Chitrannam (Magical Rice)
Serves: 5 loosely packed cups
This is a traditional vegetarian rice dish, which is popular in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Literally translated from Telugu, it means "magical" or "wondrous" rice. Lemon rice is a "must-have" on most religious celebrations throughout Andhra Pradesh and there are frequent family debates about whose lemon rice is better.
- 2 cups basmati rice, cooked and cooled Add to list
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice (2 to 3 lemons or limes) Add to list
- 4 teaspoons canola oil Add to list
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds Add to list
- 2 to 4 dry red chiles (such as Arbol), split in half Add to list
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds Add to list
- 2 tablespoons channa daal (yellow split peas) Add to list
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder Add to list
- 1 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts, skins removed Add to list
- 1 cup frozen green peas Add to list
- 3 to 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided Add to list
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro Add to list
- 4 tablespoons freshly grated coconut Add to list
Place rice in a mixing bowl. Add lemon or lime juice and toss very lightly, taking care to ensure the rice grains are intact. Set aside.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add mustard seeds and cover with a lid. When seeds have stopped popping, add red chiles. Wait until chiles turn a dark red and have released their heat into the oil. Add cumin seeds and channa daal. Lightly sauté the mixture until channa daal is a light amber color. Add turmeric, peanuts and green peas. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Sauté until peas have thawed, 2 to 4 minutes. Mix in cilantro.
Put peanut-pea mixture into the bowl with rice and add 2 teaspoons salt. Using a rubber spatula or clean hands, toss the rice and peanut-pea mixture until the yellow color is evenly distributed through the rice. Taste and add remaining salt, if desired. Garnish with freshly grated coconut.
Recipe by, PCC Cook instructor