Cooking: South Indian

Rice Variety : Mexican rice


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 350g long grain rice
  • 225g tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 950ml water

Preparation method

  • Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 25 mins
  • In a deep pan, heat oil over medium heat. Stir fry rice in the oil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat to low, and stir in tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Stir in water. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes

Links for variety rice



  • 1 cup toor/arhar dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 2 cups rice (sona masoori is my preference)
  • 3 cups diced vegetables (you can use potatoes, french beans, green peas, capsicum, onions, carrots)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (haldi) powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dessicated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste (if concentrated, use carefully)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • For Tadka/popu/tempering:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (rai) seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (kadi patta)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) powder
  • For Bisibele bhath powder:
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (dalcini)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 6 dry red chillis
  • 8 cloves (lavang)
  • 1 cardamom (elaichi)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg (jaiphal)
  • ¼ cup coriander seeds (dhania)
  • 3 tablespoons chana dal (split Bengal gram)
  • 3 tablespoons dessicated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds (Khus Khus)

Preparation method

  • Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 1 hour1.
  • Pressure cook toor dal and cook rice separately.
  • Boil diced vegetables in water with salt and turmeric powder until cooked. Drain the water and keep aside.
  • Make bisibele bhath powder: Dry roast all the powder ingredients and grind into a powder. This powder will keep for a few months if stored in an airtight container.
  • To 'assemble' bisibele bhath, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan. Add the tempering ingredients and fry till mustard seeds splutter. Now add the cooked dal and vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons of the bisibele bhath powder (more or less to taste), tamarind, and coconut. Add salt to taste. Add some water if necessary. The consistency of the dal mixture should be like a thick sambar. It should be a little runny at this stage because when you add the rice, it will absorb water.
  • Add rice to the dal mixture. Stir well and add ghee. Simmer on low heat for 10 – 15 minutes till bisibele bhath is bubbling. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Pineapple & rice jubilee

Serves: 4 north special


Pineapple slice,chopped

Basmati rice,soaked 1 1/2 cups
Saffron (kesar) a few strands
Ghee 1/4 cup
Khoya/mawa/kowa,grated 1 cup
Cloves 4
Green cardamoms 4
Sugar 2 cups
Raisins 1 tablespoon
Cashewnuts,chopped 8
Pistachios,chopped 8
Almonds,chopped 8
Silver warq/wrap for garnishing


  • Drain soaked rice and boil in four cups of water with saffron till three-fourths done.
  • Drain and keep aside. Heat two tablespoons of ghee in a non stick pan and sauté khoya lightly.
  • Heat remaining ghee; in another non-stick pan. Add cloves and green cardamoms and sauté for a few seconds.
  • Spread a layer of rice, top with a few pineapple pieces and a little sugar.
  • Repeat these layers till all the ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of rice.
  • Cover the pan and cook on low heat on dum on a tawa for about forty-five minutes to one hour.
  • When cooked sprinkle khoya/kowa. Decorate with raisins, cashewnuts, pistachios, almonds and silver warp. Serve warm. 

Rasam variety : Lemon rasam

Ingredients for preparing Lemon Rasam

  • Lemon (Nimbu, Cheru Naranga), small – 2 nos
  • Red Gram (Arhar Dal, Toor Dal, Thuvaram Parippu) – 1/4 cup
  • Green Chillies (Hara Mirch, Pacha Mulagu) – 3 nos
  • Ginger (Adarak, Inchi) – 1 small piece
  • Garlic (Veluthulli, Lahsun) – 4 cloves (Optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric Powder (Haldi, Manjal Podi) – 1/2 tsp
  • Rasam Powder – 2 tsp
  • Asafoetida (Heeng, Kayam) – 1/4 tsp
  • Tomato (Tamatar, Thakaali) – 1 no

For Seasoning

  • Oil or Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds (Rai, Kadugu) – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves – 1 stalk
  • Coriander Leaves (Dhania Patha, Malliyila) for garnishing

Steps for preparing Lemon Rasam

  • Cook Red Grams in a pressure cooker with enough water until its soft and mushy. Mash further with a potato masher to remove any lumps. Keep it aside.
  • Take a vessel and mix the cooked Red Grams, slitted Green Chillies, chopped Garlic, chopped Ginger, Salt, Turmeric Powder, Rasam Powder, Asafoetida and quartered Tomato with 3 cups of water.
  • Heat the vessel and allow the contents to boil. Simmer on low fire for 10 minutes.
  • Heat Oil or Ghee in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds. Now add the Curry Leaves. Add this mixture into the Lemon Rasam.
  • Squeeze and strain the lime juice from the Lemons.(If you are using tomatoes in Lemon Rasam reduce the quantity of lime juice.)
  • When Lemon Rasam becomes cold, add the lime juice.
  • Garnish Lemon Rasam with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Now Lemon Rasam is ready to serve with rice.

Links for some Tamil Nadu Dishes

Copy right Mahendra Women's empowerment Cell
All rights Reserved