3 cups cooked leftover rice,
1 med-large onion
5-6 small-med tomatoes
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. bengal gram (channa dal)
1 tsp. split black lentils (urad dal)
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. sambar powder
1-2 dried red chili (optional)
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. ghee
pinch of asafetida
salt to taste
few sprigs of curry leaves and cilantro
1. You don't really have to be precise with any of the ingredients. Just make sure to chop them finely.
2. In a large skillet, add the sesame oil or use any oil you prefer. Sesame oil is common in South Indian cooking. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When it starts popping, add the asafetida and chilly.
3. Followed by channa dal and urad dal.
4. When the lentils slowly start changing color, add the methi.
5. Add the chopped onions next along with salt. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until its soft.
6. While that's cooking, chop tomatoes into small pieces. Again, the amount of tomatoes is up to you and does not need to be that precise
7. Add it to the pan and increase the heat.
8. Add turmeric, stir and then cook in high heat until soft and mushy.
9. Add about 1 cup water, drop in the curry leaves
10. And the sambar powder (see Tip 3). Stir to combine.
11. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 5-7 minutes with a lid closed.
12. You can at this point do a taste test and season accordingly. If you find that your tomatoes have made sour gravy, add some jaggery /sugar to counterbalance it. Also the gravy should taste a bit salty (just a bit) since you will be adding rice to this mixture. So add more salt if needed.
13. Add the cooked rice. Add it cup by cup to make sure there is enough gravy to cover the rice.
14. The resultant rice should not be like gravy not should be very dry.
15. Close with a lid and cook for another 5 minutes in low heat, for the flavors to combine well.
16. Switch off the flame and add 1 tsp of ghee. Combine once again and serve hot along with any accompaniment of your choice.