Monday, February 2, 2009

Picnic Curd Rice

As I had promised in my firstever post "A Typical Indian Road Trip/Picnic" ,I am posting the recipe of Picnic Curd rice,in simple words Curd Rice which can be packed for long distance journeys.Some cynics(?!) can question me ,what big difference is there between ordinary curd rice and picnic curd rice?,But the difference is big enough to dedicate a post in a blog folks! ;-)
One more confession before starting the recipe,just bcos I am posting a recipe in a blog ,don't think that I have tremendous culinary skills ;-) ,Sorry! I am not an expert cook..I am a good foodie :-)
In India,Yoghurt of western countries is known as Curd,but renaming Curd rice into Yoghurt rice will not only hurt me ,but entire South Indian Brahmin Community which swears by Curd Rice ;-),So I am sparing the name ,even though technically it is incorrect ;-).
Normally Curd rice which is to be consumed at home is prepared by mixing curds with cooked rice,a pinch of salt and little seasoning.But if u try to pack this rice for a trip ,then u will end up opening a lunch box which sends a tangy smell of century old fermented wine;-) ,which will make the co passengers run away for cover.;-) and a thick white clumpy ball of rice which will require a jug of water to force it into oesophagus,the reason being rice absorbs all the liquid and leaves it very dry,.Here comes the tips for wonderful lip smacking curd rice from a person who has traveled umpteen number of times in long distance trains and whose appetite cannot be satiated without curd rice. Lots of research was done before arriving at this final recipe ;-).
First step is to cook the rice with more water than normal proportion ,so that cooked rice can be slightly mashed when it is hot,and leave it to cool down to room temperature.
Add salt ,milk (approx..for 1 cup of cooked rice,half litre of milk),if malai is formed on the milk don't forget to add that,it just adds to the taste and result will be yummy(of course bad for tummy ;-) more the milk,more the taste.I ll add some more points at the end of the post so that u can vary the qty of milk accordingly.
Next add 1 to 2 tbsp of good quality curd ,and for heaven's sake leave aside all ur sophisticated ways of cooking and mix the rice mixture with ur clean hands,reason being, natural yeast present in our hands aids the fermentation process quickly.Add some more milk if needed , so that the qty of milk above the rice forms about 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick layer,i.e., u let the milk remain above the top layer of rice,so that during the fermentation process rice fluffs and curd rice doesn't dries up.
Letting ( 1 to 2 inches)layer of milk remain over the rice mix is the major difference between ordinary curd rice and picnic curd rice,,and this makes a huge difference.Fermentation takes place along with the mixed rice,so tastes good.
Next is seasoning,in 2 tsps of oil(i prefer oil to ghee),add
1. mustard seeds,
2.asafoetida(hing/perungayam),
3.green chillies pieces of 1 to 1 1/2 inch,if chillies are finely chopped and if any child gets to taste it then the entire environment may become red hot due to the high decibal sound produced by the child . ;-)
4. dried masala chillies..mmm..this is the most difficult thing to explain..these chillies are known as 'kutachi mirchi' in Marathi ,meaning masala stuffed dried chillies ,'majjiga mirapakailu' in Telugu and 'Mor Milagaai' in Tamil , meaning dried buttermilk chillies?! (this is the worst ever & horrible translation i ve tried ;-)...if these chillies are not available ,don't worry !add whole red chillies..
5.curry leaves.
Add this seasoning ,and again mix the curd rice well.
Important things to note ,
1. Temperature of the region in which curd rice is prepared,fermentation process requires optimum heat, if enough heat is not provided ,u will end up eating milk rice ;-) In cold days u are allowed to add 2 more tbsps of curd in the rice,and pack it in a thermos bag or use a thick blanket to cover the box.
2.Time duration between preparation and consumption ..if it is more, then add more milk on the top layer,(believe me ! ive prepared curd rice for 18 hrs to 20 hrs duration and was successful in the attempt).before consuming it, just stir it well again.
And last but not the least, packing part of it,since u r going to pack food which is almost in liquid state,there is every chance of milk spilling out of the container,,so pack it in an airtight container or seal the lid well with small plastic covers otherwise messy bag with spilt milk can make u give a sorry look or leave u red faced ;-) in the picnic..ok .Have a nice trip! ..cu in next post..

16 comments:

Raja said...

Very nice post..I liked the funny side of this recipe. Especially the smell of century old fermented wine when you open the box..this brings back a lot of memories from our childhood days!! Wish this recipe was available then..
You topped it off with 'Mor Milagaai'..I still feel this is the best invention ever ..prior to invention of computer :)

Padma said...

Thank u raja!!it was very difficult to translate 'Mor milagai'..as u said,Indians were experts in inventing eatables like 'mor milagai',pickles etc :)

Prasanna said...

Aachi...this receipe will suit for saddhi (rice prepared in previous day)rice also...

Padma said...

Thank u prasanna ! for conferring the title 'Aachi' on me ,Aachis r the wonderful cooks of spicy chettinad food,i luv chettinad food (but only veg)

rajendra said...

My god I have never knew recipes can be written so intrestingly. Very funny. No doubt you have been given the portfolio of curd rice preparation by our relatives in all the picnics as you are an accepted expert. One disagreement about yout your culinary skills. You are really too good.... Cook for me & keep blogging...

Kanna said...

Very funny padma. I am still laughing...

Kanna said...

btw, this Kothai - machine is logged in under Kanna's ID :)

Padma said...

hi kothai !Thank u for reading my post and commenting on it!(even it is from kanna's id)
-;).

Suha's Blog said...

Nice recipe,makes me wanna try it even while reading it.

Raja said...

Aaha..padma, looks like suha is inspired to try out the recipe's in your blog..I urge you to post more recipe's now!

Padma said...

Raja!decide to try my recipes after reading them thoroughly..reason u ll come to know later...suspense!

Raja said...

Ok.. now that you have cautioned me..I would like to know one more thing..how many rest area stops did you take during your picnic?..assuming you took your specially made curd rice for the travelers..

Padma said...

hi!curd rice recipe is tested one..suspense is abt one of my future post..;)..whether curd rice or not...rest areas r a must for me;)

Nikita said...

Oh my God!!!
Doesn't the milk the curd and even the rice go bad if you keep it at room temperature for more than 18 hours? I prefer road-side dhaba to curd rice.....
But great tips.... I didn't know about the seasoning at all. I always thought curd rice is just curd and rice, and in Suman Nagar everyone eats it with chakli:)
Besides all this... I love the way you write... it's very engaging...and if my boss yells at me... you are the one to be blamed;)

Padma said...

oh! Thank u! no not more than 18 hrs..i know that u always prefer road side food;-)and u very well know that how i hate it bcos take more runs due to my mischievous bowels;-)

Anonymous said...

i do the same procedure but my son complains when he opens the tiffin box it smells.wht to do abt that