Tuesday, January 05, 2010

10 ways of eating rice in India

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10 ways of eating rice in India
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1.: Thin flattened rice Rice is parboiled, flattened and dried. It can then be eaten as a breakfast cereal, with just sugar or mixed with yogurt / milk / fruit puree .Sample Recipe : Choora Dahi .( Rice flakes and yogurt) Take a handful of thin rice flakes. Mix with half a cup of yogurt and three pinches of jaggery / sugar. Replace yogurt with mango puree and it becomes Chura Aam ( Bihar)

Rice is the staple food of South India, East India, Kashmir and most of North East India. Different regions have their own special ways of eating rice as listed below.

Soaked Rice: Soaking rice is a method of ‘cooking’ it. In fact, Kumol saul, a rice from Assam can be eaten without cooking. It is soaked in water for 15 minutes till it is soft and fluffy. It is then eaten mixed with milk,/ yogurt & jaggery / sugar.

Pressed and Puffed rice Another Assam specialty called Hurum rice is both pressed and puffed and can be eaten straight.

Rice crepes Sample Recipe :Mangalore Neer Dosa: Take a cup of rice. Soak in two cups of water overnight. Drain. Mix in half a handful of grated coconut, three pinches of salt and blend to a smooth paste. Mix in enough water to make a thin batter. Pour a ladle on a hot non stick skillet and spread to a thin pancake. Cover with a lid and cook till done.

Leavened Rice crepes: In the recipe above, replace coconut with cooked rice and mix in a pinch of yeast. Let ferment overnight. This batter is used to make Kerala aappam (usually cooked in a hemispherical pan)

Seasoned rice flour: Soak two cups of raw rice in water for about 3 hours. Drain water. Spread the rice in a cloth and let dry for 3-4 hours. Grind the dried rice to a fine powder. Heat a pan. Add the powder. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. This semi cooked rice powder is the basis for a whole class of recipes below.

Steamed flour (Puttu) : Take half a cup of rice powder. Add four pinches of salt and half a cup of grated coconut. Mix in water if needed so that the flour holds its shape when you press it together, but falls apart easily. The flour should resemble wet sand. Press gently in a mould and steam for 3-5 minutes. The mould should let steam pass through the bottom, through the packed flour and exit through the top, cooking it. Can also be steamed in a idli cooker.

Steamed Rice noodles (Nool Puttu / Idiappam): Boil two cups of water. Add a pinch of salt and a spoon of oil. Reduce flame and gradually stir in a cup of rice flour. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate, cover with a wet cloth and knead while the dough is still hot. Pinch off tomato sized balls, place in a steamer and steam for 5 minutes. Place in an extruder and extrude into fine strands.

Steamed rice dumplings: (Modak / Kozhukattai) From the dough above, pinch off a lemon sized ball of the dough and shape it into a cup. Add filling (sweet/ spicy coconut paste), close cup and steam for 5 minutes.

Shopping List

250 gms : Flattened rice ( thin & thick), Puffed rice, Plain Rice, Basmati rice, Rice grits, Rice flour.

250 gms : Yogurt, coconut, mung dal, onion, Coconut

50 gms : Jaggery, peanuts, green chili, onion, oil, ghee, cumin, mustard, urad dal, turmeric powder, chili powder, salt, lemon, mint, pepper.

2.: Puffed rice Rice is soaked in salt water, drained and mixed in with hot sand, which puffs it up. This crunchy snack can be eaten straight or mixed with various additives. Sample Recipe : Jhal Muri (Puffed rice salad ) Take three handfuls of puffed rice. Mix in half a handful of crushed, roasted peanuts, three pinches of grated coconut, a chopped green chili, half a handful of chopped onion and a dash of oil. ( Bihar / Bengal /Orissa)

3.: Thick flattened rice Sample Recipe : Poha (Stir fried rice flakes ) Thick rice flakes cannot be eaten straight and need to be cooked. Sample Recipe : Take two handfuls of thick rice flakes. Dunk in water and drain. Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch of cumin & half a handful of chopped onions. Stir and cook till onions brown. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, chili powder, two pinches of salt and two handfuls of rice flakes. Sprinkle a bit of water. Stir and cook for 2 mins.

4.: Parched / Roasted rice flakes Thick / thin rice flakes can be dry roasted into a crunchy snack that doubles as a breakfast. Choora Ka Bhuja .( Toasted Rice flakes) Heat a spoon of oil. Add half a handful of chopped onion and a finely chopped green chili. Add two handfuls of pressed rice and two pinches of salt. Stir and cook till rice is crisp. ( Bihar)

5.: Boiled rice Rice is boiled in water and is eaten mixed with ghee / yogurt/ boiled lentils/ curries. This is by far the most common way rice is consumed in India. Sample Recipe : To one cup of rice, add two cups of water. Add to pressure cooker, close lid and pressure cook for two whistles.

6.: Fermented rice Cooked rice is fermented, mixed in with yogurt and consumed as a breakfast in rural India. Sample Recipe : Pakhala Bhat (Fermented rice) To one cup of cooked rice, add two cups of water, three spoons of yogurt and cover. Let ferment for 2-3 hours (or overnight). Mix in two pinches of salt, half a handful of chopped cucumber, a finely chopped green chili and a pinch of mint leaves. The watery portion serves as a refreshing drink. ( Orissa, Bengal)

7.: Stir fried rice Cooked rice is stir fried with a variety of additives into South India’s much loved variety rice. Sample Recipe : Fry two pinches each of mustard, curry leaves, urad dal, a chopped green chili and two pinches of salt. Mix in two handfuls of cooked rice.

1. To this rice, mix in the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of turmeric powder to make lemon rice.

2. Mix in a handful of grated and stir fried coconut to make coconut rice.

3. Mix in a handful of chopped mint to make Mint rice. Or mix in a cupful of yogurt to make curd rice ( Tamilnadu, Andhra, Karnataka)

8.:. Rice Gruel (Conjee) Rice grits are cooked in water into a soup. Sample Recipe : To one cup of rice grits , add six cups of water. Add to pressure cooker, close lid and cook for five whistles. Add seasoning to taste and serve.( Tamilnadu, South east asia)

9.: Pulao / Khichidi Rice is cooked with meats / vegetables / into Pulao or with lentils into the mushy Khichidi / Pongal.
Jeera Pulao : In a pressure cooker with lid open, heat a spoon of ghee. Add three pinches of cumin. Add a cup of basmati rice, three pinches of salt and two cups of water. Close and pressure cook for two whistles. Mix & serve. ( Muglai)
Khichidi / Pongal In a pressure cooker with lid open, heat a spoon of ghee. Add a pinch of cumin, 3 pinches each of crushed black pepper, salt and a pinch of chopped ginger. Add half a cup of mung dal , half a cup of rice & 4 cups of water. Close and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Mix well & serve.

10.: Rice Flatbread Sample Recipe: Ari Pathiri: Take a cup of rice flour. Mix two pinches of salt and around half a cup of boiling water. Let cool for a few minutes. While still warm, knead into a dough. Pinch off lemon sized balls, roll into thin circles and cook both sides on a hot skillet ( tava) ( Malabar / Bihar).

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