Lemon Rice with Mini Sweet Peppers
If you are a rice lover, you have to try this one. It's a dish that hits so close to home for me, I cherish the tanginess of the lemons with the crunch of the tadka on top. Such a heavenly dish that I remember my mom making for big crowds and it was always a hit. The ingredients are super simple (if you have an Indian pantry) and it doesn't take much time at all to make.
3 cups cooked rice (1 cup uncooked)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp chana dal
2 tsp urad dal
1-2 dry red chilies
2-3 green chilies
8-10 curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp (pinch) asafetida
3 mini sweet peppers, cut into thin rounds
4-6 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp salt
Cook the rice with just a bit less water than you would normally put in (so it is more powdery than it is mushy) and spoon it out onto a large plate. Break it up to let it cool quickly.
TADKA: In a pot over medium heat, pour in the olive oil. Pour in the black mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter, pour in the chana dal. After a few seconds, pour in the urad dal.
Sprinkle in the dry red chili, green chilies, curry leaves, turmeric powder, and asafetida. Throw in the mini peppers and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until just barely tender. You want these to stay crunchy. Turn off the heat, and set this pot aside.
After the rice has cooled (it can be lukewarm), squeeze the lemon juice over it. Sprinkle in the salt. Mix thoroughly until the lemon and salt have coated all the rice.
Just before serving, mix tadka with rice and enjoy!
You could mix everything all together in advance, but the tadka will not remain crunchy. I happen to love that variance in texture, so I prefer it that way, but that's not to say that you cannot make in advance. It's just ideal to mix it in just minutes before devouring.
This will keep in the fridge for about a week.