I was just looking at my blog recipe archives, and it struck me that I have been neglecting certain categories by not posting as much in them. One of these categories is “Pasta And Rice“. While the omission has been unintentional, it seems ironic to me that we eat rice everyday and yet I haven’t posted too many rice recipes despite an abundance of “raw material”!
As a step towards remedying this situation, I present to you “Elumicham Pazham Chaadham”. In Tamil (a south Indian language and my mother tongue), “elumicham pazham” is lemon and “chaadham” is rice. This just about describes this dish, which is a slightly spicy rice preparation which has a delightful tang from the lemon and a nutty flavour from the lentils and peanuts in it.
A traditional preparation from my community, this rice preparation (like most other similar preparations), is very easy to put together yet very satisfying and filling. Lemon rice, along with other flavoured and seasoned varieties of rice dishes, are traditionally made for Aadi Perukku which is Tamil festival which celebrates a good monsoon and the promise of a bountiful planting and harvest year.
However these rice preparations are also everyday fare in most homes, probably because they’re so good and easy to make. While such rice preparations are made with freshly cooked rice for festive occasions, they’re also a wonderful way to use up left over rice on other days.
One thing I would like to point out is that many recipes for south Indian rice preparations seem to use Basmati rice. Basmati is a variety of rice grown in the north of India and so traditionally not used in south Indian cooking. So these recipes are best if made with other varieties like Kolam or similar short grain white rice.
Also, these recipes do not work well with boiled rice (which is popular in Kerala), though some varieties of steamed rice are fine. I have made this with steamed Sona Masuri