I was a bit hesitant to try out this recipe initially, since I’m not a big fan of cumin. If you’ve noticed I use fennel (perumjeerakam) regularly in my Indian cooking. It’s one of my favourite spices. I feel that fennel enhances the flavour of the dish, especially non veg dishes. I sometimes think that fennel and myself were destined to be together.
During my first ever grocery shopping, I bought almost half a kg of fennel. That time, I didnt know there were different types of jeera. I just saw fennel and assumed it to be the “jeera” and bought it. I used it in all the recipes which uses cumin/jeera. I used it in thorans, dal curries etc; Until one day, when one of our friends told me I’m using the wrong kind of jeera!
But cumin, is a totally different story. I blame jeeraka vellom (cumin flavoured hot water) for that. During my school days, whenever we visit some place, the first thing offered was hot jeeraka vellom and I used to hate it those days. Somehow cumin reminds me of those days and I maintained my distance. Since change is the only constant thing in life, my attittude towards cumin also changed a bit. These days I like Jeera rice and I dont mind a bit of jeera in curries too.
Though this dish uses good amount of jeera, it’s not overpowering. It’s a very simple and quick dish to put together if you are in a hurry. It goes well with rice and roti.