Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pepper-Sesame rice - A fragrant, no add on needed easy lunch box recipe

Hope you all had a good weekend. We did. The last couple of weeks have been hectic and blurry with work, school and everything else going on around. Finally, this Saturday with DD away on a weekend event from school, me & BH decided on an impromptu Seattle visit. Weather was nice, neither sweaty hot nor nippy cold so we hopped on a bus to down town, did some ferrying and a lot of walking around in the down town. Were back home in time for Flora's dinner. Since I didn't pack any food, we gorged on a delicious veggie panini and some falafel before finishing off the day with a home made quick bhel puri. All in all, a wonderful day.

Here is one of my cell phone captures - the many moods of the Seattle needle. Enjoy.
Since it is the weekend, I thought I will share a little commentary of a movie I watched. No, this is not a regular feature on the blog, I promise before you stop visiting my blog :-). Maybe some day, I might start sharing the books I read and the occasional movies I watch. I will give you enough warning though :-). This was one of the movies I loved watching in a long while. I saw Silver Linings Playbook that won Jennifer Lawrence her best actress award in the recent Oscars. For starters, she deserves the award every bit. But the movie itself is so well made that I thought every one especially the director deserved an award. Some subjects are very delicate and at the same time hard to make a movie of and I felt the director came out with flying colors on this one. While there is enough comedy in the movie, it is not a light hearted take on the subject. The movie (based on a book) does not attempt to change any person to bring about a happy ending but shows that acceptance of the situation enables one to find the silver lining in life no matter how high the odds are staked against you. There is some really harsh and raw language, not recommended for kids at all.

Back to today's recipe, this is one of the rice varieties nammamma made infrequently. I am not sure what the reason was, especially since it is delicious and easy to put together. I had almost forgotten about it until I tasted it a few years ago in the temple here. Someone had brought it in on a Sunday as an offering and we all got to taste the prasadam afterwards. It is a proven fact (to me :-)) that the food you get to eat in temples is one of the most delicious food, somehow you don't seem to get the same taste when eaten else where. I think it is a combination of the food and the surroundings. So I got rehooked again and made it at home. Both BH and DD loved it and so this has become a frequent rice item in our kitchen.

It is a very fragrant rice with a combination of roasted dal, pepper and sesame seeds. I add the dry coconut just like nammamma to mellow down and balance the pepper a little bit. Amma also made the seasoning using ghee instead of oil which made the final product almost divine in taste :-). You can try that sometime when you are not watching calories. The powder stays fresh when frozen, so if you want to gain some time, make this powder in larger quantities but be sure to lock the fragrance in either a good zip lock bag or a container with tight lid immediately after grinding the powder. This rice itself taste better after it has sat for a while which is a big plus if you are planning to make this for parties, picnics or everyday lunches.
What do you need to make Pepper-Sesame rice? 
1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup urad dal
1 Tsp black pepper (adjust to spice tolerance)
1.5 Tsp white sesame seeds
1/4 cup grated dry coconut (Copra/kobbari)
1 Tblsp salt (adjust to taste)
1.5 Tblsp oil
1 Tsp mustard
1 Tsp chana dal
1 Tsp urad dal
1-2 broken dry red chilies
4-6 curry leaves
2 Tblsp raw peanuts

How do you make Pepper-Sesame rice? 
  • Cook rice so the grains are fully cooked but not mashed. As soon as it is done, spread it in a wide bowl and let it cool down. 
  • Heat a thick pan on medium heat, add the urad dal and fry for a minute until it becomes warm. 
  • Add the pepper corns and continue to roast until urad dal turns light pink, keep the heat on medium and continue to stir frequently.
  • Add the sesame seeds once the dal turns pink and continue roasting for a minute. 
  • Add the grated dry coconut, switch off and let cool.
  • Make a fine powder of the cooled ingredients, and mix it along with salt into the rice with light fingers taking care not to break the rice grains or mush them up. 
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the seasoning ingredients and fry until mustard crackles and peanuts are roasted well. Add the seasoning to the rice. 
  • Let the rice settle in with the flavors for 10-15 minutes before eating. 
  • Freshly cooked rice is best in this recipe though you can use left over rice. Make sure to break up the rice grains if using left over rice. 
  • This rice becomes fragrant with the roasted urad dal and pepper and it is important to dry roast the ingredients on medium to low heat taking care not to burn them. 
  • You can make the dal powder in a large quantity and freeze the remaining in a zip lock bag or a container with a tight lid. 
  • I do not use asafoetida or turmeric powder in the seasoning as I like the flavor of roasted urad and pepper. 


prathibha Garre said...

I love variety rice recipes..looks nice n spicy

NamsVeni Pothas said...

very good pepper- sesame rice recipe and a good movie review. nice weekend you had with your BH.this rice is a dry one and you need a side dish with curds.

kitchen queen said...

delicious and tempting pepper and sesame rice.

LG said...

Slurp! Simple n tasty. Will try it soon :)

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Good to know you guys had a great time at Seattle...short and sweet break are always a welcome relief from routine work...
Lovely flavorful rice.

Meena Selvakumaran said...

sometimes simple food is so comforting,love this combo,surely tastes great.

Premas Culinary said...

Delicious rice luks fab...

Priya Suresh said...

Beautiful capture, we need always some short break to get ride of routine stress na. Hope u had great time there.

Who will say to this rice, simple,quick and healthy as well.

Sona S said...

Flavorful and delicious rice.