Simple Yellow Rice
I grew up in Pune a town close to Bombay (Mumbai, as it is now known) and we are pretty close to the South of India. For the North Indians we are already in the South and for the South Indians, we are in the north, geographically. As I write this, I remembered a funny conversation I had with someone a while back where we argued for a good few minutes about where Pune was on the map of India and it was hilarious now when I think about it, because we were both passionately going at it about the geographical location of Pune.
So, the point of that little story was that growing up *close* to the southern states of India, I was exposed to a lot of South Indian food. Funnily enough, even though I saw “Yellow Rice or Lemon Rice” on menus in restaurants, and ate the yellow rice out of my class-mates lunch boxes, I never really “took” to the recipe until I came across Chitra’s video over at The ABCD’S of Cooking. Her recipe has been posted here. Now, if someone tells me about their go-to comfort food and that they could eat it any day, any time, I take that statement pretty seriously. Since the flavor combination of this recipe is something I’ve eaten a lot, I was sold hook, line and sinker. The fact that I saw this post at 4:00pm and my brain was thinking about dinner already might have something to do with it ;), so I *had* to make this for dinner the same night! Has this every happened to you? You simply can’t get the recipe out of your head until you’ve cooked it! I did and loved it… even though I forgot to add the red chilies (in the nature of full disclosure, I’m a self professed spice-oholic! :P). So if you love spicy food, don’t forget it like I did… either ways it turned out fabulously!
1. I didn’t add the dill since that felt like a very brave step for me, but the next time I make it, I will definitely give it a shot!
2. I also made 1 & 1/2 times the original recipe posted by Chitra and mostly freewheeled it because I’ve used the combination of urad dal, chana dal, hing, mustard seeds, etc… quite a bit. I’d recommend following her recipe for someone who is absolutely new to South Indian cooking!
Simple Yellow Rice
Adapted from ABCD’S of Cooking
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes
- 1 & 1/2 cups basmati rice
- 2 generous pinches of turmeric
- 3 cups of water to cook the rice
- 1/2 cup of raw peanuts
- 1 tablespoon oil + 1 tablespoon oil (I used vegetable oil)
- 1 generous pinch of asafoetida
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon urad dal
- 3/4 teaspoon chana dal
- 1 stalk of curry leaves
- Juice of 1 & 1/2 lemon (more to taste)
- handful frozen fresh grated coconut, thawed (I should’ve added more here!)
- salt to taste
- Cilantro to garnish
2. Now while the rice is cooking, fry the peanuts in 1 tablespoon oil. You want them to gently brown, with a wonderful peanut-y aroma in the kitchen.
3. Strain the peanuts out and keep them aside. I used the left over oil in my tempering for the final recipe.
4. My rice was done and looked lovely!
5. For the tempering, heat the 1 tablespoon oil, along with the left over oil from frying the peanuts on medium heat. Check to see if the oil is ready by dropping a few mustard seeds in. You want them to sizzle and pop. I first put the mustard seeds in and let them splutter and pop, next the chana dal went in, and roasted it for a bit (be sure not to burn the seeds!). Finally the urad dal went in. When the seeds had browned a bit, I put the curry leaves in for about 10 seconds and then mixed in the rice.
6. Mix, Mix, MIX till the tempering is well (you guessed it *smile*) mixed in!
7. Now add the shredded coconut, lemon juice and salt to taste.
8. Finally the peanuts and the cilantro go in and you give the rice one final mix. Enjoy this yummy, comforting dish!