Wednesday 23 July 2014

Cumin or Jeera Rice (ஜீரக சாதம்)

Cumin or jeera rice is a gentle pulav with the subtle flavor of cumin and other spices. Jeera rice is the ideal main course item for a special dinner menu, as it goes well both with dhal and gravy preparations. However, you can make it as a stand-alone pulav and serve it with vegetable kuruma. Children love to eat jeera rice with tomato ketch up! Hence, you can also use it as a lunch box recipe for your kid.

Ingredients: (Serves three)
Long grain rice or Basmati rice – 2 tumblers or 400ml measure (பாஸ்மதி அரிசி)
Onion – 1 no, sliced
Cooking oil – 1 tablespoon
Ghee – 1 tablespoon
Salt – to taste
Bay leaf – 2 no (பிரிஞ்சி இலை)
Cinnamon – 1” piece
Poppy seeds – 1 teaspoon (கசகசா)
Cumin seeds – 2 teaspoons
Cloves – 3 no
Cardamom – 3 no
Fennel seeds/ Saunf – 1 teaspoon (சோம்பு)
Jeera powder – ½ teaspoon (optional)*
Coriander leaves – chopped, 1 tablespoon

For the coconut milk:
Coconut – half a coconut
*I prefer to add jeera powder, as it enhances the taste of the pulav.
Cumin or Jeera Rice (ஜீரக சாதம்)
Method: Remove the white meat from coconut half and cut it into small pieces. Grind coconut pieces with ½ tumbler (100ml) of water into a very fine paste. Add 100ml of water to the paste, mix well and strain through a strainer into a bowl. Squeeze the coconut residue left in the strainer with a spoon to extract the remaining coconut milk. Keep aside.

Heat oil in the handi or pressure pan, add cumin and fennel seeds, and sauté till they start to crackle.
Add poppy seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves and sauté for a minute. Add sliced onions and fry till they turn light brown. Wash the rice well, drain and add to the handi or pan. Add ghee and fry for 2 minutes. Add coconut milk (200ml), 1¾ tumbler (350ml) of water, cumin powder and salt to the fried items. Mix well. Close the handi or pressure pan, and cook for 6 whistles or 5 minutes. Switch off the fire. Allow the pressure to subside. Open the lid and gently mix the pulav with a fork. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with vegetable kuruma. Click here for vegetable kuruma recipe.

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