Saturday, July 26, 2008

Creamy Cucumber Curd Rice

I usually head to the local farmer's market on Saturday mornings. This morning I lingered a little too long there as I got into a really interesting conversation with a local farmer who is growing edible flowers!!!! But more of that a post to follow. While the conversation was both fun and educative, the heat index was not!! And by the time I got home with some really beautiful sugar snaps, zucchini, and cucumber, I knew that I had caught a touch of the sun.

Now for all in the know, summers up north are really nothing compared to India, where temperatures hover for days on end in the 100F to 110F range. In this heat, one neither wants to cook nor eat any hot food. In fact, what tastes best are the really cooling summer foods and fruits. Thankfully, every home has innumerable recipes to include the best seasonal vegetables and fruits in the diet.

Cucumber is the quintessential summer vegetable! And Curd Rice made with cucumber is one of my very favourite hot weather foods. To being with, cucumbers and curd make a very tasty and healthy combination. And more importantly, both are light on the stomach, cooling, and easy to digest. And so it was some creamy cucumber curd rice that I made for lunch today. Mmmm, what a refreshing way to beat the heat.

11/2 cups Basmati rice
1 small cucumber, chopped fine
4 spring onions, finely chopped
21/2 cups curd (yogurt)
2 tbsp dried shredded coconut
6-8 curry leaves
1" piece ginger, minced
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 dried red chillies
1 tsp ghee

  1. Prepare the rice as per instructions on the packet. When it is ready, let it rest for10 minutes and then remove onto a large plate or cookie sheet and spread out. Let the rice cool completely.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, blend the curd, coconut, and cucumber. Add the cooled rice and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator for at least and hour.
  3. In the meanwhile, prepare the tempering. Heat the ghee. To this add, the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they being to pop, add the spring onion, ginger, red chillies, and curry leaves. Fry for a minute.
  4. Just before serving, season the curd rice with salt and pour the tempering over it. Mix well.
  5. Serve immediately, with dry chutney and your favourite pickle.
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