Hostel. The word usually opens the floodgates. Memories come rushing in. Before I know it I’m transported to a time when the day of the week determined what we’d see on our plate. I remember our arguments at the dinner table. Initially on a Wednesday night, we’d instinctively know it was Fried Rice. At a later stage, even though the food was on our plate, we would look at it and say, “Today is Thursday, so this has to be Tiger Rice ya!” On the whole, I don’t know why I cribbed so much. The food was never great, but it was always decent. Except the idlis. Someday I will blog about the different types of idlis that my hostel mess dished out. Every Tuesday morning.
Today’s post is dedicated to the Tiger Rice of Kaveri Hostel. The dish has the colours of a tiger and puli = tamarind, but puli also = tiger. I don’t call it Puliyodarai. To me, Puliyodarai is a very different genus and species. This will always be my Puli Saadam. No puli kaachal or instant mixes, just a dish as simple as lemon rice… well almost. Puliyodarai that Amma or Paati make will have a separate dedicated post some day.
1 cup Rice, measured raw and then cooked
1 tbsp Gingelly (Til/Sesame) Oil
¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
¼ tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves
½ tsp Urad Dal
½ tsp Chana Dal
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ cup Peanuts
2 tbsp Tamarind Paste
3-4 Red Chillies
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a kadhai and add the urad dal, chana dal, mustard seeds and asafetida. When the mustard splutters, add the red chillies, curry leaves and peanuts. Fry for a couple of minutes. Add the turmeric powder and the tamarind paste. Add about ½ a cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add salt and when the mixture thickens to about half the original volume, stir in the rice and take off the flame immediately. Serve with some appalams or crisps. My favourite way to eat this is with some avial on the side. This recipe is good for two people as a main course or for four to six people if there are other dishes on the menu.
I was in a very playful mood the day I made this. I microwaved some javvarisi vadaam (sago crisps) and then scooped up some rice in each. I still like to find ways to make food interesting enough to eat and despite my age, I tend to play with my food a lot.
Also known as Pulihora, this is festival food in Andhra Pradesh and I’m sending this off to Vani at Batasari for the RCI: Andhra Festival Foods event.