South Indian tamarind rice

Recipe by
Total Time:
2 hours
Serves: 2
Nutrition facts:

240 calories, 9 grams fat

Course: Main Recipe
Cuisine: Indian Recipe
Technique: Saute Recipe
Difficulty: Medium

Take a look at more Main Recipes. You may also want to try Khao Pad Goong (Thai Shrimp Fried Rice), Kung Hoi Ob Woon Sen (Shrimp and Mussels with Jelly Noodles), Vegetarian Garlic Noodles , Baby Uttapam with Aloo Bhaji

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  • For the tamarind paste (shelf life 1-2 months):
  • 200g tamarind (seedless variety is preferable)
  • 20-25 - dried red chillies
  • 50g - Bengal gram (channa dal)
  • 1 tsp - mustard seeds
  • 1 cup - sesame oil (not the toasted variety)
  • Salt to taste (using rock salt is traditional)
  • For the powder:
  • 5 tbsp - coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp - fenugreek seeds
  • 10-15 - dried red chillies (optional)
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • For the rice (at the time of preparation):
  • 1 cup - rice, cooked (make sure the strands are separate; leftover rice works great)
  • 1 tsp - split black gram
  • 1/4-1/2 cup - peanuts
  • 1/4-1/2 cup - cashew
  • A few sprigs of curry leaves
  • 2-3 - dried red chillies (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp - sesame oil
  • Salt to taste

How to Make South Indian tamarind rice

  • Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of hot water for around 30 minutes.
  • Take this in a food processor and process it a few times until it becomes thick. Strain this mixture to discard any lumps.
  • The result should be a thick paste. If it is too thick for the strainer, add a little more hot water, give it a whirl in your processor and strain again.
  • The consistency should neither be too thick nor too watery.
  • Meanwhile make the powder.
  • Dry roast the coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds separately (or red chillies if you are using them).
  • Grind them separately until they are ground fine.
  • Mix them together and store them in a plastic container. They keep well and are handy while making the rice.
  • To make the paste:
  • Take a skillet and add the oil.
  • Add the red chillies, then mustard seeds and then Bengal gram.
  • Next add the tamarind water.
  • Let it cook on a simmering flame.
  • You know it's done when the raw smell of the tamarind is gone, the water reduces and thickens into a paste like consistency and the oil oozes out on the surface.
  • You can, at this point, add 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds or the powder.
  • This is to give it more aroma.
  • Remove from heat, cool it well and store it in a glass container.
  • It keeps very well for a long time and requires only a little bit (depending upon your taste) at a time to be mixed in the rice.
  • The more solid the tamarind paste, less is the amount required to be mixed.
  • To prepare the rice:
  • In 1 tsp of oil, temper the lentils along with red chillies and curry leaves and then add the peanuts and cashew nuts (you can roast them separately too).
  • Meanwhile cool the rice on a plate.
  • Add 1 tsp of sesame oil and the required tamarind paste along with the tempered ingredients.
  • Add the powder in pinches along with a little salt.
  • Adjust the powder and salt according to your taste.
  • Mix until well combined and serve.
  • This dish would be devoid of its famous flavour if not for sesame oil.
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