May 6, 2011

Nellikai Chitranna / Sour and Tangy Gooseberry rice

Nellikai (Amla/Indian gooseberry) is a sour and tangy fruit known for its medicinal qualities. It is rich in Vitamin C , and known to prevent premature hair-fall and hair graying. I just love the way rice absorbs its flavor to give the rice a unique and lovely taste.


What is needed: Serves 4
2 cups boiled rice, cooled to room temperature (Day old rice works good too)
4 fresh green nellikai grated
3-5 green chillies chopped
2 medium sized red onions chopped
1 green lime  (optional)          
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp turmeric
Pinch of asefoetida
2-4 tsp of olive oil
Salt to taste
 
For the tempering: Any or all that you can find - 2tsp peanuts, 1tsp whole cashews, 1tsp channa dal, 1tsp urad dal, 1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds, a few curry leaves and some chopped cilantro for the garnish.

Heat a wide shallow skillet. Add 2tsp oil, put in the peanuts and cashew and toss on medium heat till its golden brown.


Add the channa dal, urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves and cover cooked for just a minute watching it carefully on medium heat. Move it onto a plate and set aside.

In the same pan, on medium heat, add 2 tsp oil, mustard and cumin, cover it till the splattering subsides. 

Add the chopped green chillies and onionsand saute them until the onions are transparent. 

Add grated nellikai and increase the heat to high, constantly work it, watching not to burn, for 1 minute. Lower the heat to the lowest setting now. Add turmeric, salt, sugar and asefoetida. Cook for another 3-5 minutes and turn off the heat. 

In a large shallow plate or wok, add the cooked, cooled rice, spread the peanut tempering on it. 

Then add the cooked nellikai mixture. Mix all of it very gently until the rice takes in the color of the nellikai paste. 

Garnish it with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!