Sunday, November 21, 2010

Traditional South Indian Yogurt rice with Pomegranates

Our meal generally ends with yogurt rice. Regularly, it would be rice mixed with yogurt and a little salt. On special occasions, we spice it up up by adding tempered mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and an assortment of fruits/ veggies like grapes, pomegranates, raisins, carrot, cucumber, cilantro, raw mango etc. Yes!! it is a savory dish - and made with yogurt. It feels heavenly to eat a bowl of yogurt rice on a warm summer afternoon... There is nothing more soothing than this!!!

It is a simple and easy preparation and is traditional to south India. Every home/ restaurant in Tamil Nadu (India) serves this for lunch.

Rice - 1 cup
Yogurt - 1 cup
Milk - very little as required
Pomegranate arils - 3/4 cup
Cilantro - 1 tbsp, finely chopped

Salt to taste

For tempering:
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Green chilies - 3 slit in the center
Ginger - 1/4 tsp, finely chopped or minced
Curry leaves - 1 stem (leaves loosened)
Hing - 1/8 tsp

For grinding (this step is optional):
Cumin - 1/4 tsp
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp

Cook the 1 cup of rice with 2 1/2 - 3 cups of water. This would make it a little soggy, and that is exactly what we need (I use my rice cooker). When the rice is still warm, mash it with a ladle. Grind cumin and grated coconut  with little water into a smooth paste. Add this paste and yogurt to the rice and mix well. If the mixture seems very thick, add milk until it reaches desired consistency.

Heat little oil in a pan. When hot, add mustard seeds and they will start spluttering. Use a splutter screen to avoid a mess. When the spluttering stops, add the other 'tempering' ingredients. When urad dal turns golden drown, add the tempering to yogurt rice. Now add pomegranates and cilantro and mix well. Cool in the refrigerator, if required. Yummy yummy yogurt rice is ready to be enjoyed!!

This was our main course-2 during the POM dinner party I recently hosted. Check out the recap here.

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