This nutty, South Indian, sesame-flavoured rice—called Ellu Sadam or Ellodarai in Tamil Nadu and Nuvvula Annam in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana—is offered as naivedyam for Navratri and Venkateshwara Poojas.
It is very easy to make, gets done in under 30 minutes, and needs very little as accompaniment to make it a complete one-dish meal.
Cuisine Andhra, Gluten Free, Indian, South Indian, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Vegan, Vegetarian
For the Sesame Powder
2tbsp- White Sesame Seeds
1tbsp- Black Sesame Seeds
1tbsp- Udad Dal
4 -Bydagi Chillies
A Few Curry Leaves
Salt to Taste
Cooking the Rice
Wash 1/2 cup short-grained rice well under running water. I use aged Surti Kolam.
Add 1 cup water and pressure cook the rice as usual.
Let the pressure cooker depressurise naturally and take the rice out to cool a bit.
Gently mix the rice with a fork or spoon (or even your fingers) to separate the grains.
After the rice is cooked, add the salt and 1 tbsp sesame oil and mix well.
Set the rice aside.
Making the Roasted Sesame Powder (I do this while the rice is cooking)
On medium heat, in a heavy-bottomed kadhai, dry roast 2 tbsp white sesame seeds and 1 tbsp black sesame seeds till the white sesame starts to change colour and give off a nice aroma. You can also use only white or only black sesame or play around with the proportions as required.
Transfer the sesame to a plate to cool
Now dry roast 1 tbsp udad dal till it becomes light golden brown.
Turn off the heat and add 4 Bydagi chillies or Kashmiri red chillies.
Let the ingredients sit in the pan for a minute.
Grind the roasted udad dal and chillies to a fine powder.
Add the roasted sesame and pulse till the sesame breaks into a coarse powder. Do not grind for very long after adding the sesame seeds as they have a high oil content that will seep out.
Making the Ellu Sadam
In a kadhai, over medium flame, heat 1 tbsp of cold-pressed sesame oil. You can use other flavourless cooking oils as well but cold-pressed sesame oil gives this rice a lovely depth of flavour.
First, add 1 tsp mustard seeds and let them splutter.