Saturday, May 19, 2012

Vetrilai Poondu Sadham / Rice flavored with Garlic and Betel Leaves - Guest post by Reva of Kaarasaaram

This month's guest post is by Reva of Kaarasaaram. She is one of the dearest blog buddies of me. If you have not stopped by her place you should do so now. She has a pretty and neatly laid out space with gorgeous pictures. She hails from Coimbatore - the heart of the Kongu region in South-India, which has a deep-rooted culture and history associated with it. The Kongu cuisine always uses the freshest ingredients for every meal and has its own distinct cooking methods. This recipe Vetrilai Poondu Sadham is one of her Kongu region specialties. Reva's space does not only focus on the kongu cuisine but a variety of cuisines from all over the world. She is talented in making unique flavored dishes. My favorite is the Thai Icecream with Homemade wafer cones, which uses all the flavorings of Thai cuisine. And when I say flavorings, it includes lime leaves, lemon grass and surprisingly thai red chilli. See what I mean by unique??
She is a great flower lover too.. You could see almost all of her posts has pictures of gorgeous flowers which she uses to accentuate her food clicks.

Hi everyone,
When Krithi asked me to do a guest post for her blog, I was overwhelmed at first for the simple reason that her beautiful blog is filled with traditional recipes and dishes from around the globe that are simple to make yet tastes immensely flavourful.
My favourite is Tawa Pulao with Paneer and Gobi Manchurian.. they are absolutely delicious and makes a lovely combo meal… try it sometime and you will know what I am talking about.
Krithi has the simple friendly attitude of "girl next door" and connects with the fellow blogger is an instant moment. The most outstanding thing about her is that she host a lovely events on her blog named  "Serve it Series" along with her buddy Denny which has different mode of cooking style every month but also she is the number one participant and contributor to most of the event hosted by fellow bloggers.
She lends her complete support to all her virtual friends in this blogging world in spite of her busy  schedule…. It is hard to find such a lovely dedicated person..:)
So when she asked me for a gust post, I didn’t know where to begin with. So at times of difficult decision making, it is always better to stick to the traditional recipe. I am from Coimbatore and I love Kongunad Cuisine. 
This recipe is one of the most traditional and age old recipe handed over from generation to generation. 
Truly an Ayurvedic combination of ingredients, it speaks volumes about unusual tastes and flavours but does tonnes of goodness to your internal systems. 
As you go through the ingredient list, you will understand that all are readily available in your store cupboard except for the betel leaves. This add an unusual flavor to the rice, the typical spicy betel leaf  flavor that is so refreshing.
The original recipe calls for dried turmeric stick [virali manjal] to be dry roasted and ground to a powder along with the other masala items. I had some fresh turmeric bulbs in hand and used them instead. The fresh turmeric not only tasted awesome but the aroma was wonderful and it also lent a lovely yellow tinge to the rice. 
Hope everyone enjoys this recipe from my city of Coimbatore..:))
Thank you Krithi for this lovely opportunity, it is indeed an honour to do a guest post for your wonderful blog … keep up your good work.
Vetrilai Poondu Saadham
Betel leaves: 4.
Seeraga Sambha Rice: 250 gms.
Large garlic pods: 5-6 .
Fresh turmeric bulbs: two – 1 inch pieces.
Fennel seeds: ½ tsp.
Cinnamon stick: one 1 inch piece.
Curry leaves: 1 sprig.
Special masala powder: 2-3 tbsp.
Gingelly oil: 3 tbsp.
Warm water: 450 mls.
Salt: to taste.
For the special masala powder:
Black sesame seeds: 1tsp.
Pepper corns: 1 tsp.
Ginger powder [sukku]: ½ tsp.
Red chillies: 5-6.
1. Roast all the ingredients in a dry pan on medium flame, cool and grind to a powder. Reserve until needed.
2. Wash the rice twice and soak it for ½ hour. Drain and add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of oil and water. Mix well and  cook in microwave high [850 HW] for  20-21 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
3. Remove from the oven and let the rice cool down. Once cooled very gently separate the rice with a fork. Keep aside until the masala is ready.

4. Wash the betel leaves, remove the stalk and chop the leaves finely. Peel the fresh turmeric bulbs and slice them thinly.
5. Place a large pan on medium flame and heat the remaining oil. Splutter the fennel seeds, curry leaves and add the cinnamon stick.
6. Add the garlic pods, sliced turmeric and chopped betel leaves. Fry for a minute.
7. Add the masala powder and sprinkle some water to prevent the masala powder from burning.
8. Add the cooked rice and a little salt and mix well.
9. Add just a sprinkle of water and reduce the flame to a slim flame. Cover the rice and let it sit for 5 -6 minutes on low flame.
10. After 5 minutes open the lid and give a final stir to the rice, check for salt and remove from heat.
Serve hot with some appalams and a teaspoon of pickle of your choice.
Note: It is essential to prepare the masala powder fresh as the flavours are at their full intensity. The betel leaves should not be too young nor too mature [very strong flavor edging towards bitterness] but just medium. You can add more garlic if you want.
The major contributor of flavor is the rice. If this variety is not available then use basmati rice but make sure it is not over cooked. You can also substitute ghee instead of oil.
Scribbled by Reva


  1. I wish i cud grab one bowl of that!I am getting the flavours all the way here! Simply Superb!

  2. Simply yummy and delicious looking beetel flavored rice. Wonderfully prepared.


  3. Wondeful! never heard of this before.It should be a perfect one for post delivery menus ie for ladies who have just delivered and feeding.Ingredients seem so right.

  4. Feel like tasting it..I would try it but impossible to find beetel leaves here.. lovely presentation.

  5. Wat a super flavourful rice, with loads of medicinal values, excellent guest post by Reva.

  6. Lovely guest post and a new kind of rice.


  7. I didn't know that beetle leaves could be used for cooking. The rice looks too tempting.

  8. Wow unique recipe,wish I could taste it,yum

  9. flavorful n interesting recipe,yummy to have now,nice guest post!!

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  10. truly awesome rice.. my grand ma makes this one often when i was a kid..

  11. Hi Kirthi,

    Thank you for the nice comment for the salty peanuts. Most people try recipes but never go back to leave a comment. I appreciate your time and effort to do so. I am glad I can share the small pleasures with all so that everyone will benefit. To most such snacks are malarum nenaivugal. Thanks again. Seriously when I looked at the vetrilai rice, I almost could smell the strong flavor of the leaf. Very interesting recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  12. All your recipes look amazing ! thanks for the lovely blog ;-) your recipes are great inspiration !!!! thought You might like this

  13. Omg... This is simply amazing.... Never heardaid adding betel leaves to rice....

  14. Wow...betel leaves rice...innovative recipe Reva and beautiful clicks...Lovely post..

  15. Never knew 'paan' could be used in normal cooking other than it's usual usage. This is very interesting.

  16. very useful post and rice is so delicious n healthy... will definitely try this soon...bookmarked n tq


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