Tamarind Puffed Rice with Lima Beans & Pomegranates

INGREDIENTS
Puffed rice (the thick variety of poha), Tamarind paste, 2 Fresh pomegranates, 1 Raw green mango, Frozen lima beans, Mustard seeds, Urad dal, Asafoetida, Dry red chilies, Turmeric powder, Curry leaves.

RECIPE
1. Cut the two pomegranates into halves. Now take a big bowl and hold one half of the fruit in your hand (seeds-side down). With a big wooden spoon, tap vigorously on the fruit. The seeds will fall out into the bowl. Repeat for the other halves.
2. Save ¼ cup of the fruit in a bowl and blend the rest with very little water. Strain and keep the juice aside.
3. In a tall glass, mix 3 tablespoons of tamarind paste with the pomegranate juice and add some water and mix well (it should be pouring consistency).
4. In a big bowl, add 1.5 cups of puffed rice (poha). Now take the tamarind/pom juice and sprinkle it on the puffed rice till it is soaked but not breaking down. Mix well with your hands and add more juice till all the grains are coated with the juice. Add salt to taste and ¼ teaspoon of sugar. (Note: If you run out of juice, don’t despair! Just use plain water and make sure that the puffed rice is softened). Set aside for a 15 minutes. You will notice that you are able to separate out the puffed rice like grains of cooked rice with a fork.
5. In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add 3 tablespoons of urad dal and 3 dry red chilies and sauté till the dal turns light brown. Then add a pinch of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of asafoetida. Add ¼ cup of thawed lima beans and mix well.
6. To this, add the soaked puffed rice mixture. Turn off the heat and mix everything well.
7. Garnish with the remainder of the pomegranates, fresh curry leaves and chopped raw green mango.

To serve: Serve hot with any kind of spicy pickle and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
For a party, make ahead and cool well. Take ‘Tostitos’ scoops and fill them with the puffed rice mixture, top with pomegranates and chopped raw green mango. Serve at room temperature.

Tip: Do not refrigerate. This will make the puffed rice dry. If you must, then before serving, sprinkle a generous amount of water, microwave and serve immediately.

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