Wednesday, September 23, 2020


Pilau Rice or Yellow Rice 


Basmati rice 2 cups
Cardamon pods 3
Cumin ¾ teaspoons
Coriander ½ teaspoons
Onion medium 1
Ghee 2 tablespoon
Saffron one good pinch
Cinnamon stick 1 inch long
Salt to taste
Water 4 cups


Soak the rice in water for ten minutes, wash and drain all the water using a sieve.

Boil the 4 cups of water.

Finely chop the onion, soak the saffron in one tablespoon hot water.

Dry roast Cardamon pods, Cumin and Coriander and crush all together.

Add the ghee to the hot pan and add these crushed spices and finely chopped onion and fry until the onion turns brown.

When the onion has turned brown, add the rice, saffron with the water and the boiling water, cinnamon piece, salt to taste and cook in low heat until all the water has been absorbed.


This delicate process can be done in an easy and quick way as below.


Basmati rice 2 cups
Saffron one good pinch
Pilau rice seasoning 2 teaspoon heaped - available in all supermarkets
Butter 2 tablespoon or ghee
Water 4 cups


Soak the saffron in one tablespoon hot water.

Soak rice in water, wash and drain well using a sieve.

Boil the water and add the rice, saffron, ghee, and the pilau rice seasoning.

Cook until all the water has been absorbed.

The pilau rice seasoning replaces all the spices and the labour associated with it.

You can cook this way in a rice cooker, in a microwave cooker or even on a stove.

For Microwave cooking this rice - Click here.



Curd Rice - Thayir Saatham


Long grain or basmati rice 1 cup
Urid dhal split and cleaned 1 tablespoon
Dried chillies 5
Curry leaves 5
Yoghurt 1 cup
Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida one pinch
Oil 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Water 2 cups


Wash, drain and cook the rice in 2 cups of water and set aside to cool.

In a pan heat oil and when hot add mustard seeds, when they are popping, add urid dhal, cut chillies, curry leaves until dhal turns golden brown.

Remove from fire, add the yoghurt and salt and mix well.

Add to this mixture of yoghurt, the cooked rice little at a time and mix together.

This dish needs no accompaniments.



Tamarind Rice - Puli Saatham 

This is the traveller's favourite as it keeps and can be made previously and packed for the journey.


Parboiled rice 3 cups
Dry Chillies 10 + 1
Channa dhal split 1 cup
Urid dhal split and cleaned 1 cup
Asafoetida 2 pinches
Oil 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds1 teaspoon
Jeera ½ teaspoon
Tamarind paste 2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon
Gingelly oil 2 - 3 tablespoon
Salt to taste


Dry roast 10 dry chillies, channa dhal (save 1 tablespoon for later use), and jeera and urid dhal separately and grind in a grinder and keep separately.

Dissolve the tamarind in water as thick as possible and strain.

Add to this the turmeric powder and salt and keep aside.

Then fry in a pan using the oil the mustard, asafoetida, one dry chilli cut into small pieces and 1 tablespoon channa dhal until the channa dhal is well fried.

To this add the tamarind mixture and boil until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Now add the ground powder of dhal chillies etc and mix and cook until it is of the consistency of jam.

Allow to cool. When cooled, extra quantity can be stored in a dry bottle to be used as necessary.
Cook the rice in a pot or rice cooker and leave it to cool.

When cold, add to this rice the mixture stored earlier as necessary to taste and add gingelly oil to taste and stir well.

This is now ready to eat and can be kept for a few days.

When people travelled over a day or two this is the food they carry for their meals. It is preserved, and does not need any other accompaniments to go with it.



Puli Kanchi

This is a dish made for the ill patients and during their convalescent period; to promote sweating and thereby bring down the fever. It is normally drunk with a spoon while it is still hot.
Puli kanchi (புளிக்கஞ்சி) was a speciality dish in Yarlpanam when the monsoonal rains arrive with storms and when it was chilly.


Raw red rice 1 cup
Prawns cleaned ½ cup
Curry powder 1 teaspoon
Green chillies 4
Garlic cloves 5
Onion medium 1
Tamarind paste 1 teaspoon
Coconut milk ½ cup
Salt to taste
Water 5 cups
Drumstick leaves if available ½ cup


Boil water in a pot and add rice.

Wait until water is boiling again and add the prawns, diced garlic, diced onions, curry powder and cook until rice and prawns are soft.

Add coconut milk, chopped green chillies and drumstick leaves and cook until the milk has boiled well.

And tamarind paste and salt and stir and simmer to make the dish like a thick soup.

Variation for vegetarians:

Omit prawns and add pieces of ash plantain and chopped jackfruit seeds.




 Milagu Saatham - Pepper Rice


Basmati Rice 2 cups
Vegetable oil 2 tablespoons
Curry leaves 6
Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
Black peppercorns 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Water 4 cups


Heat a pan and add oil, add curry leaves, cumin seeds and peppercorns and fry for a few seconds.

Add the rice and salt and stir for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the water and bring the water to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low, cover pan and cook until the all the liquid has been absorbed.

Loosen the rice and serve.

Serve with: Usually with lamb curry.