Nuvvula annam is an Indian style sesame rice. Spicy, nutty and flavorful rice dish. A quick one to put together with some pre-planning and great for lunch boxes. With some yogurt or raita on the side, it is a comforting meal.
Table of contents
About Nuvvula Annam
Nuvvula annam, ellu sadam or sesame seeds rice is a rice dish from South India. Preparation varies from region to region and state to state, but the basic idea is to season rice with a spice mix of roasted sesame seeds and red chilies.
It is also a popular offering to Goddess during saddula bathukamma celebrations in some parts of Telangana. It is one of the five rice dishes offered to goddess Gauri and it is also called nuvvula saddi.
Main ingredient in mamidikaya soogi (sesame mango pickle), a popular pickle in Telagana is nuvvulu and you can replace apples with mangoes in this apple pickle.
Nuvvula annam reparation is so easy that you can include it in your weekday menus. Who would not want a quick, yummy rice dish for lunch box, weeknight dinners and for long road trips. It is even great choice when cooking for one on a lazy day.
Iron Rich Food
As easy as this South Indian style sesame rice is, sesame seeds are also packed with nutrients. Yet another reason to include this rice in your diet. Sesame is rich in protein, calcium and even iron. One tablespoon of seeds has about 7-8% of daily recommended iron.
A-Z iron rich food is a series I started and post a recipe with an iron rich ingredient for each alphabet. For letter 'N' it is nuvvulu or sesame seeds, and the dish is nuvvula annam. Here are a few recipes from the series.
Which Seeds to Use?
Nuvvulu come in three colors; black, brown and white. We use the brown seeds a lot. Black and brown sesame is unhulled and has the most nutrients compared to white sesame. As per my knowledge, white seeds are hulled, hence less nutrients compared to other two.
- Rice - I use basmati. You can use sona masoori or any rice that you normally use for your daily consumption.
- Sesame seeds - Use brown or black for its nutritional value. I only used brown sesame. It has a strong nutty flavor. Adjust the quantity for milder flavor.
- Dry Red Chilies - These are the main source of spice. Depending on how hot the chilies are, adjust the quantity accordingly. You can substitute it with chili powder.
- Cumin and Curry Leaves are optional for the spice mix.
- Ghee and/or Oil - Use ghee for tempering for added flavorful. But you can always combine both oil and ghee, as I do.
- Tempering - Mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, turmeric powder and maybe even a red chili.
Step by Step Instructions
Preparation has 4 steps. Cook rice separately. Prepare the sesame seed spice mix, mix it with rice, prepare tadka and mix it with rice. If you have roasted sesame seeds or powder handy, you can skip spice mix preparation and use that powder and chili powder.
Start the preparation by cooking rice with 1 : 1 ¾ cup rice to water ratio or whichever ratio you normally use to cook rice. Transfer to a wide bowl or a plate and let rice cool. Then prepare the spice mix. I wash sesame seeds but this is optional if there is no dirt in it.
Wash sesame seeds by pouring hot water over sesame and stir properly. You can let the seeds soak for a minute or two.
Discard water, transfer the seeds to a strainer and let the water drain.
Toast sesame until water dries up and seeds are dry.
Then add cumin, broken chilies and, toast until seeds pop and chilies are brown.
Seeds should easily crush when pressed between finger. Cool the mixture in a plate.
Take the mixture in a mixie jar or a spice jar and grind to a coarse powder.
Prepare tadka (tempering) with ghee or combination of ghee/butter + oil. Add cumin, mustard and curry leaves to hot ghee.
When seeds pop, add turmeric and even a red chili. When chili turns brown turn off the flame.
Once the rice cools, mix it with sesame mixture and salt.
Pour hot or cold tadka over rice, mix and let it rest for at least 15-30 minutes for the flavors to infuse.
- Adding a little bit of coconut powder enhances the flavor. For the recipe listed in the recipe card, you can use half to one tablespoon coconut flakes. You can toast the flakes for few seconds are use as is. After you toast sesame+chilies, turn off the flame and coconut. Stir for few seconds and transfer to a plate to cool.
- This is a no garlic recipe and if you have no dietary restrictions and are not offering it as prasadam to deity, you can add some crushed garlic in the tadka.
- For additional protein, roast 2-3 tablespoons peanuts in tadka.
- Rice should be grainy and do not over cook.
- Roast nuvvulu on medium flame.
- Prepare the spice mix, store it for few days and use when required. This really comes in handy on busy days.
- Small and strainer
- Rice cooker
- Wide Bowl
- Pan for tadka
- Spatula and a spoon
- ¾ cup Rice uncooked
- 6 Dry Red Chilies adjust to heat tolerance level
- 3 - 3 ½ tablespoons Sesame Seeds
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 4-6 Curry Leaves optional
- ¾ teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- Cilantro ~ Kothmir for garnish.
- 3 teaspoons Oil + Ghee
- ¼ teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- ½ - ¾ teaspoon Urad Dal
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 4-6 Curry Leaves
- Cook rice with 1 : 1 ¾ cup rice to water ratio or whichever ratio you normally use to cook rice.
- Transfer to a wide bowl or a plate and let rice cool.
- Wash sesame seeds by pouring hot water over sesame and stir properly. You can let the seeds soak for a minute or two.
- Discard water, transfer the seeds to a strainer and let the water drain.
- Steps 1 & 2 are optional. If the seeds have no dirt in it or the seeds are not smelly, you can skip washing the seeds. Proceed to step 5.
- Take pan and toast sesame until water dries up and seeds are dry, about 3 minutes.
- Then add cumin seeds, red chilies and toast on medium - medium high flame until seeds pop and chilies are brown. You can add few curries for additional flavor but I prefer pure sesame flavor.
- It will take take about 5 minutes to toast. Reduce the flame the pan is too hot. Toast the seeds until the seeds easily crush when pressed between fingers.
- Transfer to a plate and let the mixture cool.
- In a mixie jar or a spice jar, grind the mixture to a coarse powder. Do not over grind as sesame could become butter.
- Heat ghee or oil + ghee. You can replace ghee with unsalted butter.
- When hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal, red chili, let the dal turn brown and mustard seeds pop.
- Add curry leaves, turmeric and give good stir.
- Add spice mix to rice, salt to taste and mix it well.
- Do a taste test. If it needs more spice, add chili powder and mix well. You can also add 1 or 2 red chilies or green chilies to tadka to add some heat to rice..
- Pour sizzling or cold tadka over rice and mix well.
- Sprinkle some cilantro and let it rest for at least 15-30 minutes for the flavors to infuse.
- Sesame Seeds - Sesame has a nutty flavor and if you doo not like the flavor, cut back on sesame seeds in the spice mix. 3 ½ tablespoons has a strong sesame flavor.
- Instant Spice Mix - If you have roasted sesame seeds or roasted sesame powder handy, you can use the powder and substitute red chilies with chili powder. Add sesame powder and chili powder directly to rice.
- Variation - Adding a little bit of coconut powder to enhances the flavor. For this recipe, you can use half to one tablespoon coconut flakes. Lightly toast the flakes or you can use as is. Once you remove sesame + red chilies from fire, add coconut to hot pan, toast for few seconds and transfer to a plate to cool.
- Garlic - This is a no garlic recipe and if you have no dietary restrictions and are not offering it as prasadam to deity, you can add some crushed garlic in the tadka.
- Peanuts - For additional protein, roast 2-3 tablespoons peanuts in tadka.
- Serving - This recipe yields 2 serving. If this is the only dish on the menu, it will serve one person.
- Nutrition - values listed are approximate.
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