My attention there was duly distracted by some very interesting sounding (and tasting) dishes at the dinner buffet, one of which was Vengaya Thal Saadam. On Googling vengaya thal, I discovered it was spring onions. While it was a very south-Indian sounding dish, the manner of preparation was akin to north-Indian pulao. It looked very simple and attractive with lots of spring onion greens sprinkled on top.
There was no way I was going to miss trying it out myself. And going with the policy that I TRY (note the caps!) to follow these days – Today is the best day to do anything – I decided to cook it today. On the way back from my yoga class this morning (happily, the teacher made us do some strenuous poses, a much-required workout, considering I’ve hogged the whole weekend!) I stopped at my favourite roadside vegetable vendor and picked up a bunch of tender spring onions.
The dish tuned out to be really simple to make and delicious! Like they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So, pick up your knife and chopping board and make it for yourself. Tell me how you like it.
Vengaya Thal Saadam (Rice cooked with spring onions)
Spring onions – 1 bunch (around 8 of them with greens)
Sambhar onions (scallions) – ½ cup
Rice (basmati if available) – ¾ cup
Green chillies – 3-4 (finely chopped)
Ginger – 2 tsp (finely chopped)
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Oil/ghee – 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts – 2 tsp (halved)
I don’t stock basmati rice, so I used the regular variety
I forgot to add the turmeric powder, but it tasted just as good as the one at the restaurant
I omitted cashews since the dish is already loaded with oil. Anyway, I’m not too fond of biting into cashew nuts in pulaos
This quantity of oil is required to sauté onions properly, so don’t use your I’m-a-health-freak logic here!
Cook rice such that grains don’t stick
Peel shallots and halve them
Chop spring onions and separate whites and greens
Heat oil. Add mustard. Once its starts popping, add jeera
Sauté for a few seconds and add chopped green chillies and ginger
Add halved shallots and sliced spring onion whites. Sauté till translucent
Add spring onion greens and salt. Sauté for 30 seconds (The greens should just start to wilt)
Add rice. Mix well and serve
On the way back home well past midnight, I nearly rammed into the car in front of us, because I’d not noticed the speed-breaker. Got admonished by friends and hubby, who duly took over the wheels, only to repeat my act a few minutes later. Moral of the story: drive carefully at night. Better slow than sorry!