Name of EventPongal - Indian harvest feast
Rice mixed with tamarind sauce and an aromatic South-Indian spice mix.
|Preparation time||15- 20 minutes|
|Cooking time||30 minutes|
Tamarind paste & rice:
- 3 cups white rice – make sure the grains are separate - Leftover rice works great (any variety, I use Basmati)
- Tamarind – lemon sized ball, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes [Extract pulp using 3/4 cup of water and take out seeds/roots] You can use tamarind paste.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp yellow or black mustard seeds
- ! tbs.urad or white dahl/lentils
- 1 tbs.chana dhal/lentils
- raw peanuts – handful (optional)
- Dry red chilies – 2 or 3, or to taste
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- Curry leaves – few for garnishing
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbs.oil
- 1 tbs.urad dahl/lentils
- 1 tbs. chana dahl/lentils
- 4 dry red chilies or to taste
- 1 tbs. coriander seeds
- 1 tbs. white sesame seeds
- 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 1 tbs. raw peanuts (optional)
I have provided links for you to purchase harder to find ingredients highlighted in blue above.
Making the spice powder:
The spice powder is what determines the spice-level of the tamarind rice, so adjust the number of chilies according to taste.
- Heat some oil in a saute/frying pan.
- Add the urad and chana dal and cook until they start to brown, on med-high.
- Add the chilies, coriander seeds, sesame seeds and peanuts and cook for a couple more minutes on medium heat until light brown all over. Keep tossing around to prevent burning- and stop when you see the sesame seeds begins to crackle.
- Let the mixture cool down a little bit and then take it out in a food processor/ blender. You can use a morter and pestle, the tradtional method
- Grind to a coarse powder and store in a closed container to preserve the aroma/taste.
Making the tamarind paste (pulikachal):
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, chili, urad, peanuts, curry leaves and cook until slightly brown all over and mustard seeds start to pop/crackle.
- Add the grated ginger and turmeric powder and saute for a few seconds.
- Add the tamarind pulp and salt and mix well.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes until it reaches a thick paste-like consistency and oil begins to separate from the mix. Turn off the heat.
Bringing it all together:
- In a mixing bowl, add the cooked rice (keeping some aside to adjust for taste later). The rice must have cooled down a little to avoid mashing the grains while mixing.
- Add the tamarind paste a little at a time, mixing well and tasting to see if more is required (the rice can be strongly or lightly flavored based on your preference).
- Sprinkle spice powder to taste and mix together.
- Add more salt if needed and mix together.
- Set aside for 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to settle down.
- Do not mix all the rice, tamarind paste and spice mix at one go but rather to bring it together a little by little – so that you have some rice or spice/paste mix backup available if you wanted to adjust the taste to your preference.
- It is traditionaly served with potato fries/chips and pappadums.