If I truly tell my preference for a South Indian Sunday meal,it would be this.How can I describe the delicate aroma and the lovely flavors incorporated into this wonderful dish.Rice has been a staple food of many countries and I love many versions.But this is close to my heart and very very delectable with hot freshly fried Appalams(South Indian small Papads).
This was the Challenge for the group Shhhhh Secretly Cooking Challenge for the September month – Andhra Cuisine!Tamarind Rice is a very popular temple “Prasad” or an offering to God which is then distributed among the assembled devotees.The temple of Tirupati apart from the famous patented Boondi Laddus also dishes out delicious servings of Tamarind Rice which tastes even more wonderful as it is blessed by Lord Venkateshwara!
I was paired with Priya Iyer who blogs at The Photowali!I gave Priya Gongura (which is a kind of leaf called Sorrel in English widely grown in Andhra and Telangana Regions) and Chillies.She proceeded to make a delicious chutney which can be viewed here :
1.The Tamarind Paste may be made in bulk and refrigerated in a clean and dry glass container.It can be used next time you want to make Tamarind Rice.
2.While mixing the rice some people pour approx 3-4 tbsp Sesame oil into the rice to give it a good texture.However if you do not want more oil in the diet then please refrain from doing so.
3.I f you do not want to use Sesame Oil then don’t.Use refined oil but the taste will differ from the authentic version.
Preparation Time – 1 hour
Makes – 4 servings
3 cups steamed rice
Salt to taste
FOR TAMARIND PASTE
100 gms Tamarind soaked in water
3 tsp Sesame Oil/Til Oil
2 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Dried Red Chilies
FOR THE SEASONING
1/4 cup chickpeas(Kabuli Chana) soaked overnight and boiled till soft.
2 tbsp Urad Dal
2 tbsp Chana Dal
1/4 cup raw peanuts
15 curry leaves
A small ball of Jaggery
1 tsp asafoetida
2 tbsp Sesame oil
POWDER FOR SPRINKLING ON TOP
1 tsp asafoetida
2 dried red chilies
2 tsp whole Coriander seeds
2 tsp whole Fenugreek Seeds(methi)
Prepare the Tamarind Paste :
Soak the tamarind in warm water for approx 10 minutes.Strain the water and dilute the Tamarind approx 6-7 times with water and squeeze the water in a bowl.Heat Sesame oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and dried red chilies.Add the tamarind liquid and stir.Allow it to come to a boil and let it reduce gradually.In around 15 minutes it will reduce to approx half its quantity and be a semi-thick paste.
Keep it aside to cool.
Prepare the seasoning :
While the Tamarind paste is being prepared take both the Urad and Chana Dals.Soak them in water for approx 30 minutes.Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.Fry till they pop.Now add the soaked Dals.Add asafoetida.Keep on frying on medium heat.Fry till the Urad Dal turns pinkish in color while the Chana Dal takes on a rosy hue.Add the chickpeas and fry for 4-5 minutes,add peanuts and continue frying.Fry till the peanuts crackle and become a golden to dark brown in color.Now add the curry leaves.Take off heat and keep aside.
Roast the ingredients for sprinkling on the top.Cool and powder finely.
Mixing the Rice :
Take a large mixing bowl.I used a pressure cooker pan here.Ladle the rice into it.Add salt a little in the beginning. Start adding the Tamarind Paste.Taste as you mix and finally balance the Tamarind with the salt.Mix well.Now start mixing the prepared Dals and peanut Masala into the rice.Add the powder and mix very well but gently in order not to break the rice grains.
The delicious Tamarind Rice is ready.Serve hot with deep-fried Appalams* and other papads or chips.
* A South Indian Papad which is smaller than the general ones we get in the stores.Ask for them either by name or South Indian Papad and you will be sure to get them.