“I can live on curd rice”- a 90+ % probability that you will hear a South Indian say this every time you have a conversation around food with him or her.
While a lot of people are puzzled with the magic of curd rice ( it’s a damn simple thing to make right – just mix rice and curd! ), it’s something that is considered as an essential part of any meal except breakfast in the south. The grannies in their hay days would sit kids down and give them a lecture on the “health” benefits of curd rice. The grannies are being replaced with moms these days. While the discourse is still the same, it’s just the voice over that seems to have changed!
A Bangalorean will give you the name of a few Sagars and Darshinis (these are famous food chains in Bangalore), a Tamilian will smilingly say Saravana Bhavan or Adayar Ananda Bhavan, but for me, the best curd rice is made at home!
Here’s a simple way to make curd rice – Come on, I’m not gonna say mix rice and curd!
This is a recipe for 2:
1 cup rice
250 ml curd / plain yoghurt
1 finely chopped onion
1 tea spoon mustard seeds
1 tea spoon Methi seeds (Fenugreek)
1 tea spoon Chana Dhal (Split Chickpeas)
1 tea spoon Urad Dhal (Black Gram)
2 green Chillies (yes, if you are from Andhra, read that as 20!)
Some freshly shopped coriander
A few pieces of cashew nut & raisins
Pressure cook the rice using the standard 1:2, rice is to water. Once you get the standard 3 whistles on your cooker, switch off the cooker. Wait for about 5 minutes. The pressure would not have settled and that’s the fun part. Place the cooker under a stream on running tap water. Enjoy the sound of water hitting hit mettle and the pressure goes down real quick. Once this is done, you will be able to open the cooker!
On a pan, sauté the onions along with the mustard, methi and dhals – The onions go last. Sauté till golden brown. Add the nuts and raisins and sauté for another minute or so. Empty the sautéed contents onto the open cooker which has the rice still hot!
To the rice, add about a quarter glass of water, pour in the curds and add the chillies and coriander and mix them up nicely. The fact that you are looking at hot rice that has been cooled real quickly facilitates the mashing process. Add a little bit of salt to taste. Mix them up nicely and your curd rice is ready to go!
The curd and the water ensure that your rice cools real quickly too. I think the taste comes from this heating and cooling business! Who cares about science when I can get curd rice?
Enjoy with a pickle of your choice – you’ll invariably not need the pickle in this case!
PS: The onions are optional. You may add a dash of asafetida in case you like. Feel free to add a lil more curd in case you want your curd rice to be a little more fluid. Have it within 15 minutes of your making this and I can guarantee you that the vessels will clean themselves up!
Image Credit: Vineelas Cuisine
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