Indian food isn’t really popular in Malta. I remember a couple years back; I say a couple but it’s actually about 7-8 years ago, that an Indian restaurant opened up in Marsascala, one of the seaside villages. Of course I had to try it out. I remember ordering some lamb dish. The waiter warned me that it would be spicy but I went ahead and ordered it anyway. I mean I like spicy but after tasting the dish I realized their meaning of spicy and my meaning of spicy where two different things. The dish was delicious but my mouth was on fire. Eyes watery and nose dripping I finished my meal. No curry shall defeat me! However this curry was so spicy that it gave me a headache. After this incident I didn’t have any more Indian food until I moved to London four years ago. If you come to London it is inevitable that you will end up having Indian food at one point. The city is practically run by South Asians. There happened to be an Indian take out right opposite my university which I decided to try out with some friends. This time I stayed away from the dishes with a chili sign next to them (lesson learnt!) and ordered butter chicken and lemon rice. Needless to say it they were fantastic. I became a regular at the Indian take out. Once I even ate there for a whole week! Not healthy I know but oh so delicious! I never attempted to make it myself because it seemed rather daring with the use of all the exotic ingredients. Plus ordering it is much much easier. A few years ago I started dating an Indian guy. Finally someone who would cook me Indian food at home! Turns out my boyfriend can’t cook at all and I have to make Indian dishes for him instead. So today I’m sharing the recipe for the lemon recipe.
For the Lemon Rice:
- 250g rice, I used basmati rice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 6 curry leaves
- 3 green chillies, de-seeded and chopped
- 50ml lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- pinch of asafoetida
- 25g grated coconut (omit if you do not tolerate coconut)
- bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
- Soak rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain away the water.
- Cook the rice in a large pan of water. Follow the instructions on your pack.
- Once the rice is cooked place it in a baking tray.
- Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice, turmeric and asafoetida and stir in quickly and take off the heat.
- Pour this mixture over the rice and mix until all the rice is covered.
- Add the grated coconut and coriander and mix well.