If you have lived in Chennai any amount of time and if you’d had the good fortune of living near Adayar (now they are everywhere) you just may have heard of and actually visited The Grand Sweets and Snacks. It is the go to place for wedding bhakshanams (mithai and savories). Or if you just wanted a wonderful afternoon snack. Everyday, TGS&S had a routine to serve a different kind of snack each day of the week and I want to say that it was on Saturday that they made Pepper rice which they served in a stitched leaf bowl or Dhonai as we call it. (Pls correct me if I got the day wrong). But this was the ultimate treat. The fragrant rice that oozed with unbelievably aromatic ghee, fresh curry leaves and cashews – just the right amount of spice and salt and the rice cooked soft to a mush – It always transported me to heaven. I have recreated this beauty in my kitchen so many times and yet I am shocked that I have not blogged it yet!. Just like I realize i have not blogged regular items like rasam and sambar – which is pretty pitiful — like living in Agra and not visiting the Taj!
But never too late I say!
The easiest yet most satisfying mixed rice for a rice lover. I have replaced the ghee or at least part of it with sesame oil – just as tasty. Such a wonderful dish to take for a potluck, for a Sunday brunch or just about anytime the craving hits you, like it does me. EASIEST RECIPE
1 cup of basmati or other rice cooked with 2-1/2 -3 cups of water
2-3 tablespoons of fresh black pepper – ground fine
1 tbsp salt also ground with the pepper
1: 2 tablespoons ratio of ghee to sesame oil +1tbsp of butter
pinch of asafetida
Cook rice really soft to mushPepper and and salt ground fineGet a wide bowlhear ghee (butter ) once the water is gone it is clarified into ghee. Add the asafetida to this as you heat – Add the sesame oil to this and keepAdd 1/3 of the rice and 1 tbsp of the pepper mix topped with 1 tbsp of ghee oil mix With a fork mix the pepper into the riceOnce all the rice and the pepper are mixed, with a potato masher, mush the rice so it will absorb the pepper nicelyHeat the butter add the cashews and the curry leaves and roast until cashews are golden.Pour over rice and mix in and let it rest for a few minutes.Serve HOT
No Sides Required but you are free to have chips or appalam with it