Everybody has favourite food and relish them right ? As for me, Lemon Rice is my all time favourite, If I see it in any blog post I immediately make it :)). I know I am so crazy of this rice, After started blogging and taking interest not only in cooking, but everything about it like the facts and figures about every Ingredient used, I sometimes feel why I tend to eat spicy and tangy food more often, is it because I lack something in my body which craves for tangy food..?, whatever it is I love this rice, even if given to me everyday I really don't mind. I suddenly realized I have never posted my favourite Rice dish of all time.
I have little story to tell you, Long back when I was doing my SSLC (10th), I was living in my Aunt's house, My Aunt made Lemon Rice and Curd (yogurt ) Rice and asked me to have food and said she would be back after her shopping and said she would come back and eat. I always adored Radha perimma's cooking, she was my first Guru who taught me cooking from those days. coming back I ate and sat their studying in the lounge, I don't know how or why, every now and then I must have got up went to the kitchen and kept eating it, God knows how I did it, I had completely emptied the whole bowl, even today when I think how I managed to eat so much rice!!, when she returned she was so upset that nothing was left and she had to eat only curd rice. She is no more but memories like these are my little treasures with her, who was my favourite periamma.
My mom makes the best chitranna according to me, we are all alike right ?, our Mom's are the best cook in the world and to their Grandchildren too.. :). I have planned to post a few savouries and sweets when my mom is here with me. Her best recipes which she makes most of the times like day to day are the masala vada, Panniyaaram,Thenga burfi etcc..,
Coming to this recipe, it is kannada influenced lemon rice, which amma makes when it is any special day like festivals or some kind small celebrations when you get bored of vangi bath, puliyodarai etc..,
In karnataka people use coconut just like keralites they use coconut in most of their dishes especially form Mangalore, sringeri and udupi. we here in karnataka love coconut so much we tend to use it everything possible, sweets to savouries :). This Masala chitranna is one such dish as it says in kannada coconut grinded with masala has been used to flavour this rice variety..
KAAYI MASAALE CHITRANNA / COCONUT SPICED LEMON RICE
1 and 1/2 Cups Rice
4 and 1/2 cups Water*
1 Cup Fresh Peas
Required quantity of salt
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp Channa Dal
1/2 tbsp Urad Dal
Fist full of Peanuts
2 twigs of Curry leaves (10-15)
FOR THE SPICY MASALA TO BE GRINDED
5 to 6 Green chillies (depending on the spiciness)**
1/4 (10 to 12 twigs) cup of Coriander leaves
1/2 tsp Jeera
2'' Ginger pieces
FOR THE SECOND PASTE
1/2 cup Fresh Coconut
1 tbsp of Poppy seeds
Wash Rice and with a tsp of oil***, cook Rice with the right amount of water. for 2 Whistles switch of the stove, and leave the pressure cooker to cool. (see notes)
The First Paste:
Meanwhile, roast poppy seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes in a low flame, stop when you start hearing it spluttering , and then your broken cashews just for 2 minutes, let it not change colour. Allow it cool and grind it with fresh coconut with a little bit of water if needed into a smooth paste and keep aside, until needed.
The Second Paste:
Grind every thing under the spicy masala to be grinded into a smooth paste.
Chop Capsicum/ Green Bell peppers into small chunks.
By this time your Rice would have cooled down, Remove it from the container and spread it on a large plate or something similar, to cool down, Just fork it through so it is nice and fluffy. Do not mix too much, just spread it around carefully.
Take a Large wok or pan heat the oil keeping it in a low flame, from the Seasoning list, add mustard seeds, once it splutters add Peanuts saute for a minute then add the dals until they change colour to light golden, by that time your peanuts would have started making noises be careful some times they might fly !!, so, that is why I ask you to keep the flame low, if you are not used to this kind of cooking.
Then add the Second paste and saute for 2 minutes, then add Capsicum and fresh peas mix them well together, cover it with a lid , keep the flame low. Leave it until both of them are cooked well if the capsicum is a little bit crunchy it is fine, but let the peas get cooked, (you can even cook the peas separately and add it to the pan by draining the water completely) by mixing now and then to make sure it is not stuck.
Once they are done, then add the First masala paste and mix well, here you can increase the flame to medium but keep an eye on it and leave it for few minutes until the water content is almost dried up. Do not allow it dry up too much as the coconut will start sticking to the wok.
Bring the flame down to low then add the required quantity of salt and Lemon Juice mix well then add the cooked rice, combine them all well together.
Taste it and adjust salt and Lemon Juice to your liking Leave the wok on the stove for 5 minutes with a closed lid and in a low flame.
Switch of the stove and remove it on to an other base, mix them once again, so it is all well distributed. Serve it warm and Enjoy....
* I have indicated this mark on the rice, Just to mention that I use Sona Masoori, The quantity of water depends on the Rice you use. Your Rice when cooked should be fluffy and beautiful for making Rice varities.
** My Green chillies were quite spicy so I have used 1/4 cup Lemon juice, what you need to observe is these two should balance there must be spiciness and the tangy flavour to it.