Saturday, June 13, 2015

Recipe of the month: Dill Pulao (Sabbasige Soppu Pulao)

This Dill Pulao is one among the simplest rice dishes I know. Judging by what I've seen, I'd say that dill (sabbasige soppu in kannada) is a herb that is not to everyone's taste. The green wispy, fern-like leaves of fresh dill have a strong and distinctive flavour. It is used as a flavour enhancer in European, Asian and Middle-Eastern Cuisine. I know many people who are crazy about it (me included) and many people who cannot stand it (such as my hubby, dad and father-in-law). But whether you like it or not, it has a plethora of health benefits which is reason enough to incorporate it into your diet. Lactating mothers take note - this herb will do you a world of good!

Growing up, I never even knew about the existence of this herb, forget about what it looked or tasted like because my mum never cooked with it. The style of cooking in my family is the typical Tulu Nadu-Udupi style and dill is a herb that does not feature in recipes from this part of Karnataka. Many years ago, it so happened that someone brought a bunch of fresh dill to our house in Mysore and my mom (who doesn't believe in wasting or discarding any kind of food), made this rice dish. I loved it from the first bite and from then onwards began badgering her to make it at every given instance that my dad wasn't around during meal times (he still hasn't come around!). My mum uses dill to make this pulao, akki rotti and masala vada. All three dishes are among my favourites which is proof of my love affair with this wiry herb.

You can make this dish with leftover rice which is what I usually do. I didn't have leftover rice this time round so I made fresh rice and continued from there. If this is the first time you are sampling this herb, go easy on the proportion that you use as you may find it overpowering. Discard any leaves that are yellowing and avoid using the thick woody stems of the dill. You don't have to add any spice powders to the rice if you don't want to. It tastes nice plain too as the dill imparts plenty of flavour just by itself. I just add sambhar powder and garam masala coz my mum adds them.

I had exactly 60 seconds to photograph this dish before one of the twins started bawling at the realization of my sudden disappearance. I feel disheartened that instead of my food styling and photography getting better with each post, it has been slowly deteriorating. So I've decided that henceforth, I'm going to cheekily blame my kids for any shoddy work that you see on this space! hahaha 

More later!



I
Dill Rice (Sabbasige Soppu Pulao)

Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Recipe Level: Very easy
Serves: 2-4
Recipe source: My mum

Ingredients:

1 cup raw rice
1 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
3-5 green chillies (depending on your spice level), finely chopped
2 medium-sized red onions, chopped
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1 bunch fresh dill (sabbasige soppu), washed and finely chopped
½ cup cooked green peas (I use the frozen kind)
1 tsp sambhar masala (saarina pudi)
1 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
3/4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp ghee or oil

Method:

1. Cook the rice until done (it usually needs 3 cups of water) and cool completely. Meanwhile prepare all the other ingredients



2. In the same pot, heat ghee or oil and add cumin seeds. When it splutters, add the minced garlic (I use a garlic press), chopped onions and green chillies and sauté it



3. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry till soft


4. Add in the chopped dill and cooked peas and fry for a few mins until the greens wilt


5. Add in the sambhar powder, garam masala, sugar and salt and fry for 2-3 mins


6. Add in the cooked rice and give all the ingredients a good toss


7. Taste the rice and adjust the seasonings if required

8. Serve hot with any raita of your choice and poppadoms


Notes:
  • Generally 1 cup raw rice will yield 3 cups cooked rice so if you want to try this recipe with leftover rice you could do so
  • If you have made fresh rice, make sure that the rice has cooled down completely before  mixing it with the rest of the ingredients or else it may turn into mush
  • You could use long-grain basmati rice for this recipe too but I generally use the regular short grain variety. Keep in mind that basmati rice requires lesser water for cooking (~2 cups per  1 cup of rice)
  • You could add 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder if you want to impart additional color to the rice
  • Instead of cooked peas, you could use cooked field beans (avarekalu) in this recipe for a yummier outcome!


Cheers,


2 comments:

  1. Dill is extensively used in Maharashtra.
    Must try out this pulao.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks yummy Megha! Welcome back . Hope you had a good trip back home :)

    ReplyDelete

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