Saturday, April 15, 2006

Miriyala Annam - Pepper Flavored Rice

Did you know that the humble ,shriveled black pepper corn has a great history, status and a glorious past behind it? During its long and fascinating history, black pepper has often been more valuable than gold or precious stones and trade in pepper has been an extraordinarily influential factor in ancient history.

When Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries announced the theme "Ancient Spices" for her food event "The Spice is Right" ,the first thought that came to my mind were Seasame Seeds and Black Pepper Corns.Since I had already blogged about sesame seeds in one of my earlier posts "Nuvvulu Annam"(seasame flavored rice),I decided to blog about Black Pepper which is one of the most exotic ancient spice of India after saffron and is known to be the King of all spices.
Black Pepper,whose name is derived from the Sanskrit word Pippali and Latin name Piper Nigrum meaning pepper black,is native to Malabar, the Western Coast of South India(Kerala).Black Pepper was a valuable spice during ancient times and was used as a currency to trade between east and west. It's been said that no other spice has had a greater effect on world history than pepper. The term ‘peppercorn rent’ actually came from rent which was paid in the form of pepper during the middle ages and that often a man’s wealth was measured by his accumulation of pepper.So high was its value that during ancient times it was used as a currency to pay taxes and there are stories of how 3000 pounds worth of pepper was paid as ransom/tribute when the Germanic tribe or Goths laid siege to Rome,soldiers being paid in pepper for a successful campaign,dowries of pepper given and it was also used as a sacred offering.Read more about the fascinating history of black pepper and how to select , store and tips on cooking with pepper

Ancient Chinese and Sanskrit texts dating to more than 3000 years ago have mentioned about black pepper with Ayurvedic nutrition and Chinese medicine advocating the importance of black pepper as an important spice with powerful healing properties and used in treatment of ailments of stomach and throat,considered to have anti-aging properties,good digestive and a detoxifier too.One of the best home remedies for cold and flu is drinking tea made of pepper corns and ginger.Aromatheraphy oil of pepper is used to clear the head,great for massaging aching muscles and for treating poor circulation.

This exotic spice with a sharp,pungent woody aroma and flavor when cooked for too long ,loses its flavor and aroma ,so adding it towards the end of the cooking will help preserve its flavor.To bring out the sharp flavor of black pepper,I prepared Miriyala Annam or Pepper Flavored Rice with pepper being the main ingredient and curry leaves and seasame seeds were used to offset the heat of black pepper.Hints of the aromatic flavor of curry leaves, mild nutty taste of seasame seeds and the sharp flavor of pepper blended into the rice giving it an irresistable authentic flavor.
Miriyala Annam (Pepper Flavoured Rice)

3 cups of cooked white rice (each grain should be separate)
1 1/2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tbsp black pepper corns
1 1/2 tbsp seasame seeds
10-12 curry leaves (fresh leaves only)
salt to taste

Dry roast the black pepper corns,sesame seeds and curry leaves in a pan for a few minutes on medium heat tossing them around till the flavors come out and you find a nice aroma emanates the kitchen.Once the seasame seeds change color you can turn off the heat and make a coarse powder.

Heat ghee in a pan and add the mustard seeds and let them pop.Add the cumin seeds and let them brown.Add the cooked rice and combine it with the tempering.Now add the ground spice pwd and salt and combine the rice with it such that the spices coat the rice well.The full flavor of the pepper is obtained on freshly ground pepper corns which enhances the taste of the rice giving it a sharper, more lively flavor than the pre-ground pepper powder and also by adding it towards the end of the cooking process which further enhances its taste.
Serve hot with any gravy curry or plain rasam ,appadam(papad) and curds.

Note:Use only fresh pepper corns and not pre- ground black pepper powder as it wont serve any purpose and you are definitely not going to enjoy the flavor of the rice if you use the store bought pre-ground pepper powder.If you venture into your kitchen to cook up this simple flavorful dish be prepared to use only the freshly ground pepper corns,I repeat..:)

Miriyala Annam or Pepper Flavored Rice is my entry to "The Spice is Right" - Ancient Spices" food blog event started by Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries.



Lakshmi said...

nice one sailu. pepper flavoured rice. such nice recipes you come up with.
and by the way all the best for july, i saw your name in the listing of mahanandi. sorry, I wouldn't be there, going to Hyderabad to visit my parents.

Lera said...

Sailu, it brings back memories of my Grandma ,who would often do this ...This Pepper & curry leaves flavoured rice is sure going to be on the top of my list to try...just ,the very Name sounds so aromatic !especially when you have it with Ghee,there's nothing to beat..:)

Have a great weekend! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

very stimulating and can feel aroma on seeing pictures.I id your green eggplant and gongura leaves in my today's posting
Best wishes.

Ulla said...

looks so good I must try it!

Santhi said...

I have never had this rice......
Sound very interesting and full of flavor!!!!!!!

Vineela said...

Hi Sailu,
Picture is really good with the lady grinding.
My grandmother used to give us with hot rice and powdered pepper ,salt and ghee if we r suffering from throat conjestion.
Really nice post .I got those memories back after seeing this post.Nice Post.

Tanuja said...

Hi sailu,

Nice spicy rice item naaku naa delivery time gurtu vachindi miriyala annam recipe chudagane mom used to feed me this every day. She used to say miriyallu heals our body and keeps it fit.

I feed my kids when ever they have cold. Nee lady bomma tiragali tiputu super ga undi:)

piriyamudan amma said...

Informative blog! great work!

Ashwini said...

Sailu I loved the photo. Very creative. It felt as if the lady was sitting there to grind the peppercorns. I love pepper so I will try this one...

Menu Today said...

Hi Sailu,
Nice Picture. I too Make this in same procedure.

KrishnaArjuna said...

Great recipe Sailu! Nice picture especially the doll is real cute!

RP said...

Happy to learn a lot about the everyday spice, black pepper. All your rice recipes are great. Have to try one by one.

Sury said...

That looks great, Sailu. I know I am going to like it. Will try out and let you know :)

Saffron said...

cute, really cute :) that doll is just adorable. Lovely recipe with peppers.


MM said...

Wonderful! My kind of rice - savoury, spicy, yums!

Gourmet said...

Simply and very spicy!!!
I'm gonna trying this night... ;-)
Great recipe!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading about the history of the black pepper. Your recipe looks good! Thanks!


shammi said...

Sailu, how gorgeous! This seems like a more authentic recipe than the one I have - which basically just ended up being pulihora. I've got to try this!

Jasmine said...

What a great recipe!

When my foot is better (and I can stand again) I'll have to make this.


Gini said...

I am from the land of black pepper but never have heard of this dish. Is it super spicy?

Karan Kundal said...

It is very nice blog. thanks for the posting.

I created one on the current indian affairs. I would appreciate if you visit and post your comments


Dhanya said...

Your blog is very nice and colourful. I tried the pepper rice and it came out pretty good. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I am a newbee to blogging.