Mosaranna( Yogurt Rice)

No meal is complete without eating at least a little Yogurt or Yogurt rice in many parts of south India. It is great tradition. Our ancestors probably did not know of the bacteria that made yogurt, but they knew of the several health benefits it had. Nowadays, there are so many advertisements on the TV, talking about how these bacteria present in yogurt help with digestion, and regularization of the daily bathroom activities( Of which I’ll spare you the details).

All these are things our ancestors knew hundreds of years ago. To think of it makes me really proud of our rich culture.

Coming back to the topic, yogurt is considered to be a cooling agent. It counters the effects of spicy, oily food, and aids digestion. It can also be used alone or with other ingredients as a face pack, since it has astringent properties. It is also used in hair packs with mehendi as a hair conditioner. The many benefits of yogurt can be found here-

http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=124

Plain, mundane yogurt rice can be pepped up and made more fancy by adding other ingredients. It can be made low fat by adding low fat yogurt. For those special occassions, when you don’t really mind, it can be made creamy and rich by adding a bit of sour cream. The ginger added to this dish not only gives taste, but also aids digestion.

Helpful tip- If making yogurt rice for a picnic or journey, mix all the ingredients before packing. Keep seperately about 1/2 a gallon of milk. Add the milk, just before serving. This helps to prevent the yogurt turning too sour in the heat, and also gives the thickened mixture an edible consistancy.

Ingredients-

1.Cooked Rice- 3 Cups
2. Yogurt( I use low fat Desi or homemade, Dannon plain, low fat works really fine)- 2 cups
3. Sour cream- 4 Tbsp
4. Grapes(halved), or pomegranate arils or finely chopped cucumber- 1/2 cup
5. Fried cashewnuts- 10 to 15
6. Chopped coriander- 1 Tbsp
7. Curry leaves- 1 sprig
8. Cumin seeds( Jeera)- 1 Tsp
9. Stuffed chilies( Uppu hacchida menasinakaayi)- 4 to 5, fried and crushed
10. Finely chopped fresh ginger- 1/2 Tsp
11. Asafetida- a pinch
12. Oil- 2 Tsp
13. Salt- to taste
14. Fresh grated coconut- 1 Tbsp(Optional)

Alternate Ingredients-

1.Cooked Rice- 2 Cups
2. Yogurt- 2 cups
3. Sour cream- 4 Tbsp
4. Grapes(halved), or pomegranate arils or finely chopped cucumber- 1/2 cup
5. Fried cashewnuts- 10 to 15
6. Chopped coriander- 1 Tbsp
7. Curry leaves- 1 sprig
8. Finely chopped fresh ginger- 1/2 Tsp
9. Green chilies, chopped- 3
10. Channa Dal- 1 Tsp
11. Urad Dal- 1Tsp
12. Asafetida- a pinch
13. Oil- 2 Tsp
14. Salt- to taste
15. Fresh grated coconut- 1 Tbsp(Optional)

Method-

Mix together the rice, yogurt, sour cream and add salt. Make a tempering of either jeera, asafetida, curry leaves and ginger Or Channa dal, urad dal, chilies, curry leaves and asafetida. Add to the rice mixture. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix the salt and check for seasoning. Add the fruit or chopped cucumber with the coriander, and mix well. A little water can be added if the mixture seems too thick. Serve with any hot pickle.

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