Rice is an ingredient with endless possibilities. We often see it relegated to the side of the plate. However, the preparation of rice is an art form. Studded with spices, herbs, fruit and nuts, Indian rice is found at most meals, often taking centre stage at the table.
People in most Asian countries, rice is considered their main dish, while in western countries it is used as a side-dish. In Asian countries, basic steamed rice is served with some curry or dal and some side-dish. It is also used to prepare many variety rice dishes in which cooked rice is seasoned and flavoured with lemon, tomato, tamarind, curd or coconut. Vegetables can be added while cooking rice to make different one pot meals called pulaos. Biryani is yet another famous preparation with rice and meat that is made during special occasions.
There are many varieties of rice available which varies in size, colour and texture. There is white, brown, red and black rice that has different nutritional benefits. For most biryani and pulao preparations, basmati rice is commonly used. For south Indian style variety rice, mostly raw rice or boiled rice is used.
Do you want all the grains to be separated and your rice to be light and fluffy? There are a few ways to get this result. The most basic way to do it is to take your rice grains and soak them in cold water for about an hour, then rinse the rice several times. What that does is it takes off the excess starch. The less starch you have, the less sticky the rice will be when it’s finished cooking. Another method is to put a generous amount of cooking fat in it — it could be ghee (melted butter), cooking oil or coconut oil, whatever you like to use.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Ingredients for Rice:
Rice (I used basmati rice here)- 1 cup
2 tablespoons oil
water – 1 3/4 cup
teaspoon salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tablespoons
cumin seed – 1/2 teaspoon
mustard seed – 1/2 teaspoon
turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
2 red whole red chili
1 green chili sliced in long way
curry leaves – 2/3 sprigs
2 tablespoons chana dal (split Bengal gram), pre-soaked in water for at least half an hour
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
salt to taste
lemon juice – 1/4 cup
1)Wash rice gently changing water several times until the water appears clear.
For fluffier rice, the rice should be soaked for at least 15 minutes prior to cooking.
2)Drain the rice and put it into the saucepan. Add water, oil, and salt, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.
3)Cook about 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated. Turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork.
1)Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat; stir-fry the peanuts for about 2 minutes until peanuts changes the colour to light brown. Take out the peanuts from oil and use the same oil for rest of the seasoning.
2) Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds after seeds crack add red chili, curry leaves, and green chilies, and stir for a few seconds. Add the chana dal (split Bengal gram), stir-fry for about a minute.
3) Add turmeric and mix it well. Add the pre-cooked rice, peanuts and sprinkle salt and lemon juice over the rice.
4) Mix gently, making sure do not break the rice and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Lemon rice is ready!!