Sunday, 1 January 2012




     1)    B.T. rice (Bombay Terminus rice or aged raw rice) – 300 gm.

     2)    Tor dal (split pigeon pea lentils) – 100 gm.

     3)    Beetroot – 100 gm.
     4)    Beans – 100 gm.
     5)    Carrot – 100 gm.
     6)    Tomato – 100 gm.
     7)    Potato – 100 gm.
     8)    Cauliflower – 100 gm.
     9)    Tender onion flower bud with stem – 5 Nos.

     10)     Onion – 50 gm.
     11)     Fresh or frozen green peas – 200 gm.
     12)     Medium hot green chilies – 2 Nos.
     13)     Mild commercially available sambar powder – 5 teaspoons OR your own special sambar powder (see my recipe) – 2 teaspoons

     14)     Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
     15)     Salt – 1½ teaspoons
     16)     Tamarind – an olive sized bit
     17)     Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
     18)     Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
     19)     Tender curry leaves – 2 sprigs
     20)     Water – 1 litre, plus 50 ml. for the tamarind
     21)     Coriander leaves (optional) of one plant for garnish

To Cook:

          Soak the tamarind in 50 ml. of water. Peel the beetroot, the carrot, the onion and the potato. Cut off the tips of the beans and pull off the strings (if mature) from the sides of the beans. Cut off the lower tip of the onion flower stalk. Chop the onion to fine pieces and keep aside separately.

          Pluck off the stems of the green chilies and cut into halves once lengthwise and once across. Pluck the curry leaves from their sprigs. Keep the chilies and the curry leaves with the chopped onion pieces. Dice the beans, the carrot, the beetroot, the tomato, the potato, the cauliflower and the onion flower stalk to small cubes (the size can be smaller or bigger as you prefer, but uniformity is important for its beauty).

          Squeeze the tamarind nicely with your fingers. Sieve the tamarind juice and set aside. Wash and drain the rice add the dal. Set a 5 litre pressure cooker on high heat. Pour in the coconut oil and throw in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds are about to finish popping, tip in the chopped onion, the green chili and the curry leaves.

          Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, taking care not to burn the onion. Now tip in the diced vegetables and also the rice and the lentils. Pour in the water together with the sieved tamarind juice. Tip in the salt, the turmeric powder and the sambar powder (see note). Cover with the lid.

          When you hear the first whistle, turn down the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Now switch off the heat and allow to cool naturally (do not let off the steam). As soon as the steam has subsided enough to open the cooker, serve hot. Garnish with coriander leaves, if you so wish. Papad lovers can crumble one or two papads on top of the vegetable rice and eat while hot.



     1)    Commercially available sambar powders have different tastes and heat. Therefore, it would be wiser to tip in half the quantity, stir and taste before you decide to put more powder into the cooker.

     2)    Vegetable rice tastes delicious only when it is hot. Leftovers if any need to be reheated in the microwave oven before consumption.

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