Arusuvai Friendship Chain & an entry for MEC: Rice

Most of you by now are very familiar with it, but for those who are as new to this as much I was till recently, in Latha Maami & Lakshmi’s words

Arusuvai Friendship Chain is about sending along a surprise ingredient as a gift to your friends for them to prepare something tasty with it, share the recipe, and pass on other surprise ingredients to more people. Arusuvai means six tastes (aru=six, suvai=taste) in Tamizh and is used to refer for Tasty preparation with six tastes - inippu/ thithippu (sweet), orappu/ karam (hot), kassappu (bitter) , pulippu (sour), uppu (salt), tuvarpu (tastes that one gets in raw leaves).

The chain was started in the US by Latha and has been around for a while now. I received my secret ingredient from Maya. It was a packet of gorgeous and flavorfully aromatic Kolmbya (Kolmbo in Konkani= Sambhar) Pitti (powder) a.k.a Sambhar Powder.


With it were a beautiful card and a bar of chocolate loaded with toffee crisps. From the color and fragrance I could sense it was purely home made. Thank you Maya.

I was thinking of ways to use this secret ingredient, so that I do complete justice to its flavors and color. My mother always reserves Sambhar Saadam (Saadam=Rice in Tamil) for weekends; something she learnt in Chennai. Weekend brunches comprise of Sambhar Saadam followed by Thayyir Saadam (Thayyir = Curd/Yoghurt), of course with papad and potato chips for sides.

Mom prepares the sambhar powder base with roasted coconut, just before preparing the rice-dal mixture. I decided to use Maya’s Sambhar powder instead as the main ingredient. With Rice as the theme for this month’s MEC, I decided to get adventurous cooking with the microwave.



½ cup short grain White Rice, washed and pre-soaked for 2 hours
½ cup Toor Dal, washed and pre-soaked for 2-3 hours
1 teaspoon Oil
¼ cup mixture of green peas and diced carrots
½ cup Tamarind extract
3 teaspoons Maya’s sambhar powder (Secret ingredient)
4-5 Cashewnuts, roasted
½ teaspoon mustard seeds, dry roasted
½ teaspoon clarified butter (optional)
2 teaspoons Coconut, grated and dry roasted
4-5 cups Water

Since this is the first time I cooked this entirely using the microwave, I decided to work on it by piecemeal.



- Mix tamarind extract and sambhar powder. Mix well. Set aside.

- Cook rice and toor dal together with 3 cups of water for 10 minutes uncovered, in a microwave safe dish. Stir and cook for 2 more minutes with lid on. Fluff with a fork. Add salt and set aside.

- In another microwave safe dish, add green peas-carrots mixture, 1 teaspoon of oil and 3 tablespoons of water. Cook for 7 minutes with lid on.

- Mix the cooked carrot–peas mixture to the cooked rice and dal mixture. Mix well. To this add tamarind extract - sambhar powder mixture. Mix well. Microwave for 7-8 minutes, uncovered.

- Add in cashewnuts, roasted coconut, mustard seeds and clarified butter, mix thoroughly and cook for 4 mins. Allow to stand at room temperature for a few minutes. Serve with potato chips or papad.

I toasted jeera papad in the microwave. For this I halved the papad and toasted it for 8-10 seconds each side. Sometimes the papad can char due to the heat, so it’s important to keep an eye on it while toasting.

I enjoyed being a part of the Arusuvai Friendship Chain. And look forward to passing it on. This entry goes to MEC: Rice .


Maya said...

Hi Eskay, Wonderful dish with the powder..Looks very tempting and yummy...Will try ur recipe someday...Great entry for the MEC event!!

Srivalli said...

That plate looks great..thanks for the lovely entry!

Purnima said...

Eskay, Happy Women's Day to you! The dish looks great with Kolombya Pitto!

Happy cook said...

Looks so delicious. I could smell the aroma of the spices from here

Asha said...

Beautiful dish, photos are excellent!:))

shriya said...

Pics are very inviting and looks yummy. Very good recipe.

Uma said...

wow, the rice looks so yummy! Lovely entry!

bee said...

that is a very glamorous sambar saadam.

Dee & Chai said...

Nice one(:-).Love the way u presented it!

Saswati said...

wonderful snaps..the dish looks droolworthy.

Dhivya said...

great entry...looks yum

Eskay said...

Thank you for those kind words of appreciation. I'm glad you all liked the recipe.

Srivalli, thank you for accepting my entry.

Mallugirl said...

excellent photos!