Did you know that you could make a very easy and delicious Ellu Sadam, a.k.a. Sesame rice, using Broccoli? I already know that some of my readers have frozen broccoli in your freezer. But, are you stuck with the same basic 1 or 2 recipes like garlic-chili Chinese stir-fry style or Western-style that add a ton of cheese? Then read on, for an exciting new way to use your broccoli.
I want to shift your perspective and visualize your broccoli as a vehicle for some South Indian pizzazz + flavor!! Broccoli and sesame are flavor buddies anyway. I have been toying with the idea of using the traditional Tamilian Ellu Sadam (or Yellu Sadam) template with broccoli very similar to my Cauliflower Sesame Rice recipe for a while now. But I was wondering if 1) It would look too green and 2)If the flavors would meld.
And the answer to that is: 1)Yes, it looks quite green, but more importantly 2) It tastes great!! – Full family approval!! Plus, this recipe is very easy.
For someone who is not a South Indian, you may look at the recipe list and go – uhhhh…this is not easy, and I understand. I will give you a link to a readymade spice mix and you could use that instead. But, trust me, it is a very straightforward recipe.
The recipe just has 4 basic steps:
- Make the broccoli rice (super easy)
- Make your sesame spice mix (a 5-10 minute effort) or buy store-bought Ellu Podi
- Make your Tadka/tempering, (Very easy if you have the ingredients mise-en-place)
- Stir fry and mix well.
Low Carb Tiffin Box / Keto Idea
If you make the spice powder in bulk, this can easily become a low-carb idea to pack for lunch. You can make this recipe quickly in the morning and have a satisfying lunch without overloading on carbs.
This recipe could easily made into a Keto-friendly version for those who are adopting the keto diet. Substitute keto-approved nuts and seeds instead of the lentils in the recipe. The end result will not differ greatly.
Ellu Sadam made with Broccoli ‘Rice’Course: RecipesCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Ellu Sadam is a traditional Tamil recipe in which a spicy sesame powder mix is stir-fried with cooked rice. In this upgraded version, I use the traditional spice mix, but pair it with Broccoli Rice making this a very healthy, low carb and delicious lunch recipe.
Frozen Broccoli – 4 cups
- Spice Powder (Bulk Prep)*
Sesame Seeds – 1/2 Cup
Urad Dal/Black Gram – 2 Tbsp
Chana Dal/Bengal Gram – 2 Tbsp
Roasted Peanuts – 2 Tbsp
Red Chili – 3 nos
Pepper – 1 tsp
- For Tempering**
Oil (Sesame Preferred) – 2 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Split Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Split Chana Dal – 1 tsp
Curry Leaves – a Few
1 tsp Salt (adjust as needed)
- To your food processor, add frozen broccoli florets.
- Depending on the power of your food processor, either run it right away or slightly thaw for 10-15 minutes before you run it until you get small grain size particles.
- Spice Powder Prep
- Toast sesame seeds on medium heat until it is well-roasted and golden brown.
- Toast remaining spices for a few minutes on medium heat
- Once the spices cool, powder them in a coffee grinder and store them in a container.
- Tempering and Stir Fry
- Add tempering spices one by one in hot oil as listed.
- Add Frozen Broccoli “Rice” pieces and stir for a few minutes until the water evaporates and the broccoli starts getting toasted.
- Add salt and 3 Tbsp of the spice mix you made (or store-bought). I used 3 Tbsp based on medium spiciness levels. But, you have to use less if you like it less spicy and vice-versa.
- Give everything a good final mix and stir fry on medium-high heat for a minute or two before switching off the heat. Serve!!
- Spice Mix: For those new to Indian cooking, if you do not have ingredients for spice mix; either buy the store-bought mix listed below or just make one with sesame seeds, red chilis and black pepper for a simpler version.
- Tempering: In Indian cuisine, tempering is used to add crunch and texture. If you are missing some ingredients, feel free to use only the ones you have or substitute with other nuts and seeds like sliced almonds, hemp seeds, etc.
- If for any reason, you added too much spice mix and it became very spicy; add powdered plain sesame powder or peanut powder to the mix to absorb some of the spice without lowering the flavor.
Where I live, the local Costco (a wholesale store) sells these bags of beautiful, frozen broccoli – Individually frozen, dark green color, each floret separate from the next – just a beauty!! Why am I waxing poetry about frozen broccoli? When I first came to the US, frozen broccoli meant these thick stodgy stalks that were not that great to look at and honestly smelled a little funky too.
Anyway, the food processing technology (Individually quick-frozen method IQF) has gotten so good that you actually feel excited about buying and using the product, even if it is frozen broccoli!! Sooooo…Broccoli it is: we cannot complain anymore about the quality of the product, we cannot complain about availability; what we are then limited by is our imagination to use it in creative ways.
So, what are you waiting for? Give your frozen broccoli a whiz in your food processor – and try out this Sesame Rice recipe also known as Till Rice or Ellu Sadam. Your family may love this nutty, slightly spicy dish!!
Do post your comments and feedback below. I look forward to reading them.
If you are interested in other Indian-flavored keto-style dishes, check out:
- Lemon Rice (made with cauliflower rice)
- Coconut Rice (made with cauliflower rice)
- Sesame Rice (made with cauliflower rice)
- Tomato Rice (made with cauliflower rice)
Amazon Affiliate Link
One option for pre-made sesame powder mix:
Another option is sesame powder from The Grand Sweets and Snacks company seen in the link shown below. They are a top-notch brand from India, but since they don’t sell directly in the US, they cost way more than they should.