Tamarind Rice

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
10 curry leaves
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon bengal gram (see note above)
1 tablespoon peanuts
2 whole dry red chillis
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 cup tamarind juice
1 teaspoon jaggery or demerara sugar
2 cups boiled white rice
Kosher salt

Heat oil in a medium cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Stand back and add curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, black mustard seeds, bengal gram and peanuts (oil will sputter). Stir until the oil is infused with the flavours and the fragrance emanates from the mixture, about 5 minutes, reducing heat as necessary if curry leaves threaten to burn. Add the chillis and the turmeric. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tamarind and sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the oil separates, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir gently until thoroughly coated with the tamarind mixture. Season to taste with salt and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately.

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