Samak rice (Barnyard Millet), Sabudana ( Sago), Kuttu Atta (Buckwheat flour), Singhare ka Atta (Chestnut flour), Rajgira atta (Amarnath flour) are the most sought for ingredients in fasting days. Earlier there used to be very simple preparations using these ingredients but with time and evolution in the food industry, many innovative dishes are made using these items.
I too have started making many interesting dishes with these. Now, fasting is more like feasting. Earlier I thought that why have all these fancy items if one is fasting? But then a thought triggered that if we can have varieties in food why not offer the same to our Gods and Goddesses. Also, as long as we are observing the fasting rules, it is fine to have varied dishes.
Sama rice is known by different names in different regions. Like Shyama in Bengali, Moraiyo in Gujarati, Sanwa or Samvat or Swang ke Chawal in Hindi, Oodalu in Kannada, Kuthiraivolly in Tamil and Udalu in Telugu and Barnyard Millet in English. It is also called Jungle Rice.
But I think the best is to call this as Vrat Ke Chawal or Rice used in Fasting.
As cereal grains are prohibited during fasts, Sama rice is a healthy replacement for rice eaters. Sama is a seed of grass and not cereal.
Actually, Sama is a millet. They do not belong to the rice family.
Then why is it called rice? Because the barnyard millet tastes almost similar to broken rice when cooked, it is called the “sanwa rice”. It does not cook into separate grains like long grained rice. The millet is tiny, white, round grain, bigger in size than semolina (rawa) and smaller than sago (sabudana).
Also, we can make all those dishes with Sama rice which are made with rice like boiled rice, pulao, idli, halwa, kheer etc.
Sama, being a millet is full of benefits.
- It is rich in digestible fibres, minerals and vitamins and offers excellent nourishment.
- It is gluten-free. So it is very good for all who are allergic to gluten and cannot have wheat/semolina etc.
- It helps in reducing weight. How? This is because, being fibre rich, it makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time thus reducing the food intake.
- It is low in glycemic index which makes it good for diabetics.
Click here to know more about the benefits of Sama Rice.
Seeing the benefits of Sama rice, don’t you think that we should consume it round the year and not just during fasts?
One more good thing about this pulao is that you can enjoy it hot as well cold. Thus becomes a good option to pack it in the lunch box.
Today, let’s make yummy pulao with this rice.
I have used whole spices, potatoes and cottage cheese in this pulao.
You may add or omit anything depending upon what all you consume during fasts. This is because different people follow different diets in fasts.
What is important is to follow the ratio of rice and water. I use 2.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of Samak rice. Just remember this ratio and make variations in pulao as per your liking and preferences.
Do not soak this rice for long. Soaking for just 15-20 minutes is sufficient.
If making for non-fast days then you can add other vegetables like peas, beans etc.
One thing more, it gets cooked very quickly, just 5 minutes. So, cook potatoes up to 90% before adding rice to it. Otherwise, potatoes will remain raw.
Whole spices, green chilli and ginger give very good aroma to this pulao. Lemon juice adds not only flavour but also helps in keeping the grains separated.
Some people like to add cashews, almonds and raisins in the pulao. You may add these in the last and mix lightly. For this, first, saute cashews and almonds in little ghee and then add.
I prefer adding roasted and crushed peanuts. Crunchy peanuts taste awesome in this pulao.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Serves: 2 to 3
1/2 Cup (100 g) Samak Rice
2 Potatoes, Medium Sized
100 g Cottage Cheese (Paneer)
1 Pc Bayleaf (Tejpatta)
1/4″ Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini)
2 or 3 Cloves (Laung)
1 Black Cardamom ( Badi Elaichi)
1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
1 Tbsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)
1 Tsp Rock Salt (Saindha Namak)
1 or 2 Green Chilli
1/2 Tsp Ginger, grated or minced
1.25 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Roasted and Crushed Peanuts
Few Roasted Almonds, Cashews (Optional)
Few Raisins (Optional)
2 or 3 Tbsp Chopped Coriander Leaves
1 Tbsp Carrot, Grated (Optional)
- Clean rice. Wash them and soak for 15 minutes. During this time do the following preparations.
- Peel Potatoes. Chop into small pieces. We chop it small to match with the small granules of rice. If cut big, they may look odd.
- Similarly, cut cottage cheese in small cubes.
- Put a pan on the flame. Heat Clarified Butter (ghee) in it.
- When reasonably hot, add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom.
- Put chopped potatoes. Cook on medium flame till 90% cooked and slightly brown in colour.
- Add cumin seeds, green chilli and ginger.
- To this, add fried cottage cheese cubes. (See Note 1)
- Now reduce the flame, and keep the soaked rice in the colander for 20 to 30 seconds so that all water drains out.(See Note 2)
- Put the drained rice in the pan.
- Saute on medium flame for about one minute, stirring continuously.
- Add water and salt. Keep the flame high.
- When the boil comes, reduce the flame and cover the pan.
- After about 4 to 5 minutes, your pulao will be ready. (See Note 3)
- It will be mushy like upma.
- Squeeze lemon juice.
- Keep it covered for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add roasted and crushed peanuts, cashews, almonds, raisins and lot of chopped coriander.
- Serve with devotion, curd and chutney optional.
- You may saute paneer with potatoes or separately. I did it in air fryer.
- It is better to put soaked rice in the colander to drain off the water. This is because the granules are so small that it is difficult to do with hands like we do for normal rice.
- If the pulao seems too dry, you may add 1 or 2 tablespoon water more. But not more than that.
Detailed Recipe With Pics
Clean, wash and soak rice.
Chop Potatoes and Cottage Cheese
In a pan, put clarified butter. When reasonably hot, add whole spices- bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom.
Put chopped potatoes.
Cook on medium heat till 90%cooked and slightly brown in colour.
Add cumin seeds, green chilli and ginger. ( I forgot at this stage so added later)
Add fried cottage cheese.
Keep soaked rice in the colander for 20 to 30 seconds.
Put the above rice in the pan.
Saute on medium flame for a minute or so.
Add water and salt. Keep the flame high.
When the boil comes, reduce the flame to low and cover the pan.
Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. remove lid. Add lemon juice.
Add roasted nuts and chopped Coriander.
Serve with devotion, curd and green chutney optional. If desired, garnish with grated carrot, to add colour.
If you like this recipe or have any query then please let me know through your likes and comments.
Also join me on my Facebook page for more interesting tips and facts.