Go Back

South Indian Curry Leaf Rice

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Tamil Nadu


  • 4 cups white rice; washed and soaked
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp urad dal vigna mungo/dehusked black gram
  • ½ tsp chana dal split bengal gram
  • ½ tsp cumin/jeera seeds
  • 2 red whole dry chillies for tempering
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Cashew nuts roasted for garnishing/peanuts also may be added
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil this oil makes a great difference to the taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the curry leaf spice blend:

  • 1 ½ cups washed curry leaves firmly packed
  • 8 whole dry red chillies
  • 1 tsp pepper corns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • Tamarind size of a small marble
  • Asafoetida/hing powder


  • Cook the rice in salted water till just done, drain and keep aside. It’s important not to get the rice mushy or overcooked.
  • Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil and roast the curry leaves till dry and lightly crisped up; remember to do this on low heat or the leaves will burn.
  • Cool the leaves and grind with the rest of the ingredients under spice blend. It might get a little pasty due to the tamarind; just add a few drops of water which will help bring all the ingredients together.
  • In a wok or large pan, heat sesame oil, crackle the mustard seeds and then add the lentils, dry red chilli, cumin, cashewnuts and turmeric. Add the ground curry leaf spice blend and mix well for a minute. (If you prefer less heat, add only half of the curry leaf spice mixture).
  • Add the cooled rice and stir through till well mixed.
  • Serve hot with raita/yoghurt dip.