We, Indian cooks, are pretty good at hacks. A touch of this and a sprinkle of that from our extensive spice racks and we successfully convince the family that it is an entirely different dish. On the other hand, we cleverly conceal the vegetables in the pulao and curries, stew them and broil them till you can’t make out the original one to reject it. With our stern looks and steady head nods, we convince our kids that we have what they have requested on the plate and nothing more. The husband that we have not moved an inch from the mother in laws recipe. We have a name for our hacks “jugaad” and we play it well.
Why jugaad today?
Now, my husband is a hardcore rice fan, especially white rice. If possible he will have it for all three meals, 365 days of the week in heaps. Now that doesn’t work for me. Being diabetic, he struggles a bit with the rice front. So we try the best workaround -jugaad, of course.
The addition of vegetables to the mixed rice cuts down the amount of rice in it and he feels like he has had enough rice. For this, we fall back on cauliflower and cabbages. They are great low-calorie vegetables which add to the bulk of the food faster than any other I can think of. So the vegan, tangy, South Indian puli saadam is getting it makeover today. The spice mix is brilliant when you want to hide all those veggies in it and give leftover rice a perfect makeover. Since the gojju, the masala paste coats the rice and the cabbages, you really can’t separate the two out. Get the cabbage minced small, you will be surprised how much cabbage you can hide in this. You can successfully do this with cauliflower rice too. Instead, of the rice you can try millets, bulgar or quinoa they all work perfectly ad the gojju is the great concealer of the original flavours.
Puli saadam or tamarind rice
Puli saadam is a traditional Tamil recipe with the sourness of tamarind to flavour the mixed tempered rice. This gluten-free traditional recipe is made very often as a lunch box treat. During the aadi maasam, this recipe is one made for pathinettam perakku. Here is another time we love this recipe, railway travels. The long-distance travels, we carry packed lunch and this is a great one to have as packed rice. So, perfect for picnics too.
The mix that is given below makes this actually quite tasty. I have used my mother’s recipe for this spice mix. Enjoy this today cabbage puli saadam with some rice sundries, green apple pickle and vendakka pachadi.
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Hope you enjoy the recipe