Amma's Special


Simple summer meal – Rice Congee with coconut thuvayal

Summer is at its peak here and the sun shining bright and hot all day long. Yes it is “agni natchathiram” and we have yet 10 more days to get that over.
I don’t want to crib about the heat and sweat but there are wonderful ways to drive off the heat.

Long before I got into blogging I used to read several blogs regularly. One of the much adored ones were of Mathy Kandasamy’s Virundhu. This blog does not exist now but Mathy is still in my heart after all these years. Many of her Srilankan recipes were a regular at my kitchen now and once among them is this Congee.

Its a simple rice porridge delicately flavored with coconut milk and curry leaves. Every morsel tastes divine and with a spicy tangy thuvayal you will not crib about the heat outside. This makes a perfect light meal in this hot summer and we make sure we make it altleast once in two days.
I have adapted her recipe and made changes to use Basmati rice instead of rosematta rice which would result in a bit more chewier version. I love the fragrance basmati rice which turns soft and mushy when cooked in this congee. I love this meal and each time I eat I fondly remember Mathy!

Rice Congee with Coconut thuvayal


For the Congee :

Basmati rice – 1 cup

Coconut milk (first milk) – 1 cup (preferably fresh)

Pearl onions / sambar onions / shallots – 10 peeled

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Jeera – 1 Table spoon

Salt as required

For the coconut thuvayal :

Fresh coconut grated – 1/2 cup

Dry red chillies – 2

Salt as required

Urad dal – 1 tea spoon

Mustard seeds – 2 pinches

Asafoetida – 1 pinch

Tamarind – 1 inch piece

How to make it ?

The Congee :

Wash the basmati rice and drain. Add the shallots, jeera, salt, curry leaves. If you are using a pressure cooker cook for 6 to 7 whistles with 8 cups of water. Else bring 9 cups of water to a rolling boil on the stove top. Add the washed basmati rice along with th other ingredients and cook in medium flame till the rice turns soft and mushy. Once cooked keeping in a medium low flame add the coconut milk and mix well. Keep stirring for a minute and close the lid and switch off the stove.

The coconut thuvayal :

In a thick bottomed kadai heat 1 teaspoon peanut oil. Once hot add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and urad dal. Once the dal turns pink add the brokn rd chillies. Fry till thy turn slightly brown. Add the coconut and stir for 2 to 3 times and switch off the stove. Once cool grind it in a sumeet style mixer or in a stone grinder to a coarse paste. Add salt to taste and mix well.

Serve the hot congee with a scoop of this thuvayal. Enjoy!