Kavuni rice ulundu usili salad

Kavuni is a medium-grain, black rice that is used in the Chettinad region  in Tamil Nadu. Popularly used  for making a sakkarai pongal type sweet dish, its glycemic index is so low that even the sweet dish does not cause blood sugar to spike. Rich in Vitamin B, it is good for diabetes and pregnant women. The presence of anthocyanin makes it a powerful antioxidant too. With all these benefits why aren’t we using this more frequently in our kitchen? Usually it is used to make sweet dishes and idlis. Today, I have tried to experiment and made a savoury rice salad with urad dal usili and grated carrots. And voila! We have a new favourite dish in our family.

Kavuni rice – 1 cup (soak overnight)
Urad dal 1 cup
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
Green chillies – 1
Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
Asafoetida – a pinch
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp 
Sesame oil – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – 10-15
Carrots – 2, grated
Coriander leaves – 2 springs, chopped
Juice of 1 small lemon
Salt – to taste
After soaking the rice overnight, cook in the pressure cooker with 3 cups of water for at least 6-7 whistles. Remove from cooker and drain excess water from rice. Set aside the rice. Do not waste the water as it is highly nutritious. I used mine in dal. Add a tsp of sesame oil to the rice and mix gently to make sure it doesn’t become sticky. 
Soak the urad dal for two hours and grind into a thick and coarse paste. Chop the chillies and curry leaves very finely. In a kadai, add the remaining sesame oil and pop the mustard seeds. When done, add asafoetida and coconut. After stirring for a minute add the urad dal paste and salt. Mix well, and cook covered in a low flame till urad dal paste is cooked well.  Remove from stove and when cooled down crumble into small pieces so it is not clumpy.
In a large mixing bowl, add the rice, cooked and crumbled urad dal, grated carrots, chopped coriander, lemon juice and salt as needed. Mix well and you now have a nutritious and tasty salad that is a complete meal in itself. Serves  4.

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