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
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 .