Lunch Box Nostalgia


Rice is a staple diet in Southern India. Most days it is eaten 3-4 times a day. It is fairly common that there are left overs the next day. It is even more common that the left over rice is given a quick make-over into lemon rice, yogurt rice  or one of the many different combinations available where rice is mixed with other ingredients and made into a delicious dish often called “tiffin” or a light meal.

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Growing up, I remember many a time my mother packing school lunches (usually with fresh cooked rice or left overs). One of the most common ones she made besides lemon (or tamarind) rice was coconut rice.

Ingredients:
1 cup sona masuri or basmati rice
1-2 shallots
1 medium potato
1 jalapeno
1/4 cup shredded fresh or dry coconut

Seasoning:
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 dry red chilis
1/4 cup cashews or peanuts
1-2 tbsp oil
touch of turmeric
touch of asafoetida
salt to taste
a few curry leaves

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In Southern India sona masuri rice is typically used but you can use basmati rice. Cook the rice in  2 cups of water in a rice cooker and set aside.

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Heat oil in a pan and add all seasoning ingredients except salt and curry leaves. Fry until lightly brown. Add curry leaves, sliced jalapeno and fry for one minute. Add sliced onion and potato (peeled and cut into small pieces). Fry until the onion and potato turn slightly brown and are crispy. Mix in the rice, and coconut. Add salt to taste.

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This is one of those convenient lunch box meals for a day at the office.

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