Tamarind Rice with Black Beans & Cotija Cheese

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Tamarind rice, also called puliogare (pully-oh-ga-ray), is a South Indian dish usually prepared with fried peanuts. Sabra and I came up with our own version of this rice by adding black beans, roasted pablano peppers, red onion and cotija cheese. So good!

Last weekend, we made this rice for the Think Tank Potluck, a meeting for Greenpoint Food Market vendors. The meeting was held to discuss the impact of the recent NY Times article press on the market. Although the article was favorable, it brought to light that many of us don’t have permits, licenses or cook in commercial kitchens. The Greenpoint Food Market started as a small underground market where vendors could share homemade goods and test out recipes on the community in small quantities so this publicity kind of threw a wrench into the mix. As a result, the June market was cancelled and replaced by a panel of speakers from the Department of Health, City Council and owners of small food businesses.

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What came about from the discussion was an idea for some of the vendors to open a cooperative incubator kitchen where we could offer cooking classes and sell some of our products in addition to having space in a commercial kitchen to prepare our foods. There was also talk of new legislation to make it easier and more affordable for vendors like us to sell at artisanal markets. It was encouraging to see individuals from different areas coming together to figure out how best to move forward, but it may take time for anything to change.
While you can’t eat me and Sabra’s tacos right now, make our rice! You could make your own puliogre mix, but MTR brand works just fine. It tastes really good and keeps for a while if you feel like making the rice from time to time.
 
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  • http://www.spicytasty.com/veggie-entrees-sides/red-bell-pepper-chutney/ Nithu

    Sounds yummy and tempting.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11253361621149571185 Fatema

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17026409205967435473 Rangachari Anand

    Sometimes publicity really does not help. I was hoping to come down and try out Greenpoint. Too bad I waited…

  • http://www.foodfor7stagesoflife.com/ RV

    Nice variation Chitra. Looks delicious and protein rich too.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03435503569995953022 Deepika

    Hi Chitra,

    Your blog is very different and Interesting. I am from Bangalore, now residing in Auburn :).
    Good job!!!

    Deepika