Padma Lakshmi’s Obsession With Rice Is The Most Desi Thing Ever
Image Credit: Instagram @padmalakshmi | Padma Lakshmi’s Obsession With Rice Is The Most Desi Thing Ever

Indian- American author, model and activist Padma Lakshmi is perhaps best known as the host of the cooking competition program Top Chef. She also bagged a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Reality Host in 2009 and 2020 for her work. She happens to be an excellent cook herself, something that is evident from her social media. Padma Lakshmi often shared many reels and videos featuring her recipes, and if you are one of her followers on Instagram, you are perhaps already privy to her love for Indian food. From chutneys to gol gappas, Padma Lakshmi has cooked it all. In one of her recent reels, she also spoke about her intense love for rice, proving yet again that she is a hard core desi at heart. In the fun reel, we see her chomping on various rice delicacies such as curd rice, pulao, chole chawal, sambar rice and tamarind rice. In her caption too she writes, “If I don’t have yogurt rice at least once a week I just don’t feel right. What’s your favourite way to eat rice? #riceislife”

India is the second-largest producer of rice and our love affair with rice goes back thousands of years. Rice occupies a significant place in many of our rituals too. In many parts of India, a child’s first rice-eating ceremony is celebrated with much pomp and fervour. Wasting rice is considered an insult of Goddess Laxmi. Rice is prepared and consumed around the country in myriad ways, sometimes as biryani or sometimes as kheer. Here are a few rice dishes from India that you must try soon.  

1. Tamarind Rice

Also known as Puliyahore, this rice dish is made with the goodness of rice, tamarind, and a mixture of dals. ‘Puli’ means sour, the dish is so popular in South India that it is also distributed as Prasadam in many Vishnu temples.  

2. Panta Bhaat

This Bengali rice dish is perhaps one of the easiest Bengali recipes out there. Panta bhaat is a fermented rice dish, where leftover rice is soaked in water and left overnight, the rice is pulled out the next day and mixed with roasted, dry red chillies and fish curry. It is also a popular delicacy eaten on the Bengali New Year.  

3. Bise Bele Baath

A popular rice dish hailing from Karnataka that can also be called a distant cousin of Khichdi. Made with the goodness of rice, toovar dal and a bunch of masalas, this rice dish exudes comfort. What distinguishes it from Khichdi is the sweet and tangy addition of tamarind and jaggery.  

4. Masala Bhaat

A popular Maharashtrian delicacy, this simple and effortless rice dish combines rice with a melange of spices and vegetables such as brinjals, potatoes, peas. Garnish with coriander, and do not forget to add some coconut for extra crunch and flavour.