With onamatta from Kerala
All Kerala matta rice varieties are extremely nutritious. Considered heart-friendly, these bold red grains are believed to lower cholesterol. Known by the name Rosematta rice, Palakkadan Matta rice or sometimes simply red matta, it is rich in fibre content. Besides the sweet pongal, it is great to make idli, dosa, appamas and even various snacks like the murukku.
“I like using Onamatta rice as it has a beautiful fragrance. It also tends to cook fast and is a very soft rice variety. This particular pongal tastes delicious with palm jaggery,” says Nandi Shah, founder of Re:store, a popular homegrown baking and culinary brand.
As one of only three Indian graduates in Macrobiotics from the Kushi Institute, USA, she combines influences from around the world to create unique and wholesome recipes. Nandi also discovered her passion for the camera through photoshoots for her website, and formed Nandi Shah Photography in 2019. Follow her @indulgeatrestore.
- ½ cup onamatta rice
- ½ cup jaggery
- 6-8 cashews
- 2 tablespoons moong dal
- 2 ½ cups water
- 4 tablespoons ghee
- 1 pinch of cardamom powder
- Method :
- Roast the cashews in half a teaspoon of ghee. Add the raisins and roast until they bubble up. Set aside. Roast the moong dal in half a teaspoon of ghee until it releases an aroma. Add the cleaned and washed Onamatta rice to it. Add water and allow the rice and dal to cook until tender in a pressure cooker on a medium flame. Set aside. Add ghee in a pan. Add the palm jaggery and allow it to melt. Add the rice mixture and blend well. Add the cardamom powder, raisins and cashews. Mix well and top it off with a drizzle of ghee before serving.
With badshah bhog from Bengal
With short and bold grains, badshah bhog is a high yielding crop, rich in protein and classified as an aromatic rice varieity. According to legend, it is ‘fit to serve the king’, and hence the name badshah bhog. Traditionally used to prepare the Bengali sweet payesh, this rice used to be reserved for special guests in most households.
“Whole grains like badshah bhog are not only special but a healthy alternative to the regular rice. Unlike regular rice, it is non-starchy which gives the dish a good texture. The grain itself has a certain sweet and nutty taste, which adds to the deliciousness of the dish,” shares Sarenya Dhevi, a lawyer, special educator and food blogger who enjoys cooking and menu curation and stirs up lovely pop-up lunches. Follow her @cook_with_sarenya.
- ¾ cup badshah bhog rice
- 1/3 cup moong dal
- 1 ¼ cup jaggery, powdered
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- ½ cup ghee
- 10 – 15 cashew nuts, fried
- A pinch of edible camphor powder
- A pinch of salt
- Wash and soak the rice for an hour. Roast the dal in a little ghee until golden; add the drained rice and four cups of water. Let it cook on medium heat for three whistles and on low heat for seven whistles. Meanwhile, take the powdered jaggery and 1/4 cup of water to make thick syrup. Add the cardamom powder and bring it to a boil, until thick. Once the pressure releases, open the cooker lid, add a pinch of salt, 1/4 cup of ghee and mash the rice well. Strain the jaggery syrup and add it to the rice dal mixture. Mix well and turn on the heat. Cook for five to seven minutes adding the remaining ghee and edible camphor. Add more ghee if you require. Finally, add the fried cashews.
With karuppu kavuni arisi from Tamil Nadu
Black rice, called karuppu kavuni in Tamil Nadu, has been grown since the Chola period. Due to its high anthocyanin content, this rice turns into a deep purple when cooked. With powerful antioxidants, this sticky textured rice contains dietary fibre, anti-inflammatory properties.
“Aromatic rices such as gandakasala, mulankayama, gobindo bhog, sitabhoga or pimpudibasa, or joha are common and easy choices as their natural fragrance adds much to the final dish. This year, we have opted for whole raw Karuppu Kavuni, which adds flavor primarily by taste and texture rather than fragrance,” says the team of Shalikuta, a group of writers, bloggers, researchers, photographers, and entrepreneurs. Śālikūṭa is literally “a heap of rice,” but alludes to a granary: a storehouse of scientific and cultural knowledge about rice, which the group seeks to build. Follow them @shalikuta
- 1 portion of karuppu kavuni rice
- 1/3 portion of moong dal
- 2 portions of jaggery
- 1 portion of ghee
- Screw pine/ pandan leaves or bay leaves, cardamom or edible camphor for flavouring. Can also use cloves, nutmeg and saffron
- Cashews, raisins and freshly grated coconut for garnish
- Soak the karuppu kavuni overnight. Wash it well and spread it on a cloth to dry. Follow by either dry-roasting the rice or using a little ghee. Roast the dal, until golden brown. Add the rice and dal in three portions of water and slow cook until both are soft. Powder the jaggery and heat with a little water in a heavy saucepan to dissolve and boil to a single-string consistency. Add this to the cooked rice-dal mixture. Pour on most of the ghee, reserving a few spoonfuls to roast cashews and raisins. Mix well. Add crushed cardamom or a small amount of edible camphor. Mix in and garnish with roasted cashews and raisins.