Ads 468x60px

Total Pageviews

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rice + Sambar / Rasam / Pappu.


For most rice, use a 1:2 ratio of one cup of rice to two cups of water . Measure a half cup of uncooked rice per person and scale this ratio up or down depending on how much you're making.

 It's back to basics! How to cook a big pot of rice to go with dinner is one of the first lessons many of us learn in the kitchen. It's an easy and straightforward process that can nonetheless feel like a culinary triumph when you're first starting out. Here's how we do it. What's your technique?

  If you make rice frequently or often need a lot of it at once, it starts to make sense to get a rice cooker for your kitchen. But don't feel that you have to run out and buy one right away. Start with just making rice on the stove top, and upgrade from there.

How to Cook Rice on the Stove
What You Need


1 cup rice
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter or oil (optional)


Small (2-quart or so) saucepan with a lid
Stirring spoon

Pre-cooking: It's good practice to rinse your rice in a strainer before cooking. This isn't strictly necessary, but it will rinse off any dusty starch on the surface of the rice along with any leftover chaff or stray particles. (Some rices have more starchy coating than others.)

1. Measure the Rice and Water: For most rice, use a 1:2 ratio of one cup of rice to two cups of water. Measure a half cup of uncooked rice per person and scale this ratio up or down depending on how much you're making. Some rice varieties will need a little less or a little more water as it cooks, so check the package for specific instructions.

2. Boil the Water: Bring the water to boil in a small sauce pan. Rice expands as it cooks, so use a saucepan large enough to accommodate. A 2-quart saucepan for one to two cups of uncooked rice is a good size.

3. Add the Rice: When the water has come to a boil, stir in the rice, salt, and butter (if using), and bring it back to a gentle simmer.

4. Cover and Cook: Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Don't take off the lid while the rice is cooking — this lets the steam out and affects the cooking time.
Approximate cooking times:

• White Rice: 18 to 25 minutes
• Brown Rice: 30 to 40 minutes
• Wild Rice: 45 to 60 minutes

Start checking the rice around 18 minutes for white rice and 30 minutes for brown rice. When done, the rice will be firm but tender, and no longer crunchy. It is fine if it's slightly sticky but shouldn't be gummy. If there is still water left in the pan when the rice is done, tilt the pan to drain it off.

5. Turn Off the Heat and Remove the Lid: When the rice is done, turn off the heat and take off the lid. Fluff the rice with a spoon or a fork, and let it sit for a few moments to "dry out" and lose that wet, just-steamed texture.

Rice keeps well in the fridge for several days, so you can make extra ahead to serve later.



Sambar with rice is one of the main courses of both formal and everyday tamilian cuisine. It is also prepared in other parts of southern India with mild variations. Often served by pouring it over steamed rice, best accompanied with curries and appalam.


1 cup Toor dhal (Thuvaram paruppu/kandi pappu,soak for atleast 1 hour)
1 no Onion (cut lengthwise)
1 cup Choice of vegies (carrots, radish,drumstick,beans,okra,brinjal))
2 nos Tomato
1 no Green chilli
3 clove Garlic
3 tsp Tamrind juice (or thick store bought pulp 1/4 tsp)
3 tsp Red chilli powder
2 tsp Corrainder powder
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
2 tsp Sambhar powder (store bought gives good color)
2 tsp Salt (or to taste)
2 tbsp Oil
½ tsp Mustard
½ tsp Cumin seeds
¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds
2 nos Dry red chilli
½ tsp Asafoetida powder
7 nos Curry leaves
3 cup Water
1 stks Corrainder leaves (chopped for garnishing)


Wash and soak Toor dhal (Thuvaram paruppu/kandi pappu ) in water for atleast 1 hour. Then pressure cook it with little salt until you get 3 to 4 whistles from your cooker. Once done and when the pressure releases, open and mash it immediately with spatula or blend well and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add mustard, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida, let them splutter, then add Onions, greeen chilli , garlic, tomatoes, all the vegies except okra(Ladies finger) and fry them for few minutes. To this add tumeric powder, red chilli powder and dhania powder and pressure cook them with salt and 1 cup of water. Do not pressure cook ladies finger this may turn the sambhar very mushy and sticky, so instead, shallow fry them seperately in a pan and keep aside. Now transfer all the contents to a regular deep sauce pan, mix cooked dhal or paruppu , tamrind pulp , sambar powder and salt, bring it to a boil and reduce to simmer. When it reaches desired consistency garnish with corrainder leaves.


1 cup Dhal water (Boiled dhal water)
1 no Tomato (small)
3 tbsp Tamarind juice (or thick store bought pulp 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp Rasam powder
1 no Dry red chili
½ tsp Cumin seeds
¼ tsp Mustard seeds
6 nos Curry leaves
1 tsp Oil / ghee
1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1 cup Water
4 stks Coriander leaves
1 pinch Turmeric
¼ tsp Asafoetida


Crush and squeeze the tomato in one cup of water. To this, add tamarind juice, pinch of turmeric, asafoetida, rasam powder, salt, dhal water and chopped coriander leaves. Mix everything and keep aside. Now heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard, cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chili. Add the roughly chopped pearl onion and fry for few minutes. When they turn translucent, add the pre-mixed tamarind dhal water. Bring it to one boil and swtich off.


Dhal water (Pressure cook 1/4 cup Toor dal with 2 cups of water. Drain the water and use it for rasam and use the cooked lentil for making sambar). You may also add cooked dhal to this rasam.
Yield 4 servings.
Rasam Powder
2 nos Dry Red Chili
2 Tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Black peppercorns
1 Tsp Cumin seeds
1 Tbsp Bengal gram(senega pappu/kadalai parupu)
1/2 Tbsp Split Red gram(thuvaram paruppu/kandi pappu)

Dry roast each item separately and ground to a coarse powder. Use just a tsp of this for the above recipe and store the rest for future use.

Pappu Tomato – Andhra Tomato Dal

Tomato Pappu mixed with a dollop of ghee and rice with Mango Avakai is a dearly loved combination and an integral part of everyday Andhra vegetarian food culture. Simple, earthy, soulful food! Tur dal aka Kandi Pappu with tomato is a winning combination and the addition of fresh coriander adds a perfect touch.

Tomato Pappu Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 30 mts

Serves 4-5 persons

Cuisine: Andhra



1 cup tur dal (kandi pappu) pressure cook until soft and mash lightly

1 onion finely chopped

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

3-4 green chillis slit length wise

1″ ginger, finely chopped

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

For tempering/pappu/tadka:

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

3-4 dried red chillis (tear into pieces)

5-6 garlic flakes crushed OR 1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing/inguva

10-12 curry leaves

1 Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add mustard seeds, let them pop, add the cumin seeds, garlic, red chillis, and curry leaves and saute for few secs. Add the chopped onions, green chilies and ginger and sauté till onions turn slightly pink.
2 Add the chopped tomatoes and stir fry for 4-5 mts. Add the turmeric pwd and salt and combine.
3 Add the cooked and mashed dal to the onion-tomato mixture. Add 1 cup water and cook for another 10 mts on low-medium heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.
4 Serve with white rice or hot rotis.

Alternately, you can separately pressure cook onions, ginger and green chillis with tur dal and follow rest of the procedure.