Black Pepper Rice (Milagu Sadam) is a delicious South Indian-style rice dish flavored with freshly ground black peppercorns (vegan, can be easily made gluten-free).
About Indian Black Pepper Rice (Milagu Sadam)
Indian Black Pepper Rice (Milagu Sadam) is a South Indian rice preparation where leftover cooked rice is flavored with freshly ground black peppercorns, onions, curry leaves, and a few more simple ingredients.
It is super easy to make, comforting, and comes together in just 15 minutes.
Serve it on its own for a satisfying and simple weekday meal or pair it up with a raita of your choice. It is also a great dish to pack for the office or school lunch box.
This pepper rice recipe is vegan and can be easily made gluten-free. You can double or triple it as per your requirement.
Here are a few more South Indian rice recipes that you can try
Ingredients & Variations
Rice – Leftover rice is the best choice to make milagu sadam. If made using fresh hot rice, it may turn mushy.
If you are making it with fresh rice, make sure to cool it down fully. The best way to cool down freshly cooked rice faster is to spread it on a baking tray and cover it with cling film. Then refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.
It is traditionally made using short-grain white rice like sona masuri or ponni rice but you can use any kind of rice that you prefer.
Cooked jasmine rice, brown rice, couscous, quinoa, cauliflower rice, etc can be used in place of white rice to make this delicious rice dish.
You can cook the rice in vegetable broth or chicken broth instead of water for more flavor.
Black Pepper – Use freshly ground black pepper corns to use in this milagu sadam recipe. Readymade black pepper powder is not recommended.
Cashews – Cashews add a perfect crunch. You can replace them with peanuts as well.
Others – You will also need vegetable oil, brown mustard seeds, chana dal (Bengal gram lentil), white urad dal (split and skinned black lentils), curry leaves, asafetida (hing), onions, and salt.
Vegetable oil can be replaced with light olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, or any other cooking oil that you prefer.
You can skip adding onions to make no onion no garlic milagu sadam.
Skip adding hing for a gluten-free version.
Add in vegetables of your choice such as green beans, carrots, green peas, green peppers, yellow bell peppers, red bell peppers, spring onions, etc to make it wholesome.
Scrambled eggs are also a great addition to this easy pepper rice recipe.
How To Make Black Pepper Rice
Add 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns to a mortar and pestle and grind to make a coarse powder. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon chana dal
- 1 teaspoon white urad dal
and cook until they turn slightly brown (30-40 seconds), stirring frequently.
Add 10-12 curry leaves and ¼ teaspoon asafetida and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
Add ½ cup chopped onions and 10-12 cashew nuts to the pan and fry until they turn slightly brown (1-2 minutes). Stir frequently while frying.
Now add 2 cups of cooked and cooled rice, ground pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt and mix well.
Cook for 2-3 minutes. Check for salt and add more if needed. Serve hot.
Serve Milagu Sadam on its own or with plain yogurt, kosambari, or raita of your choice. You can choose from some of my favorite raita recipes – Bhindi Raita, Pomegranate Raita, Beetroot Raita, Boondi Raita, Sprouted Chickpea Raita, and Lauki Ka Raita.
You can also pack it in your school or office lunch box with raita and papad on the side.
Since this rice has no added veggies, you can serve a vegetable sabji or stir fry on the side to make the meal wholesome.
Milagu Sadam will last for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pan or microwave until nice and warm before serving.
If you feel the rice has become a little dry after refrigeration, then sprinkle a little water on top while reheating to add moisture to the rice.
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Indian Black Pepper Rice Recipe (Milagu Sadam)
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns (kali mirch)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon chana dal (Bengal gram lentils)
- 1 teaspoon white urad dal (split skinned black lentils)
- 10-12 curry leaves
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing) (skip for gluten-free)
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 10-12 cashew nuts
- 2 cups cooked and cooled rice
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Add whole black peppercorns to a mortar and pestle and grind to make a coarse powder. Set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, chana dal, and urad dal, and cook until they turn slightly brown (30-40 seconds), stirring frequently.
- Add curry leaves and asafetida and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
- Add onions and cashew nuts to the pan and fry until they turn slightly brown (1-2 minutes). Stir frequently while frying.
- Now add cooked and cooled rice, ground pepper, and salt and mix well.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes. Check for salt and add more if needed. Serve hot.