Tamarind Rice

Serves 8


1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons tamarind concentrate
½ cup warm water
3 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup unsalted peanuts (preferably unroasted), roughly chopped
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
16 curry leaves, roughly torn (optional)
6 dried red chiles (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon turmeric
1 large red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons Sambhaar, or 1 teaspoon curry powder
7 cups cooked basmati rice, drained, spread out on a baking sheet, and cooled to room temperature


Place the tamarind in a small bowl, and pour the warm water over it. Whisk together until the tamarind is completely dissolved, and set aside.

Heat the oil, peanuts, and mustard seeds in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat until the mustard seeds begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the curry leaves, chiles, cumin, turmeric, and cook until the peanuts are golden, about 1½ minutes. Add the onion, salt, and Sambhaar, and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often (if the onion begins to burn, turn the heat down). Add the tamarind water, and cook until the water is evaporated, stirring often, for about 2 minutes.

Stir in the rice, and cook until the rice is hot, about 2 minutes (if the rice was in the fridge it will take an extra 2 to 4 minutes to warm up), stirring once or twice to make sure nothing burns at the bottom of the pan. Taste for seasoning, and serve.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran