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Pudina Rice

South Indian cuisine is by large based around rice and rice-based dishes, be it dose, idli, anna saaru, huLi, or baths, whatever you choose, the main grain is rice. And being a Sose aka Bahu aka DIL, it is a blessing to learn the basics of Kannadiga cooking from the horse’s mouth. My MIL, T and Bengaluru friends and colleagues inspire me all the time to try specialties. And T, especially, pushes me to test my culinary skills on unfamiliar grounds. For sure, it is helluva pressure, to prepare food as delicious as amma but I believe this will definitely groom me to be the Sose she always had in mind.  

Recently, on the occasion of Varamaha Lakshmi festival, I had a chance to have some awesome pudina rice – mint flavored rice, at our friends’ place. Its phenomenal taste persuaded me to make my own version. While thinking, I found that in the past, I never had a chance to use Pudina to prepare a dish before. The last time, I used it was for pudina chutney, golgappe pani or for some other garnishing but nothing remotely related to the main course. But I am glad, that my newly betrothed Kannadiga roots, have opened doorways to learn, experiment and grow. So, with help from my colleague aka friend N, I gathered all the necessary tips and ingredients to prepare it and Voila!, T loved every spoonful of pudina rice! I hope you folks also enjoy this lovely refreshing recipe of Pudina aka mint rice. Happy Fooding!  (And yes, fooding is a qualified word).

Freshly cut mint leaves

Spices: Peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon

Grind pudina leaves, coconut and spices to a paste

  • Preparation Time: 10 min
  • Cooking Time: 10 – 15 min
  • Recipe Level:  Easy
  • Serves 4
  • Source: N
  • Cuisine: South Indian
  • 1 bunch of Pudina or mint leaves
  • 2 cup of rice
  • 1 medium onion
  • ½ cup of kothambari or shredded coconut
  • ½ cup of peas
  • 2 – 3 green chillies
  • 1 part of garlic clove
  • 1 small chunk of ginger
  • 1 tbsp of tamarind concentrate
  • Spices: peppercorn, cardamom, bay leaves, star anise, cinnamon, cloves
  • 4 – 5 cashews
  • Salt to taste
  • Soak rice under water for 30 min
  • Separate Pudina leaves from the bunch. Make sure you only pluck the leaves.
  • In a grinder, put pudina leaves, spices -peppercorn, cardamom, bay leaves, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, chillies, ginger chunk, coconut and spoonful of milk.Grind to a semi-rough paste
  • In a kadhai, saute onions, cashews. After onions turn translucent, add pudina paste. Stir and let it fry for a couple of minutes
  • After paste is inseparable from onions, add soaked rice, followed by tamarind and peas.
  • Add enough water in kadhai to submerge rice. Now let it fry for 8 – 10 minutes until rice is cooked.
  • Stir rice time to time to prevent uneven cooking.
  • Sprinkle cilantro and serve pudina rice with raita and or chips.

Pudina rice with raita


Mad Notes:
  • A variation to the above recipe would be to cook rice separately and then add the cooked rice to the pudina paste and fry to make pudina rice
  • Do not overheat rice as that could burn it and rice may lose its crisp taste
  • Peas are optional but it does make an excellent taste; I like it as this is the Bengaluru way