Rice has become such a soft spot with nutrition seekers and dieters in our country . More than anywhere else . No other place celebrates rice as much as Indians do , especially in the coastal regions. I know i know , the Chinese and the Japanese , Koreans and all the coastal countries probably consume rice as a staple grain , but i feel the proportion of rice on an average Indian's plate is much more.
Daal bhaat ( lentil n rice) is a common name for a meal in some parts of India .. daal roti and just roti for a meal is common too . A punjabi would say chalo rotti kha layiye ( for let's have our meal) and a bong would say bhaat khiye naao for have your meal . In the central parts of India too it's like daal roti or daal bhaat ...we certainly heap our plates with rice ( or other grains, mostly refined now a days) and that is not healthy . We take very small servings of lentils and vegetables on the side in a vegetarian meal . With a meat or fish meal the proportion is healthier though , still not perfect.
If the rice is white and refined , stripped off its goodness , the nutrient proportion is even more tilted . You know what i mean , if the proportion of rice for a meal is lower than other healthier ingredients , a white rice meal could be healthier . Like it is in the other east Asian countries , their plates are loaded with greens and vegetables and some meat or fish so the rice makes a small portion of the plate.
So load you plate with more vegetables and protein and enjoy your white rice once in a while . A practical solution for all of us who have grown up eating the tastier rice and now crave for it even when we know it is stripped off it's goodness .
Add more goodness to it . See how.
(for two servings)
sesame seeds 3 tbsp
black peppercorns 2 tsp
cumin seeds 2 tsp
coriander seeds 1 tsp
dry red chillies broken 2 nos.
a pinch of asafoetida
2 cups of chopped fenugreek leaves
1.5 to 2 cups of cooked white rice
salt to taste
a squirt of lime juice or a pinch or amchoor powder( optional)
mustard or sesame oil 1 tsp
Make a coarse powder of sesame , coriander seeds , cumin seeds and black peppercorns together . Keep aside . This mixture can be made in large quantity and kept in a airtight container , preferably in fridge for a month or so...
Heat oil in a pan and throw in the asafoetida powder first .
Throw in the broken red chillies and let them get roasted , keep the flame low and take care not to burn them or else be ready for a bout of sneezing .
Then add the powdered mix into the oil and stir fry for a few seconds till it gets aromatic , taking care not to burn the mixture.
Keep the heat level low all this while...
Add salt to taste and mix well.
Add in the cooked rice , mix well and adjust seasoning.
Add lemon juice or amchoor powder if required . Adding a bit of tamarind juice could be favorable for you too.
Mix well and serve hot .
The white rice is fortified well with proteins and leafy greens , all cooked together for a convenient quick meal. Having a salad or vegetable based raita wiould be great with it . Or just a tall glass of buttermilk if you want it really quick.
It is a very flavorful way to eat white rice. You can have a bowl of daal on the side too and make the fried rice a bit bland in that case . On it's own it is a hot dish if made with the suggested proportion of spices , so adjust the heat level to your liking and mood . I need my spices according to seasons and my moods .....
For summers i would have a bowl of plain yogurt or a glass of plain buttermilk with it for sure .
Another way to make such a fried rice is using some curry leaves , chopped onions and roasted peanuts with it...
This recipe works well for those who are not very fond of raw salads on the side ... cooking healthy greens along with the rice works so well.
Do you see how easy healthy cooking can be if you use your ingredients cleverly . Taste is not compromised and you get all the nutrition alright .
No compromises .