat a large pot with roughly 5 to 6 cups of water. When it comes to a rapid boil, add the rice and allow it cook for roughly 8-10 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, scoop out a few grains of rice to check if they are fully cooked. Strain the rice and rinse in cold water ( this is an optional step)
  • Spread the rice on a baking sheet and let it cool down
  • Heat ghee in a pan and start frying Channa dal until it turns golden brown, set aside.
  • In the remaining ghee add the mustard seeds, cashew nuts, curry leaves, asafetida, and dried red chilli and roast till the mustard seeds pop. Pour the seasoning over the rice
  • In the same pan, roast the coconut until it slightly changes color. Add this and channa dhal to the rice
  • Add salt and fold it gently, so the flavors blend in. Check for seasonings and adjust to taste.
  • Serve at room temperature

Notes: You can use left over rice to make this dish. It does not have to be basmati rice. You want each grain to be separate.

3 years ago

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