Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nimmakaya Pulihora (Lemon Rice)

This is one of my favorite recipes. When the recipe was originally developed in India, lemons were used (hence the name "lemon rice"). However, this recipe uses limes because the tartness of limes balances the spicy chilies and ginger in this recipe.

Note: This is a time-sensitive recipe. All the steps to add the ingredients must be done quickly or the dals and black mustard seeds will get burnt. I suggest measuring out all the ingredients ahead of time so that you don't waste time measuring while cooking.

Recipe provided courtesy of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.

  • one recipe plain rice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
  • 2-3 dry whole red chilies such as chile de arbol
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chena dal
  • 1 tablespoon white urad dal
  • ½ cup raw cashew nuts
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 1-3 minced fresh green chilies, such as serrano
  • 20 fresh or dry curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric        
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • pomegranate seeds to garnish (optional)    
Prepare the rice according to the directions using only 3 ½ cups of water. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.   
Add asafetida and red chilies.  

  • Asafetida is a gum extract from trees that can be found in Indian grocery stores. It acts as a digestive aid and prevents flatulence from occuring. If you are unable to find this ingredient, the rice will turn out fine without it.  
  • Red chilies are added for flavor only and are not meant to be eaten.
When the red chilies turn one shade darker, add the mustard seeds and cover until the spluttering subsides.   

Uncover and add white urad dal and chena dal. 

When the white urad dal turns golden brown, stir in the cashews. 

As soon as cashew nuts turn one shade darker, add curry leaves.  

As curry leaves turn crisp, add ginger, chilies, turmeric, and salt. Fry for one minute, and turn off the heat. 

Let it cool for 3 minutes and add lime juice.   

Now add lime juice mixture to cooked rice, and mix thoroughly.  

You must let the rice rest for at least ½ an hour for flavors to mingle before serving.   

Optional: Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

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