My family is what you can call ‘A Pure Non-vegetarian’ family. I was brought up eating non-vegetarian dishes almost every day. We lived in an apartment complex where I had many friends and out of all of them, my best friend was a girl who lived one floor below us. Unlike my family, hers was a ‘Pure Vegetarian’ family and she would even hate the sight of any meat.

One day my parents had gone out and I was feeling hungry; my friend invited me to her house where I met her parents. In a few minutes I could hear something sizzling in the kitchen and my stomach started to grumble more, while curiosity built within me.

My friend’s mother was making a quick and healthy dish called Lemon Rice – it was by far the tastiest vegetarian dish I have had from my early days.

“Strong lemon flavours with nice soft millet rice” – her mother loved using millets in her food. After that for the rest of the time that I lived in the apartment complex, I used to eat often with them and soon I started loving vegetarian food. Our friendship also grew in the playground and at the dining table over at her house with strong memories that I have to share. We continue to be good friends to this day.

Recipe for Lemon Millet Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Foxtail Millet
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon White Urad Dal (Split)
  • 1/4 cup Raw Peanuts
  • 1/4 cup Carrot, chopped
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch Ginger, grated
  • 2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame oil
  • Coriander leaves, a small bunch finely chopped

Directions

  1. To cook millets, add the cup of millets in a pressure cooker, add 1-1/2 cups of water and pressure cook for couple of whistles. Once cooked the millets should be grainy.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan; add mustard seeds, Urad dal and peanuts.
  3. Allow seeds to crackle and the dal and the peanuts to get roasted well to a golden brown colour.
  4. Once the dal is golden brown and roasted, add the curry leaves, ginger, green chillies, turmeric powder and stir for a few seconds. Add carrots and saute for about a minute or two.
  5. Add the cooked foxtail millet, sprinkle some salt and give it a good stir until all the ingredients have combined well and the millets are well coated.
  6. Then squeeze the lemon juice and give the millet a good stir.
  7. Check the salt and spice levels and adjust to suit your taste.

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