Ellorai (sesame seed rice)

This is typically made on Saturdays, particularly during the Tamizh month of Puratasi (புரட்டாசி). However the flavour of this rice is so amazing that I make it whenever I feel like having some. The health and nutrition benefits of sesame seeds are another point in its favour.

Ingredients for the ellu podi 
Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp
Urad dal – 3 tbsp
Dried red chillies – 2-4 as per taste
Asafoetida – a pinch
Dried coconut grated – 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Dry roast the dal and chillies till golden and keep aside. Dry roast the sesame seeds also till the sesame seeds splutter and are well roasted. Keep aside and dry roast the coconut also till golden and keep aside. All these should be roasted without any oil as the sesame seeds and coconut will release oil when you grind it. Dry grind the dal and chillies, then add the sesame seeds and grind some more. Finally add the coconut also, along with salt and asafoetida and grind till you get a powder (a bit coarse).

Spice powder for the ellorai

For the rice
Rice – 1 cup
Water – 2 cups
Raw peanuts with skin – 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp 
Sesame oil – 2 – 3 tbsp
Curry leaves – 8-10
Salt to taste

Cook the rice with water so that it is fluffy. In a kadai add the oil and fry the peanuts till golden brown and set aside. In the same oil pop the mustard seeds and fry the dal till golden brown. Add to the cooked rice along with curry leaves, fried peanuts and salt. Now add the ellu podi to the rice and mix well. Mix carefully so the rice doesn’t get mushy and add enough of the sesame powder till you get the right flavour and spice. The excess sesame powder can be stored in the fridge. Serve with any pachadi. Serves 2-3.

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