Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Savory rice cakes - make over for left over rice

Do you ever have left over rice in your kitchen? Ok, that is a pretty stupid question to ask I suppose. Everybody at some point will have left over rice in their kitchen, right? Atleast most of us do. With nammamma, it was a given thing to always have atleast some cooked rice and some bit of curry after every meal, this was something she was used to because her kitchen had no defined boundaries of breakfast, lunch, dinner etc. We always had a constant flow of visitors (family and friends and us kids) and her meals seemed to kind of just merge and overlap into one another. I don't remember ever going into the kitchen without finding something to eat. Refrigerator came much later and the left overs would usually be preserved in various cool spots of the kitchen to prolong their life.

Rice being the staple, any left over would usually get carried forward into the next meal or get converted into chitranna or mosaranna or my favorite vaggarane anna for us kids next morning. On summer nights, if the weather was not amiable to keep left overs overnight, nammamma would wait for the sound of a lady who used to come late in the night asking for food. Any left over would be given off to this lady with a kid on her arm, she used to have this hanging cloth bag on her shoulder or an old battered aluminium vessel in her hand which would hold everything she could gather that night. I always wondered how that concoction tasted. Those were also the nights I helped out amma with washing the front door and learnt to put the rangoli (floral designs on the freshly washed ground made with either rice flour or the special rangoli powder).

After I got married and was pregnant with DD, I used to have these midnight cravings for plain mosaranna (yogurt rice) and amma started to make some extra rice and keep it in the refrigerator for me. Given my preference to spicy, deep fried food, everyone was quite surprised that I actually craved for the bland mosaranna, nature has its way of balancing I guess :-) or it was probably my beautiful daughter overruling my natural instincts during those 9 months. Hmm.. I digress much from the left over rice.
So what do you do when you have left over rice? I make a few things, vaggarane anna being my most favorite item. I know, I know, I said that name twice already and I don't have a link to the recipe on my blog, what a shame, right? I will put it up soon, it is a very dear recipe for many reasons and I just want to present it right :-). The other day I had made rice for lunch and also had made some pathrode, no prizes for guessing which one got left behind. I had a bowlful of rice and I was about to call it a night with some mosaranna when I suddenly remembered this recipe I had seen some time back. It was a pop up thingy on a Kannada news portal and I remembered thinking that it was a pretty attractive dish for left over rice. I wish there was a link I had captured for that recipe, but it just popped up on the side bar as I was browsing through the news. The video was by a lady named Hema Subramanian. The problem with these dynamic pop ups is that I cannot reproduce them when I want them. I will keep an eye and if I see it again, I will get some details.

With a bowl of left over rice and some stashed away pictures from memory, I set out to make these savory rice cakes. It was such a huge success that rice was purposefully left over :-) twice in the next week and we made these rice cakes multiple times. I have used both white and brown rice and it is consistently tasty. It is crispy on the outer layer but soft when you bite into it. If you do not have left over rice, go ahead and make it so you can have some, it is that tasty really :-). I am sure you can embellish it with other ingredients but we are in love with this basic formula for now. It makes a great tea time snack too. A very worthy recipe for left over rice.
What do you need to make savory rice cakes? 
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 - 3/4 rice flour (adjust to get the batter consistency, see procedure below)
1 Tblsp salt (adjust to taste)
2-3 green chilies - chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 inch long fresh ginger - peeled & chopped fine
2 Tblsp finely chopped cilantro
1 Tblsp oil + oil to roast the rice cakes
1/4 Tsp asafoetida
1 Tblsp chana dal/kadle bele
1 Tsp urad dal/uddina bele
How do you make savory rice cakes? 
  • Grind the cooked rice with 1/2 cup water until it is mashed completely. 
  • Add the dry flour, salt and grind it once to mix homogeneously. The batter should be slightly thicker than the regular dosa batter. 
  • Heat oil in a pan, add asafoetida and let it sizzle. Add mustard and the dals and fry till mustard pops and dals turn pink. 
  • Add the chopped green chilies, ginger and onion and fry until onion turns translucent. 
  • Switch off and pour the seasoning into the batter. 
  • Add chopped cilantro and mix well. Adjust the batter consistency with water(makes thinner) or rice flour (makes thicker).
  • Heat a flat griddle or dosa pan, pour a ladle of batter and spread very lightly. Add a couple of drops of oil around the edge and cook it on medium flame until the underside turns light brown. 
  • Flip it over and cook until the second side develops light brown spots. 
  • Serve it hot with any choice of chutney, pickle, sauce etc. 
  • Adding rice flour makes the batter easier to handle, reduces the stickiness of the cooked rice and gives a nice crispiness to the roasted rice cakes. 
  • Sauteed onions and chilies in this batter gives it a nice crunch and flavor. Try them raw for a different taste if you prefer. 
  • Roast the rice cakes on medium heat as you want it to develop a non-sticky texture when done. High heat burns the rice cakes but doesn't cook the insides thoroughly. 


Priya Suresh said...

Wat an excellent rice cakes, beautiful make over..Thanks NAgashree for ur kind words, your words are really encouraging dear.

kitchen queen said...

innovative and excellent idea to use left over rice deliciously.

Vani said...

I turn them into akki rottis. They turn out softer and my 3 year old prefers them over the regular akki rottis. I'll try dosas next time. How old are your kids?

NamsVeni Pothas said...

wow. very innovative and tasty and healthy mouth watering dear very nice dish. sure i will taste it.

radharaopv said...

Good idea.We too follow this.Usually next day it turns to Pulihora.