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Ready Made Curd Rice (Image From: snapdeal.com) 

Are we still talking about resolutions?  If so, I’d like to throw a recipe into the ring. As most resolutions fade I believe this one will stick because it’s hearty af. We were introduced the way most wonderful things are, wine-drunk at a dinner party by a friend. She described a food preparation her husband’s Indian family had taught her: A creamy and tart dish dressed with spiced oil and herbs. She claimed to like it better than maccheroni & cheese. I was listening.

After years of holding onto this information I finally watched a youtube video or three.Yogurt Rice or Curd Rice (curd = yogurt) is a comfort food fed to kids when they’re sick or an easy dinner for any bachelor. It seems each household has their own recipe. At it’s essence it’s over-cooked, long-grain rice mixed at room temperature with full-fat yogurt, sometimes milk or cream, and seasoned with salt. This becomes a blank canvass for dried chiles and spices toasted in oil or lots of ghee. It can be mixed with the fresh herbs, fruits and seeds of your choosing. Like a winter wonderland of flavor and texture.

Below are a few steps I picked up from making my own. I like my recipes to be simple and adaptable but enjoy reading others to learn about new techniques. I especially liked this video. Although this can be a summer dish, it seems quite applicable to an LA winter. *A note to any of my friends with origins in the Indian subcontinent: I apologize if I butcher a family recipe. I’d love to know your thoughts.*

Homemade Curd Rice Steps:

1) Overcook your Basmati, or any long-grain white rice, in a little more water than usual. If using leftover rice re hydrate it by adding more water and heating on the stove. Drain if necessary. The rice can be very soft. 2) Once rice has cooled, mix in enough yogurt to coat the rice while maintaining some texture – not too soupy. 3) Season with salt, fresh cilantro and fresh chiles (and maybe cucumbers in the summer). 4) Heat a couple tablespoons of cooking oil or ghee in a pan on med-high heat. Add a whole dried chile, mustard seeds, cumin, grated ginger, curry leaves, asafoetida, lentils for crunch or whatever to the pan. Once mustard seeds start to pop and ginger has begun to cook pull the mixture from the heat and pour over the yogurt rice. I like to mix mine in loosely. 5) Serve on it’s own or alongside dahl or lemon pickles.

This is a great vegetarian dish and I’m sure my clever vegan friends can find a rendition (yum, cultured coconut yogurt and a dollop of coconut cream). While I didn’t have any asafoetida or curry leaves the dish still came out great. I sprinkled mine with sea salt at the end for crunch ‘cause I’m fancy. Next time I think I’ll try it with the last of this seasons pomegranate seeds.

::Good Clean Fair Food For All (Los Angeles)::


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