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Showing posts with label budget cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budget cooking. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The 15 Minute Meals Series - Post 1

Whether it is beating the morning rush or making more time for one self, 15 min meals can come handy on more than one occasions. Especially when one does not want to order from outside or reheat the Ready to Eat stuff. With a little amount of planning the previous night, one can easily prepare a tasty and nutritious meal like the one shown below.

For this post, I have put together a thali that consists of white rice, pulihora, fried okra, eggplant in yogurt and wholesome tikkis made with cracked wheat(daliya) and sweet potato. Read on how this can be done in 15 mins -

1. Overnight preparation -  Roast the cracked wheat. Peel and dice the sweet potato. Cook together in a pressure cooker with just enough water for 3 whistles.

Open the cooker once steam escapes. Transfer into a food grade plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

Additionally, one can also peel the garlic and chop the onions, cilantro and green chilis.

2. Cooking rice and chopping veggies - While the rice is getting ready in a pressure cooker or rice cooker (takes abt 8 mins), slice the aubergines and slit the okra. Sprinkle salt on the veggies.

Take some of that boiled sweet potato and daliya mixture, add chopped green chili, onion, salt, garam masala and cilantro. Mash together and shape into tikkis (flat discs) .

Crush a few garlic pods with red chili powder and a pinch of salt. Rub it on the insides and all over the slit okras.

Take the yogurt in a bowl. Add salt and beat it.

3. Take a large skillet. Drizzle with oil. Place the tikkis on one side, the salted aubergines on another and finally the okras in the remaining space. Cooking everything together saves time hence use a cookware that is large enough to accommodate all three.

Heat another wok. Add some oil followed by mustard, green chili, asafoetida and curry leaves tempering. Remove some of it and add to the yogurt bowl. Throw in a few peanuts into the wok. Once they crackle, add tamarind water, jaggery and pulihora powder. Cook for 2 mins before adding the rice. Stir fry for 2-3 mins and pulihora is done.

By this time the tikkis and veggies would also be done. Allow the aubergines to cool for 4-5 mins before adding into the tempered yogurt.

Your delicious meal is ready !!

Have 5 extra mins at hand ?? Take some of that remaining sweet potato and cracked wheat mixture into a thick bottomed vessel. Add a little milk, sugar and ghee. Flavor with cardamom powder or saffron. Cook on medium flame for 4-5 mins for a delicious and very nutritious halwa !

If you looking for any specific recipe, please leave a comment on my blog or FB page and I will be happy to respond :) !

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fuel Efficient Method of Cooking Rice In Open Pan

Most of us are used to cooking rice in the pressure cooker in order to save both time and fuel. While this does away with the constant need to monitor the rice and draining away the excess water, it is not the healthiest way to cook rice. Recent studies have established that draining away the excess water which also contains a lot of starch makes the rice healthier to eat as it reduces the amount of carbohydrate being consumed.

However with the rising LPG cylinder costs and electricity bills, most of us are averse to cook rice in a open pan/pot. But one no longer has to worry about the amount of fuel being spent on cooking rice if one follows the method detailed below. This was shared by one of my aunts recently and I have been following it ever since. Also, it does not require one to stand near the stove for a long time to monitor the cooking.

Read on for the easy to follow steps -

1. Take a pan/vessel with sufficient amount of water in it. Wash the rice and add to it.

2. Switch on the flame and turn it up to HIGH.

3. Bring the rice to a rolling boil while stirring in between. (If you forget to stir, rice will catch at the bottom)

4. Cover with a lid and switch off the flame.

5. Allow to sit for a while till the rice grains cook in the hot water and swell up. This is the critical part and while some rice varieties may take 8 minutes some may take upto 12-14 mins. It takes 1-2 trails to get it right.

6. Open the lid and switch on the flame. Turn it up.

7. Allow the rice to come to a boil. Then switch off the flame.

8. Drain off the excess water.

9. Gently shake the rice and allow to stand for a few minutes before serving.

Note - For par-boiled rice varieties(used especially in Odisha and West Bengal), keep aside the rice for about 50-60 minutes after step 4.  If it is still uncooked, allow it to boil for a few minutes during step 7.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Chingudi - Anda Jholo ( Prawn - Egg Curry )

This is a non-vegetarian combo curry that has become my family's favorite. With my husband being partial to prawns and myself being an egg person, a middle path had to be devised to stop us from squabbling over the dinner menu.

With decently sized prawns costing somewhere between rupees 350 to 500, eggs were added as a supplement ( and a tentative experiment ) to add volume and bring down costs. The curry turned out to be hit and an encore has always been around the corner. The use of potatoes is optional and helps to further increase the volume and add more sweetness to the gravy. I personally prefer to mash one or two pieces of the cooked potato into the curry. This help to make a thicker gravy.

As this is my last post for the year, I take this opportunity to thank my readers and friends. This has been quite an eventful year with my blog getting listed in the top 100 (Indiblogger/blogtoplist) and crossing 2,00,000 page views. A Very Happy and Prosperous New Year to All.

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 40-45 mins

Ingredients - 500 gms prawns (shelled), 4 eggs (boiled & shelled), 1 large potato, 2 large onions, 1 garlic pod, 1 1/2 inch ginger, 2 large tomatoes, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp poppy seeds, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1/5 tsp garam masala powder, 2 dry red chillis, 1 tsp sugar, salt to taste, 5 tbs oil.

Preparation - Clean prawn and add salt and turmeric. Allow to marinate for 15 mins.

Grind the cumin seeds, poppy seeds and red chillis into a powder. Add 1 onion, half of the garlic pod and 1 inch ginger to the same grinder jar. Grind till the paste is smooth.Keep aside.

Make the smooth puree out of the tomatoes and keep aside.

Chop the remaining onion and keep aside. Crush together the remaining garlic pod and ginger. Take care not to make a very fine paste.

Cut the potato into cubes.

Cooking- Heat 1 tbs oil in a pan. Add the marinated prawns and fry till golden. Remove and keep aside.

Add another tbs of oil into the wok. Add the eggs and potato pieces. Fry for 4-5 minutes. Remove and keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a wok. Add chopped onion and fry for 1 minute. Add the sugar and allow it to turn brown. Add the crushed garlic-ginger and fry for 2 minutes.

Add the ground masala along with turmeric and chilli powder. Fry for 5 minutes till the raw smell goes off.

Add tomato puree and fry for another 3-4 minutes.

Add 3 cups of boiling water to the wok. Bring to a boil on high flame.

Add fried eggs, potatoes and prawns to the wok. Cover with a lid and allow to boil for 10 minutes or till potatoes are cooked.

Add the garam masala and switch off the flame.

Serve hot with white rice.

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