Aree...the malayalam word from rice, is a derivation of the Tamil word Arisee.This became Aruzz in Arabic, which in turn became oryza in greek. The rice preffered by mallus is unique to kerala. Called Puzhukkalari, it is slightly reddish in colour as it is not completely husked. Each grain is distinctly separate, and plump after cooking.
Rice is the mallu's first choice.You wouldn't be far from the truth if you say that it is the fuel that powers him.Deprive him of his daily dose of rice, and you'll discover a very subdued keralite..
A case in point...my brother, S1 and sister in law, N were honeymooning in Singapore. Everyday was a culinary discovery of singapore food, western burgers, Italian spaghetti....but no Mallu rice..(the puzhukkalari type)After a week of this... poor N sat up in the middle of the night and started crying..."I want to eat rice!!I miss it so much!!" S was shocked!!He rushed his bride to Little India, where she could feast on rice sambar, pappadam, etc., just like at home..Here's a typical mallu for you...Never say no to choru(rice)!!
All said and done...I think this sets the stage for a rice recipe..no?
There are many types of coconut rice being made, depending on the place where it is made..there's thai style coconut rice, malaysian style, chinese, and keralian .In Kerala itself, each person has their own recipe ..their own special way of making coconut rice.My version is the one passed on to me by my mother in law. I know of another version ..my mother's and grandma's version..they don't use turmeric, they add a little dal, and finally, they pack the coconut rice in a banana leaf along with chutney and beef curry and steam it before serving.Ummm...Even the memory makes me drool...The air would be redolent with the smell fragrance of the leaves...we would each get a parcel, and as we opened them up...steam would waft out into our faces, along with the mouth watering smell of beef curry and coconut rice..
Puzhukkalari(or plain white rice is okay too..but puzhukkalaree has a special taste)
Thick coconut milk - of 2 coconuts
Cumin(perumjeerakam) -1 tsp
Turmeric -1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - a pinch
Curry leaves - a sprig
1. Put all the ingredients in a ricecooker (or pressure cooker) and mix with a spoon.
2. Cover and cook till done (15 mins.)
3. When almost dry, add a tablespoon of coconut oil.
4. Serve steaming hot with beef curry.(or spicy veg curry too!!) and curd raita.