This capsicum peanut rice has a unique flavour from capsicums, a peanut and spices freshly ground mix and lots of peanuts to garnish. If you make the podi over the weekend ( and it can stay for weeks in fridge), you can mix this in minutes! This is a South Indian kalandha saadham, mixed rice with capsicum, peanuts and a crunchy tempering. For this recipe, I recommend using green capsicums but you can also use a mix if that is what is accessible to you.
I love kalandha sadhams, no – not pulaos. These are the South Indian versions of mixed rice dishes, where rice is separately cooked and a tempering is made with mustard, dals, peanuts and sometimes, a spice mix ( a podi like in this one) or a spiced paste ( like a pulikaichal) is added. These are the kind of lunchbox meals I grew up with. Amma makes a huge range of them and needless to say, with every vegetable one can think of. They are usually served with a vegetable curry at home, but because they are spiced really well – a pachadi (curd based raitha) and apalam or chips works well too.
Today, I paired it with a Daangar Pachadi. This is yet another wonderful meal prep podi you can make over the weekend. With these two done, this meal can be put together in 30 minutes.
Capsicum Peanut Rice
For the spice mix ( peanut podi)
- 1 tbsp channa dal
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 4-5 red chillies
- 3 tbsp raw peanuts
For tempering the rice
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 1 tsp channa dal/kadala parupu
- 1 tbsp peanuts
- curry leaves
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 cups sliced capsicums
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp ghee to garnish optional
- In a pan, dry roast chillies, channa dal, dhaniya until the dal turns slightly brown. Make sure to do this on a low flame. Remove from flame.
- To the same pan ,add 1 tsp oil and fry the peanuts until crisp.
- Grind everything to a coarse powder and keep aside. This quantity makes enough for 4 cups of rice. In this recipe, we will use 2 cups of rice so you can store the leftover podi for another time. Store in fridge and use within a couple of weeks.
- Cook rice as you would usually do. Ensure the grains are not sticky. The same recipe can be done with alternate grains like millets and quinoa too. Let the grains completely cool.
- Chop capsicums into thin strips and set aside.
- To a kadai, add oil and temper the mustard, urad, channa dal and peanuts if using. Add curry leaves followed by the sliced capsicums.
- Cook until the capsicums are done and yet crunchy. Add a little salt and turmeric to the capsicums as they cook.
- Mix in the spice mix, cooked rice, capsicums well. Check for salt and add as required. The initial salt is only for the vegetable, so you will need to add for the rice at this stage.
- If the rice seems a little dry, add ghee and mix well.
- All South Indian kalandha sadhams are on the ‘dry’ side so ensure there is enough fat to keep the dish soft and palatable.
- Serve this with a ‘curd’ based side dish because it balances the spice.
- Instead of peanuts, you can use cashews both in the podi and in the tempering.
- The same recipe can be done with brinjals and kovakkai.
Want more interesting rice recipes?
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help me learn more about your preferences and will help other readers.
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