Daikon rasam & Fenugreek red-brown rice

collage-1459781635185.jpgBrowsing through an Asian store, we picked up a daikon, which I would soon experiment with pickling. Before that though, it had to satiate a craving for both my husband and me. Both of us like when white radishes are stewed in with daals or lentils. I even love when it is added to the fish stew that my mother makes of “Bombay Duck” (yes, it is a fish… common to the waters of west coast of India, near Mumbai). So while I don’t get Bombay ducks here in Michigan, I could definitely try the daikon with daal, making a rasam. Here’s how I went ahead.

DAIKON RASAM

Ingredients:

2-3 cups of half-sliced daikon

1 cup toor/ pigeon pea daal

1 tomato

2 green chillies

1 tbspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon turmeric

5 pinches of asafoetida

10-15 curry leaves

1 red chilli

1-2 tbspoons of soaked tamarind pulp OR 2-3 tbspoons of lemon juice

2-3 tbspoons of rasam curry powder (available in Indian stores. I used the one by MTR. It is optional in a way. Without it the end product may not be ‘rasam’ but you would still have a tasty, perhaps a bit less spicy daal soup/ stew)

Method:

  1. Soak daal in warm water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Combine soaked daal, turmeric, and three pinches of asafoetida along with chopped tomato, half-sliced daikon, half-slit green chillies in a pressure cooker. Add a glass of water, and cook till 3-4 whistles. In regular pot it would take about 20-30 minutes.
  3. In another pot, warm oil for preparing a tempering/ tadaka. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, 2 pinches of asafoetida, curry leaves, chopped garlic, and a red chilli to the oil and stir till spices give off aromas.
  4. Over this tempering, mix in the cooked daal, daikon, and tomato mix, along with its juices.
  5. Whisk everything together. Add salt to taste, rasam powder (if you have any), and soaked tamarind pulp/ lemon juice at this stage.
  6. Adjust the water to your liking and let everything come to boil. After that put it on a low-medium heat/ flame to simmer for few more minutes and tale it off the stove.

It can be enjoyed simple as a soup or as entree with rice. I had it with fenugreek-flavored mix of red and brown rice. Just add 2 tbspoons of fenugreek seeds and dried fenugreek leaves (available in Indian and Mediterranean stores) with a dash of olive oil into the pot in which your rice is cooking. It adds a subtle taste to the simple pot of rice, which does not require salt.

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Tamarind Fenugreek Rice

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Can I stay away from fenugreek long? Apparently not.

I had cooked rice in the noon so that it would cools down by the dinner time. Nowadays we have mostly been cooking the brown n’ wild rice and we are so much used to it that the regular white rice seems bland in comparison. I also soaked a tablespoon of tamarind in half a cup of warm water to make its pulp.

In a pan, I heated oil, and added a generous tempering of fenugreek seeds, split urad gram, split chickpeas lentils,  mustard seeds, chili powder,  turmeric powder, asafoetida, and crushed peanuts. After it started releasing it’s nutty roasted aroma, I added chopped onions, tomatoes,  and some frozen blocks of chopped fenugreek leaves. Once the blocks melted a bit, I poured in the tamarind paste and adjusted the salt. This cooked tamarind-fenugreek curry then, I mixed with the pre-cooked rice. It was nice to have fenugreek leaves’ mildly bitter flavor on my tongue after so long 🙂