(10 minutes, serves 4)
Adding seeds, coconut, and lentils to your rice boosts its nutrition as well as its flavor. If you’d like, you can use black sesame seeds instead (or a mix); black seeds retain their hulls, and have a slightly more bitter flavor and more nutrients. This savory rice is a tasty accompaniment to a fruity curry, such as pineapple, mango, or ripe jackfruit.
1/2 t. salt
1. Dry roast sesame seeds in a medium sauté pan, stirring constantly on medium-high, until they start to pop; remove to a bowl.
2. In the same pan, dry roast two red chilies and the coconut, stirring constantly, until coconut is dry and lightly golden; don’t let them burn; remove to the same bowl.
3. Add oil to the pan and mustard seed. Heat, stirring occasionally, until they start to pop. Turn heat down to low; add urad dal and fry for about 25-30 seconds, stirring.
4. Add cumin seed, curry leaves, and the rest of the dried red chilies (broken up), and sauté for about 30 more seconds, stirring.
5. Add sesame seed & coconut mixture, salt, and rice to the pan, and stir until well-blended. Serve hot.
NOTE: Sesame seeds can go rancid over time — they’re generally fine in a dark, cool pantry, but if you don’t use them frequently, they should be stored in the fridge or frozen, in a tightly-sealed package. Check seeds for taste before use; if they taste sour or otherwise off, throw them out.