THIS South Indian specialty would absolutely bowl you over with wholesome flavours from the use of warm, earthy spices and fresh herbs. Based on a recipe that is often passed down generations, this one-pot dish is a great time-saver. Often called Chawal ke Sutriyan, it’s usually cooked together with a protein – chicken or mutton; and traditionally paired with handmade pasta using rice flour.
Total Time: 2 hours
Serves: 6 persons
A: Chicken/Mutton Marinade
750g chicken or mutton, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons yoghurt
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1½ teaspoons Kashmiri red chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
50g onions, peeled, sliced and deep fried until golden brown
200g tomatoes, chopped
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1 small handful mint leaves
1 large handful coriander leaves, chopped
Salt to taste
B: Spiced Gravy
350g onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 handful mint leaves
17g loosely packed coriander leaves, chopped
3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1½ teaspoon ginger paste
1½ teaspoon garlic paste
6 green cardamoms
8cm cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
2½ teaspoons Kashmiri red chilli powder
C: Souring Agents
300g tomatoes, puréed
4 tablespoons yoghurt
1 litre water, divided
D: Sutriyan or Rice Pasta
570g rice flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon oil
1. Combine A ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well together. Marinate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight in the fridge.
2. Cooking the gravy: heat up oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent.
3. Next, toss in mint, coriander leaves and green chillies. Sauté for a few minutes until aromatic.
4. Add ginger, garlic, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves and salt. Continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes until the raw smell of ginger paste and garlic paste dissipates.
5. Add chilli powder; cook until it tints the oil red. Toss in marinated meat. Cook for 5-10 minutes over medium heat.
6. In a small mixing bowl, combine C ingredients. Pour it over the meat mixture. Mix it in well. Let it cook for few minutes until the oil separates and starts to float to the top. Stir mixture occasionally.
7. Pour in half the water. Stir it in, cover and cook on low heat until meat is cooked until tender, approximately 1 hour.
8. Making Sutriyan: Meanhile, while meat is cooking, start making the Sutriyan. In a separate medium saucepan, pour in water and oil and then add salt in. Allow it come to a gentle simmer over medium heat – do not allow it boil. Remove 250ml and set it aside.
9. Add in rice four. Using a spatula, stir immediately to combine the ingredients. Pour in reserved water; continue stirring until the mixture comes together into a ball of dough.
10. After 2-5 minutes, pinch a small portion of dough and squeeze it in your palm – this is to check if dough can hold its shape. If so, quickly turn heat off. Transfer dough into a mixing bowl. While it is still hot, mix quickly to form a smooth dough.
11.Start making the Sutriyan exercising caution as the rice flour is very hot during the shaping process. Do not let it cool down as it would be very difficult to do the shaping.
12. Oil both palms of your hands. Pinch a small portion, approximately 2cm. Roll into a small ball. Keep your palms oiled while rolling the remaining pieces.
13. Roll each piece to elongate it and with your index finger, flatten it slightly.
Repeat until all the dough is used up. Set it aside.
14. Assembling the dish: Add prepared Sutriyan into the gravy in batches, at 5-7 minute interval between each addition. This allows the pasta to gently cook without breaking up and clumping together.
15. Shake saucepan after each addition to evenly distribute the Sutriyan while it cooks. Do not use a ladle to stir as this breaks it up.
16. Once all the Sutriyan is cooking in the gravy, cover vessel. Pour in remaining water. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, giving the pot a good shake every few minutes.
17. Dish up onto serving plates. Add garnish. Serve immediately.
TIP: Souring agents such as tomatoes and yoghurt are often employed in Asian cuisines. In the Indian kitchen, they add that delicate balance to a luscious curry spiked with robust spices and pungent aromatics. In addition, yoghurt is an excellent meat-tenderiser.
TECHNIQUE: Sutriyan must made with hot water as it yields a pliable dough that is easier to handle. When water is quickly absorbed, it will hydrate the rice flour to ensure a smooth dough with a sturdy structure.
Photos: Nafisa Kagalwala
Nafisa’s 28-year culinary journey has taken her from novice to seasoned chef. Apart from India where she originates, she has lived in America, Africa and Saudi Arabia gaining culinary exposure that has fuelled a wild obsession with food, with a cookbook in the pipeline.
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