This traditional South Indian style rice is served as a side dish at feasts and weddings. Use leftover rice (from your Chinese carry out), or make some fresh rice to use in this recipe. Brown basmati rice can be substituted for white basmati, but the contrast of colors of the finished dish are more beautiful when using white rice.
- 4 cups cooked basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon yellow split peas (chana dal)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1½ teaspoons brown mustard seeds
- 1½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 red chili peppers, halved lengthwise
- ½ teaspoon asafoetida powder (available at Asian or Indian markets)
- 4 curry leaves (available at Asian or Indian markets)
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger root
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3 tablespoons roasted cashews
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped cilantro as garnish
- Have rice at room temperature. Soak the split peas in a cup of water for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Add drained split peas, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chili peppers, asafoetida and curry leaves. Sauté until mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the ginger, turmeric, cashews and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and lemon juice and heat through. Garnish with chopped cilantro or grated lemon zest.