Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quick Puliyodarai With Vegetables (Tamarind Rice)

Puliyodarai means tamarind rice. It is one of the triumvirate of traditional dishes (along with Lemon Rice and Yogurt rice) that always made its venerable and much anticipated appearance at our picnics. (They also make wonderful journey food as they last a while without refrigeration.) Traditional puliyodarai does not contain veggies.


This is a delectable recipe that is easy for family meals and impressive enough for parties too. I use the packaged Puliyogare Mix to season the rice and veggies. Leftover plain steamed rice can also be used to make this dish. Frozen veggies make it a snap to prepare; but if you prefer, you can use fresh vegetables. I generally like to use mild flavored veggies like corn, green beans, carrots, peas, etc which do not compete with the seasonings.

Puliyogare Mix and other ingredients are available in Indian markets.

Puliyodarai is traditionally served with lots of fried papadams and accompanied by yogurt rice as a counterpoint to cool the palate. I love serving it with a chopped tomato salad which provides a lovely contrast in flavors and colors. It is to live for!!

Six Servings

Ingredients:

1 cup rice
3 cups fresh veggies OR 1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables (1 lb)
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard seeds
1 Tbsp Chana dal
1 Tbsp Urad dal
1 pinch Asafoetida
1 stalk Fresh Curry Leaves
1 Tbsp Chinese Sesame oil
2 Tbsp Puliyogare Mix or to taste
Sea Salt
Turmeric

1/4 cup Roasted Peanuts for garnish

Method:

Place the rice in a strainer; wash well with plenty of fresh water and let drain. Set aside.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pan. Stir in a couple of pinches of salt, turmeric, and the washed rice.

Bring to a boil again, stir well, and turn off the heat. Cover and let sit undisturbed for at least 15 to 20 minutes or until needed.

Heat a large skillet with the oil; add mustard seeds, chana and urad dal. Cook stirring until mustard seeds pop.

Add asafoetida, curry leaves and the mixed vegetables.

Sprinkle 1/4 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until veggies are tender. Stir in the Puliyogare mix and cook for a couple of more minutes. Turn off the heat.

Gently fluff the rice and add to the vegetables. Drizzle the sesame oil on top and fold the rice with a thin spatula into the veggies to mix gently but thoroughly.

Set aside covered for about 10 - 15 minutes for the flavors to meld.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature garnished with roasted peanuts. Delicious!

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