Anadi chamal (rice) is a local sticky rice variety cultivated in western Nepal, in fact only glutinous rice found traditionally grown in Nepal. There are two type of Anadi chamal– Rato Anadi (Red) and Seto Anadi (White). Anadi rice is used to make different varieties of Nepali/ethnic cuisines and has rich cultural value, but now almost forgotten. As new hybrid varieties are widely cultivated because of their high yield, such traditional varieties have become rarer and rarer to find. It is soft and sweet, and has its own aromatic flavor. It is found to have high protein contain and regarded to have medicinal values. The cooked rice is fed to the women who recently gave birth, and people also drink the water that comes after soaking the rice.
It is used in making local cuisines such as Chichad, Latte, khatte, Siroula and Selroti. Chichad is a delicacy of Tharu and other ethnic communities. It is prepared by steaming soaked anadi rice (with butter) wrapped in banana leaf. Tharu community consumes it during Maghe Sakranti (1st day of Magh), a festival celebrated during mid-January. Latte is prepared by soaking the anadi rice overnight, cooking it in ghee with frequent stirring and steaming (with lid on) and adding sugar. Unlike normal process of cooking rice, no water is added during its cooking process. It is mainly consumed during Saune Sakranti (1st Shrawan), a festival celebrated during mid-July) and Pandhra Poush (15th Poush), a festival celebrated during end of December. Khatte is prepared by light soaking of rice in water and then roasting, and it is consumed as snacks with tea. Siroula is prepared by soaking husked rice for a couple of day, then roasting until they popped, which is left to cool followed by de-husking using huller or paddle pounder (dhiki). It is consumed as snacks with or without milk and sugar. Selroti is the most popular Nepali dish prepared by frying rice batter in ghee or oil. It is prepared during dashain, tihar, other festival and occasions such as marriage ceremony, bratabandha, Shraaddha etc.
Mom used to make us Latte more often when we were kids. Here is the recipe of Latte, with my little twist with addition of coconut flavor.
1 ½ cup of Anadi rice
2 tbs of Ghee (clarified butter) or Butter
½ tsp Fenugreek seed
1-2 tbs Sugar or Khudo (concentrated sugarcane molasses)
(2 tbs Grated coconut)
Soak the anadi rice overnight. Drain the rice. (You can drink that water. It is regarded to have medicinal values.)
Heat kasaudi (traditional pot with narrow neck for cooking rice) or thick base pan in low heat. I used pressure cooker for this recipe (but not for pressure cooking).
Add 2 tbs of ghee, then fry fenugreek seed and add soaked drained anadi rice.
Stir the rice gently making sure that every grain is greased with ghee. Put the lid for a minute and then stir again.
Cook the rice with frequent stirring and steaming with the lid on for around 15-20 mins. Add one or two tablespoon of sugar according to your taste in between. Traditionally people use sugarcane molasses (khudo). I have also added some grated coconut in between to add the twist as recommended by my mom. It gives nutty flavor to the dish. (Note: Make sure that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom and burnt during the process.)
Turn off the heat once the rice is fully cooked. You can use few tablespoon of boiling water if you find that the rice is not cooked thoroughly. But the trick of cooking good Latte in traditionally is by letting the rice cook its own moisture that is retained during soaking. The other trick is frequent stirring, and steaming process with lid on.
You can serve the rice with vegetarian or non-vegetarian curry and pickle/achaar.