On the days I make rice, I make a bit extra and end up using it for variety rice, which is what we refer to rice that has been flavoured with various ingredients – lemon rice, tamarind rice, curd rice, tomato rice, coriander rice, to name but a few. These are perfect made with rice that is a day old, and even better cold out of the refrigerator. You get the variety of a new dish and it’s also like a one-pot meal – just pair it with pickle and poppadom and you are sorted.
Nisha is a freelance writer, avid food blogger and wannabe food photographer / stylist with plans to make it big in the food industry some day. When she’s not messing around in her own kitchen she’s busy learning the art of French macaron making with a top chef in London. Nisha also manages PR and social media marketing for the chef and her macaron business.
In a large wok, heat together the ghee and vegetable oil. Add the mustard seeds and once they begin to pop, add the dried red chillies and curry leaves. Stir until they become almost crisp.
Add the urad dal, cashew nuts and asafoetida and continue stirring, making sure the dal and cashew nuts get nicely roasted and golden brown in colour, but do not burn – if they burn the whole dish will have a smoky flavour.
Add the coconut and keep stirring on a medium heat until the wetness from the coconut disappears and it becomes fragrant and lightly toasted – it should turn reddish-brown in colour. This should take 7–8 minutes, you want the mix to be almost dry. Keep an eye on the coconut as it can burn quickly once toasted.
Add the rice, breaking down the chunks carefully as you go. Once well-mixed, season with salt and remove from the heat.
Transfer into a serving plate and serve hot with pickle and poppadoms.