Lemon juice flavoured rice
This is a typical main dish that is eaten during picnics since its easier to pack and carry on travels. Since Lemon belongs to citrus family, this is usually cooked during the hot tropical summer months to cool down the body. This one needs a spicy/ hot side dish (which I will post as my second dish in this thread) but nowadays (with the advent of air filled Lays chips packets) getting replaced with the store bought salted/spicy potato chips.
1 cup rice - cooked either thru pressure cooker or the old school boiling method. Let the rice cool down after cooking. Care should be taken to not let the rice clump together. This can be achieved by letting the rice cook in little less water than what is used usually
Juice from 1/2 lemon - of course size varies a lot across the countries, so be careful with the concentration but at the same time, make sure to add a little more juice to compensate for the absorption quality of the rice if left over for extended period of time
3 spoons of oil - whatever oil is locally available
turmeric powder - one pinch
1/4 spoon Urad split gram/bean - Vigna mungo, traditionally the split white ones are used, but now the Organic food movement has turned the tide towards unsplit black ones.
1/2 spoon Split Bengal Gram
1/4 spoon mustard seeds - black ones
Green Chillies - per individual taste and chilly size, if not available, can use dried ones
1/2 spoon salt
Curry leaves - these are to India like Bay leaves are to Europe. Unlike Bay leaves, these can be consumed. Fresh green ones are preferred. If not available like in my case in Poland, dried ones can be used, just a handful
4 Cashew Nuts or ground/peanuts
Asafoetida powder- pinch
Getting to the nutrients of these individual ingredients - bengal gram & Urad gram provide the usual nutrients expected out of the gram family but as a side effect, they also give flatulence. To not accumulate gas, we are adding asafoetida. Curry leaves are good in Iron. These are shared by mom and will be passed down the generation along with the recipe
Heat a pan in medium flame and add oil, let it get heated up.
Add mustard seeds, bengal and Urad grams. let these turn light red and let the mustard seeds splutter - your pan and stove environment will start to look like a mini battleground by now
Add Cashew/ground nuts, curry leaves and green chillies and let these get roasted. Now the battleground gets new ammunition to get more interesting lol. Be really careful with curry leaves and the green chillies in that order. If they are green and fresh, we would need to wash them before hand and the combination of those water droplets and hot oil has the potential to harm your fore arms
I am joking, but still for untrained hands, keep some distance away from the stove immediately after adding curry leaves in this step. Let these get roasted
Turn down/switch off the stove heat now and add the turmeric powder, asafoetida powders, salt and leave it on the hot stove just for a second to get these two powders cooked. the heat in the pan should suffice for this step.
Add the entire contents of the pan to the lemon juice and add 3/4 spoons of water which makes the extract ready.
Add this extract to the cooked but cooled down rice and serve it after the whole mixture cools down
Do not re-heat this again as lemon juice will change taste on heating. Consuming these after summiting the hillock temples with the whole landscape in sight back home right on time for lunch still remains as evergreen memory.