Vetrillai / Betel leaf is used as offering to god in India. Betel plant is a symbol of Goddess Lakshmi. We have the plant in our garden but it was a small leaf variety with more hotness. I had seen many grandma chewing betels. Thambulam / Betel , supari and calcium ( vetrillai paku ) will be served in most festive occasions and celebrations in south India, while in North India , it was in the form of Pann.
I had seen this recipe in Reva’s Blog long before. It was first in my to do list , still I was hesitant how the rice will taste. Once I tasted , I want to make it often………
Cooked Rice – 2 cups
Salt to Taste
For Seasoning :
Gingelly oil – 1 tbs
Fennel Seeds / Aniseeds – ½ tsp
Cinnamon stick – 1 small stick
Garlic cloves – 10
Curry leaves – a sprig
Small Betel leaves - 15 – 20
For Masala :
Dry / fresh Turmeric – 1 inch
Dry Red chilli – 2
Black Sesame seeds – 1 tsp
Black Peppercorns – 1 tsp
I used normal pooni rice . if you want can use basmati rice or seeraga samba rice.
To prepare Masala :
Dry roast the turmeric , sesame seeds , red chillies , pepeprcorns and ginger for few seconds or till the sesame seeds stops spluttering. Allow to cool and gring to a coarse powder. I didn’t add water for grinding.
Making of Rice :
Heat gingelly oil in a kadai . add the fennel seeds and cinnamon stick , fry on medium flame.
Add in the curry leaves and ginger flakes. Sauté till the aroma from garlic comes out or garlic becomes slightly brown.
Add in the cooked rice and required salt and toss well.Then add the chopped betel leaves and mix well.
Add the grounded masala and mix well. Sprinkle little water and mix once. Cook in medium flame with lid for 5 minutes.
Healthy and nutritious rice will be best to carry on lunch boxes.