As much as I want to post here regularly, I’m unable to. It’s not that I do not cook regularly but some how it’s just not happening. And with exams round the corner, my head is focussing more on the kid who still needs to mature up and show responsibility towards his scores, leaving me a worried Mom. Please do pray for him, a sincere prayer has the strength to move a mountain too.
Last month was Pongal, which is one of the biggest festivals in TamilNadu. Four days of celebrations and most of the people and workers travel back to their native to celebrate the festival with their family. Many new buses and trains are run during this period, keeping the travel rush in mind. It’s believed that 35% population travels back to their native. My maid was no different, she had told me a month in advance that she would be taking leave for 5days.
Two days prior to leaving for her native, I asked her, do you know Pirandai (adamant creeper)? She answered yes, Akka, it’s easily available, I will get it for you. I was happy to hear that as I had searched it at many places and could not get it. In an hour she was back smiling with two large ridge gourds (peerkangai) in her hand. Apparently, ‘Pirandai’ is pronounced ‘perande’ in Tamil and with my poor knowledge of the language and the pronunciations, she misunderstood and got me RidgeGourds. I paid her for the veggies and then showed her the image of the Adamant creeper on the internet. She instantly told me that it’s available in her village and she would get it for me.
I must say she was very sincere, she got me a large pumpkin, adamant creeper and a few citron from her village. I was wondering looking at the citron and little did I know that time, that I was going to fall in love with the fruit. My MIL was extremely happy to see them as those are rarely seen in the cities and was quite unsure whether we would like it.
To my MIL’s surprise we all loved the bitter-sour taste of the Citron/Rough lemon and I used them to create a few recipes which I would share here gradually. In case you get hold of the citron, do try them, they are simply amazing.
The citron has a thick peel and less pulp which releases juice. The juice is bitter sour in taste and adds an amazing taste and fragrance to the preparation. The peel is used to make pickles and preserves. To start with my Citron voyage, is a simple rice which is called Chitranna in Kannada and since it is made using the citron, it’s called the Heralekayi Chitranna. This preparation makes use of the juice of the citron. The bitter sour taste that it adds to the rice is exquisite and difficult to describe. I would recommend, please try and taste it.
The rice preparation is very easy to make, perfect for bachelors too and the left over rice could gets used too. Makes an ideal one pot meal and it’s just apt for a lazy day.
Preparation Time: 5mins | Cooking Time: 10mins | Serves: 3-4 | Difficulty Level: Easy
4cups of cooked rice
1-1/2tsp mustard seeds
2-3tbsp mix of urad-chana daal ( mix of split black gram and Bengal gram lentils)
3-4sprigs curry leaves
2-3tbsp chopped coriander stem (adds more flavour)
3-4 green chillies, finely chopped (use the spicy ones)
1/2tsp turmeric powder
a handful of peanuts
salt to taste
juice of 1to1-1/2citron (as per taste)
Heat oil in a non stick pan and add the mustard seeds.
Once the mustard splutters, add the urad-chana daal mix and fry them golden.
Add the peanuts and fry them.
Add the chopped chillies and let them release the spice into the oil. Fry them for half a minute.
Add chopped coriander stem. Wash, tear the curry leaves and add. Leaves release more flavour when torn. Sauté for a few seconds.
Add turmeric, followed by the rice. Mix gently and add salt to taste.
Cover and cook for 6-7minutes.
Remove from the flame and add the juice of citron. Mix thoroughly. Serve it garnished with chopped coriander along with some curds in a bowl.