There are dozens of mixed rice varieties that liven up a meal. They can be a meal by themselves, accompanied by some chips or papad, or be part of a larger meal – especially at weddings and festivals – comprising of many dishes.
Lemon rice, coconut rice and curd rice are just a few of the popular ones. There are many more, each better than the other. I have already shared the recipe of puliodarai (tamarind rice). Here I will share the recipe of coconut rice, which can be prepared in a trice. You can even make the mix and keep for a few days in the fridge. You just need to mix it with hot steamed rice and you are all set for a satisfying meal.
· Grated fresh coconut 1 cup (packed)
· Mustard ½ tsp
· Chana dal 1 tbsp
· Groundnuts 2 tbsp
· Cashew nuts (optional) 10 broken into halves
· Red chillies 2 broken into two
· Green chillies 1 (cut into 2 or 3 pieces)
· Curry leaves 10-12
· Hing ¼ tsp
· Oil 2 tsp
· Salt to taste
To make the coconut rice:
· Prepared Coconut mix
· Cooked rice 2 ½ cups
· Oil/ghee 1 tsp
· Heat the oil in a kadhai. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add groundnuts and after 30 seconds, add chana dal. Once they begin browning, add the cashews and fry.
· Now add the chillies, curry leaves and hing and fry a little.
· Add the coconut and roast it till it turns light golden in colour. Avoid browning it. Take it off the flame.
· Add the required salt in the coconut mix and toss it well so that the salt spreads evenly.
· Take the cooked rice in a wide bowl and add the coconut mix in it. Mix it gently with a fork, taking care not to break the rice. Check for salt and adjust to taste. Drizzle a tsp of ghee or oil and rest the rice for half an hour.
· Flavoursome coconut rice is ready to serve.
· Serve it with sambar, raita, chips or papad.
· You can use just groundnuts and avoid cashew nuts if you want or vice versa. I have only used groundnuts.
· I use til oil for all mixed rices, because it adds a great flavour. You can use groundnut oil or any refined oil too.
· Some people roast the coconut to a darker brown and others just toss it in the tadka for a bit, but for the best flavour roast it to a slight golden colour.
· If you want to reduce oil, reduce the oil in the tadka but don’t skip the final drizzling of oil/ghee. It adds that special flavour to the dish.