Nellikkai (Gooseberry) rice & Pidikizhangu Masiyal

I’ve caught myself staring into space quite a lot these days. I’ve been thinking. Today I wanted to share with you some of the deep stuff that I think about.

Nellikkai rice & Pidikizhangu masiyal


  • Why do washing machine ads always show people washing one dirty shirt at a time? Is that a message to us that when we load the machine chockful like we usually do, we cannot expect clean clothes? We can only expect to distribute the dirt equally among all the clothes?


  • Where are all those single socks? Did they not get along?


  • Are there really households where kids sit down for breakfast on school days? Is that fictional?


  • Who are these mothers who cut up food into fancy shapes?


  • What’s with the cake in the form of a camera, a shoe, a handbag, a whiskey bottle? If I was really crazy about cameras I’d expect to get a camera for my birthday and a yummy cake. I wouldn’t be expecting a cake in form of a camera. That is cheating! I don’t need to be shown what I like. I am not interested in knowing how skillful the baker is in disguising a cake as something else.


Nellikkai rice & Pidikizhangu masiyal

  • You’re standing at a buffet counter and somebody behind you says “excuse me”. What could that possible mean? –
    • “I am more important. I need to eat first.”  or
    • “Excuse me is the verbal equivalent of honking. I can get ahead anywhere by saying ‘excuse me’” or
    • “Get out of my way. I don’t believe in queues.”


  • Do you also see patterns in your bathroom tiles?


  • Who informs my kids that I’ve gone to the toilet?


  • Who gave my phone number to all the banks, insurance companies, car service companies, NGOs, charities and all the courier guys in town?


Nellikkai rice

Are you a thinker too? What do you think about? Share with me in the comments. I’d love to hear.

I also wanted to share the recipe to a meal I made last week that I thoroughly enjoyed. Nellikkai rice or Gooseberry rice is an incredibly simple and quick rice dish to make. It is more intense than a lemon rice, a little extra sour but easily adjusted by mixing in more rice. Mix in fried cashews and chopped coriander to brighten it up. I made a simple Pidikizhangu mash to go with it. This really is the most basic tempered south-indian kind of mash. The simplicity of this Pidikizhangu mash belies its earthy, creamy yumminess. Together this meal is a real winner. Try it! Have a happy weekend!

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Pidikizhangu masiyal


Nellikkai rice & Pidikizhangu masiyal

Nellikkai rice & Pidikizhangu Masiyal

Jayanthi Padmanabhan
Simple yummy meal of Nellikkai rice and Pidikizhangu masiyal
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4


Ingredients – Nellikkai rice

  • Cooked rice – 3 cups
  • Nellikkai/Amla – 6 deseeded and chopped
  • Green chillies – 5 chopped
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece scraped and chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Cooking oil – 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 2 stems
  • Coriander leaves – a handful chopped

Ingredients – Pidikizhangu Masiyal

  • Pidikizhangu – ½ kilo
  • Salt to taste
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 2 tbsp
  • Cooking oil – 4 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds


Method – Nellikkai rice

  • Combine chopped nellikkai, green chillies and ginger in a mixie jar and pulse to a coarse mixture.
  • To a pan, add the oil and wait till it gets hot. Add mustard seeds and let splutter.
  • Add curry leaves and add the ground nellikkai mixture. Add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and cook for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Switch off and allow to cool.
  • To a large pan, add the cooked and cooled rice. Stir in the Nellikkai mixture and mix until all the rice grains are properly coated. Sprinkly chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Serve!

Method – Pidi kizhangu masiyal

  • Boil Pidi kizhangu in a pressure cooker for about 15 minutes or until cooked soft. Allow the pressure to subside. Open the cooker, transfer the boiled pidi kizhangu to a bowl containing room temperature water.
  • Peel the pidikizhangu and transfer to a bowl. Mash roughly. Set aside.
  • To a kadai add oil and wait till it gets hot.
  • Add mustard seeds and let splutter.
  • Add the mashed pidi kizhangu. Add salt, turmeric and red chilli powder and mix well. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to uncover and mix at regular intervals to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan. Drizzle a little oil if it gets too dry.
  • Switch off. Serve hot alongside rice. Enjoy!


    • foodbetterbegood says:

      That would be the right way to do it, but it takes longer. Quickly blitzing in the mixie works just as well and is easier 🙂

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