On days I make rice, I make a bit extra and use it for variety rice, which is what we refer to rice that has been flavoured with various ingredients- lemon, tamarind, curd, tomato, coriander- to name a few. These are perfect when made with rice that is a day or two old and cold out of the refrigerator. Its also a one pot meal which pairs well with just a pickle, poppadom and maybe some yoghurt if needed,
This coconut rice recipe is an absolute favourite and it makes its way into my kitchen at least twice a month. Its perfect for summer (or whatever they call this ridiculous weather we’ve been having), light, not too spicy but with brilliant flavours and if you are feeling a bit indulgent you can of course pair it with a chicken curry and serve at a party.
Serves 2 as part of main meal
Cooked basmati rice- 2 1/2 cups
Ghee- 1 tsp
Vegetable oil- 1/2 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies- 3, crushed or torn
Curry leaves- a sprig
Cashew nuts- 2 tbsp
Asafoetida- a generous pinch
Urad dal- 2 tbsp
Grated coconut- 1/2 cup
Salt- to taste
In a large wok, heat together the ghee and vegetable oil.
Add the mustard seeds and once they begin to pop, add the dried red chillies and curry leaves. Stir until they become almost crisp.
Add the urad dal, cashew nuts and asafoetida and continue stirring, making sure the dal and cashew nuts get ricely roasted and turn a light golden brown in colour. Make sure they do not burn, as this may change the flavour to a slightly smoky one.
Add the dessicated coconut and keep stirring on medium heat till the wetness from the coconut disappears and it becomes fragrant and lightly toasted- it should turn a reddish brown. This should take 7 to 8 minutes. keep a close eye as coconut can burn pretty quickly.
Add the rice, breaking it down carefully.
Add salt, mix them all together and take off the heat.
Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot with pickle and poppadoms.