30 May, 2016
Nimbu chawal: Lemon rice
The white butterfly flew aimlessly, sitting on the Prairie crocus once and on the Anemones next, going back to the crocuses again. The Robins and the Blackbirds are tree hopping. It is spring here in the Prairies. The season of budding and blooming, of nesting and nursing. The season of a new beginning.
“Chawlo garite ghure ashi” let’s go for a drive, offered my husband N. That seemed just the right thing to do. I packed some snacks and my camera before we took to the roads.
It felt like the nature just woke up. The sky so clear and blue, as if reassuring the surroundings, everything is going to be fine. The bent bud taking that clue to straighten itself first then opening up one petal at a time, ever so slowly.
Lemon rice is a dish that requires very little work. It is an excellent way to use up left over rice too. Its versatility doesn’t stop there. If you are wondering what it pairs with? It is as comfortable with an elaborate vegetable dish at its side, as it is with a few dollops of yoghurt and some crispy Poppadums.
The wooden bench by the side of the water seemed the perfect site to enjoy our snacks. The crunch from the nuts, the tangy taste of the lemon rice complemented each other just right.
We drove aimlessly on the country roads. ” Weren’t we here a few minutes back” sometimes we said in unison.
It didn’t matter.
I thought of the white butterfly…
Recipe: Serves 3-4 as snacks.
Cooked rice 1 cup
Ghee 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Chana dal 1/2 Tbsp
Urad dal 1/2 Tbsp
Peanuts 1 Tbsp
Cashew nuts 1 Tbsp
Curry leaves 5-6
Dry red chillies 1-2
Coriander leaves chopped 1 Tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Juice of one lemon
Take the ghee in a saucepan on high heat. Fry the peanuts till golden brown, collect them on paper towels. Add the mustard seeds, wait till it pops, then add the chana dal. Fry a bit till it changes colour, add the turmeric powder, cashews red chillies, salt and curry leaves. Use the spatula to give it a stir, make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Put the gas off as soon as cashews brown a bit.
Add the rice, mix very gently so the grains remain intact. Sprinkle the lemon juice on top and give one more stir. Garnish with the fried peanuts and chopped coriander leaves.
You are done.
Curry leaves are available in Indian supermarkets. Fresh ones are the first choice, dried ones are available too.
Urad dal is Skinned Black lentil.
Chana dal is Split Desi chick peas.
Ghee can be store bought or made at home too. Here is how to.