Onigiri otherwise called as omusubi or rice balls. It’s basically a Japanese delicacy. The idea of preparing a Japanese delicacy using gobindobhog rice (It is a superior quality rice cultivar grown in West Bengal, India) goes to my husband since during his visit to Japan, he got to taste lot of rice based dishes and insisted me to try rice based healthy snacks from Japan. This is my second try with this rice. My kitchen was filled with buttery flavor while cooking this rice. The rice is cooked in similar way as other rice variety. After rice has cooled it becomes sticky. This property of gobindobhog rice makes it very much suitable to prepare Japanese onigiri in Indian style. The traditional recipe of onigiri is prepared with sticky rice stuffed with pickled plum. I always love to experiment with ingredients, so thought of adding Indian pickle masala to the stuffing and we loved it. So next was outer covering, I wanted some mild flavor to the rice so added typical coastal Karnataka ingredients like fresh coconut, aromatic dill leaves and roasted sesame seeds. If you want to read other recipe using this rice check this apple cinnamon guliyappa
Well I have described so much, now let me go to the recipe which is pretty simple to follow.
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 45 mins
Serves: 5 nos
Gobindobhog rice – 1 ½ cups
Dill leaves (chopped) – 2 tbsp
Roasted sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
Fresh coconut gratings – ¼ cup
Salt as required
Water as required
Veggies (I have used finely chopped and cooked beans, carrot, cabbage) – 1 cup
Spring onion green (chopped fine) – ¼ cup
Onion chopped – ¼ cup
Crushed garlic – 1 tsp
Pickle masala – 1 tbsp
Oil- 1 tbsp
Lemon juice – ½ tbsp
Salt as required
For pickle masala:
Byadagi red chili – 2 nos
Mustard seeds – ½ tbsp
Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Oil – 1 tsp
- Soak the rice for 30 minutes in water. Heat a thick bottom wok, add water and soaked rice, cook the rice until done on medium flame (mine took around 30 minutes).
- Now sieve the water and cool the rice. Keep this aside.
- Take a pan, add ½ tbsp oil, dill leaves and fresh coconut, sauté well on medium flame until fresh raw smell vanishes. Keep aside this mixture until use.
- Mix this roasted coconut dill leaves, sesame seeds with little salt to the cooked rice. Keep this ready for further use.
- For pickle masala:
- Roast red chili, mustard seeds in little oil, cool them. Take a mixer and powder red chili, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, asafoetida into fine paste. Keep this aside.
- For stuffing:
- Take a pan, add oil, sauté chopped onion, crushed garlic, until they are golden in colour.
- Add the cooked veggies and mix well.
- Add the pickle masala paste, lemon juice, salt and spring onion green. Mix well and keep this aside.
- Now take some water in a bowl, wet your palm and take one layer of rice on your palm, add the pickled vegetable stuffing in the center. Now add another layer of rice, close and prepare shapes (it can be cylindrical, circular or triangular).
- The Onigiri in Indian Style using Gobindobhog rice is ready to be served with sauce or as it is.
Onigiri can be shallow fried and served but the rice tends to break so care should be taken.
For stuffing, any masala based veggie or fruits can be used.
Short rice grains which are sticky should be used for rice balls.