“What will we carry for lunch tomorrow?” is the life’s eternal question that plagues me everyday and being an obsessive planner I need to know the answer as well. Otherwise, I cannot have a good night’s sleep. Yes, I have OCD if you have not figured it by now.
In India, lunch was never an issue as there were several restaurants mushrooming all over the city especially around offices serving delectable fare to hungry office goers all year round. And if this was not enough we have the very efficient dabbawalas who will deliver food right to your desk cooked lovingly by someone at home.
Now this is not an option for me here. Although I work in a very accessible area that has, a lot of restaurants but eating out in Perth can be a very expensive affair. Even a decent sized sandwich can burn a $10 hole in your pocket. And let’s face it I am an Indian so eating a sandwich for lunch is never going to make me happy.
And this is why planning helps. I try and cook simple fuss-free recipes to carry with me for lunch and this “Green Coconut Rice” is a recipe that I rely on a lot. I had a generous amount of Cashewnuts to make it nutty & nutritious, and the Yogurt gives it a lovely tangy kick. It is also the husband’s favorite Rice recipe, so I make it A lot.
Recipe (cooking time 30 minutes, serves 3 – 4)
1 Coffee Cup uncooked plain Basmati Rice
1 cup yogurt/curd at room temperature
3/4 cup fresh green Coriander
3/4 cup freshly dessicated Coconut (non-negotiable do not use dry coconut as it will alter the taste considerably)
1 big Green Chilly
1 tsp fresh Ginger (Only use fresh Ginger)
1 tbsp white Urad dal
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup unsalted Cashewnuts
2 dry Red chillies
Salt to taste
2 tsp Vegetable oil
1/2 tsp Sugar to take away the sourness of the yogurt
Cook the Rice as per the normal packet instructions or use left over rice and keep it aside once cooked.
Add the Coriander, Coconut, Ginger, Green chilli and Yogurt in a grinder and grind in a smooth paste. You can add 1/4 cup plain water to this paste if it is too thick. The paste should be smooth and fine.
Heat oil in heavy bottom pan and add Cumin seeds, Red Chilli, Fenugreek, Cashew nuts and Urad dal and roast on a very low flame till the Dal and cashews are light brown. Be careful so they don’t burn.
Add the Coconut paste to the pan on a low flame standing at a safe distance as the paste will splutter all around.
Cover and cook till it turns a little dark. Add the Salt and Sugar and add the rice mixing well letting the rice soak up the goodness of the coconut paste. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes and turn off the heat.
Serve with some Mango pickle as a perfect lunch box treat.