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Showing posts with label comfort food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label comfort food. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chicken Do Pyaza ( My Low Calorie Version )

Chicken do pyaza is one of those delicious sides that has been 'off radar' for quite sometime. Not because it lacks in flavor but because we had had an overdose of it. That coupled with the fact that food is turning increasingly exotic. [And may I add 'outright outlandish' ? After all I am gonna eat it and not frame it up in my living room . There are better ways to appreciate art rather than eating it.]

Coming back to me and my lazy ways with food. It was yet sluggish day (what else do you expect when the sun stubbornly refuses to put in an appearance ?) and I just wanted something light and tangy to go with my rotis. I was reminded of my carefree PG days when I rarely ventured into the kitchen. And most importantly, when 'takeaway' dinner was either Chicken do pyaza or Hyderabadi Chicken with chapattis. That feeling of nostalgia inspired me to try out a easier and lighter version of the 'do pyaza'. And I loved the results.

So, here is the simple and low calorie version of this restaurant favorite -

Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -
  • 500 gm chicken ( with bones )
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 1/2 tsp GG paste
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 cup curd
  • 3-4 green chilis
  • whole spices ( 1 green cardamom, 3-4 cloves, 2 inch cinnamon, 1 bay leaf )
  • 4 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • cilantro for garnishing

Preparation - Grind 1 onion into a smooth paste.

Wash the chicken and marinate with onion paste, GG paste, powdered masalas (except garam masala), 1 tsp oil and salt.

Peel the tomato and chop into fine bits.

Peel and chop the remaining onion into big chunks. Put small slits into the green chilis.

Beat the curd with 3-4 tsp water, sugar and a little salt.

Cooking - Heat oil in a non-stick wok. Add the whole spices. 

Once they release fragrance, add the marinated chicken and toss on high flame.

Once the chicken starts to change color, reduce the flame and cover the wok. 

Remove cover after 3-4 mins and add the finely chopped tomato. Sprinkle a little salt.

Cook covered while stirring at regular intervals. Once the chicken is almost done, add the beaten yogurt and the onion chunks. Also, throw in the green chilis. 

Stir continuously till the yogurt forms a nice thick gravy and coats the chicken pieces. Sprinkle garam masala powder and mix.

Garnish with cilantro and remove from the flame.

Note - Check out more chicken recipes HERE .

Monday, July 11, 2016

Black Rice Risotto ( Comfort food takes a Vegan turn )

Khichdi for the Indians. Risotto for the Italians. Comfort food can take any name but ultimately it is all about conveying the feeling of sheer happiness. The feeling of being connected to everything dear yet the euphoria of soaring in the clouds without any strings attached. That's the magic of comfort food. It makes you feel alive all over. Again and again.

And that's precisely why we go seeking for our grandmother's or mother's recipes when we are feeling low. It triggers all those childhood memories of being held in a warm embrace, being rocked to comfort and then being pampered silly with the dish of our choice. Of the phenomenal taste of all those slow cooked recipes that only love and patience can achieve. And lots of patience is what it takes to cook up a risotto. Especially when you are making it black rice.

Unlike the traditional variety that calls for the use of wine and cheese, I made one without using either. I added a touch of vinegar to get that acidity and used some almond milk towards the end for that creamy texture. Cooked it in a open shallow pan by adding just enough liquid at regular intervals. And loved the way it turned out. Nice, rich, creamy and nutty. 

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 90 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1/2 cup Black rice
  • 8 almonds 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth ( optional , I use water )
  • salt to taste
  • parsley for garnishing

Preparation - Wash and soak the black rice overnight.

Soak the almonds separately.

Peel the almonds and grind into a fine paste . Dilute with 1/2 cup water and grind for another 30 seconds. Strain the almond milk.

Cooking - Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add finely chopped onions and garlic. Saute till the onions just start to caramelize.

Add the drained rice and give it a gentle stir.

Add 1 cup broth/water along with the vinegar. Sprinkle some salt. Let it cook uncovered till the liquid is almost absorbed/evaporated.

Add another cup of liquid and let it cook. Repeat the process till the rice is mushy and the risotto looks creamy.

Add the almond milk and the coarsely ground pepper. Stir it in . Adjust the salt if required.

Remove from the flame .

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Carrot Rice ( A light and healthy Lunchbox favorite )

Some days back I had done a lunchbox collaboration with a few of my blogger friends where we had shared quite diverse and easy recipes that could fit in for breakfast, lunch or even the smaller breaks. Now it is almost 4 weeks since the schools have reopened and most of us would have exhausted the multiple permutations and combinations of those recipes. Even kiddo has started getting bored with some of the stuff that I put into his box. Hence, it is time to work out on a fresh set of recipes.

With rice dishes being his favorite, I almost always turn to some version of a pulao or fried rice by the end of every week (blame it on the weegarlickend blues that stay-at-home moms get). Recently I tried out this rather simple but very delicious 'Carrot rice' recipe for his box. Limiting the spice content for the monsoon season which adversely affects digestion and enriching it with loads of antioxidants ( read carrot and garlic), I have kept it filling as well as healthy. And if you have any doubts about the carbs in rice, kids really need those carbs given that they are quite prone to running around all day. 

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 small onion ( finely chopped )
  • 3-4 garlic flakes ( finely chopped )
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon
  • 1 green chili ( optional )
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp oil
  • pinch of turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp chopped cilantro for garnishing

Cooking - Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan. Add the cloves and cinnamon. Fry till fragrant.

Add the finely chopped onion and garlic. Throw in the whole green chili as we just want a little flavor and not the heat.

Once the onion is translucent, add the grated carrot and fry for 3-4 mins.

Add the cooked rice along with salt and a pinch of turmeric. Toss lightly for 3 mins.

Finally add chopped cilantro , ghee and lemon juice. Mix gently and remove from flame.

Let it cool down a bit before packing it into the lunchbox. Or have it right away if not in the mood to do any cooking.

For more lunchbox recipes check HERE .

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bajre Ki Khichdi ( Pearl millets Khichdi )

When I first heard of it, I was very much surprised that Bajra or pearl millet is also consumed as a Khichdi (Indian version of Risotto). Most of us assume that it is synonymous with rotis. But when I learnt of this Khichdi from my neighbour, I just had to try it out.

Her version includes a bit of rice in the khichdi along with the bajra and the split green moong dal, oodles of desi ghee and absolutely no tempering. And it is supposed to be eaten with a sweet and sour tomato chutney. However, I was a bit skeptical about omitting the tempering bit and hence I used my usual cumin-red chili-hing tempering with the khichdi. And it turned out to be quite nice and soothing, something that is a pleasure to dig in during the balmy winter months.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1/2 cup bajra
  • 1/2 cup green moong
  • a handful of rice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dry red chili
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 2 pinch hing
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of turmeric

Preparation - Wash the bajra and the green moong under running water. Spread on a plate. Put it under a fan to dry the surface. 

Once dried, give it a quick buzz in the mixer to break the grains. The texture should be that of a coarse mixture. 

Transfer to a mixing bowl . Add 2 cups water and give it a soak for 2 hours.

Cooking - Transfer the soaked grains to the cooker. Wash the rice and add to the cooker along with salt and turmeric.

Close lid and cook for 5-6 whistles on a low to medium flame. 

Keep aside till steam escapes.

Heat the ghee in a tempering pan. Add cumin seeds, broken red chili and hing. Once it starts spluttering, pour it into the cooker and give a good stir.

Bajre ki Khichdi is ready for serving. ( Do not forget to drizzle with desi ghee for that extra zing )

Note - Serve it with a simple tomato chutney .

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Panchmel Dal ( Rajasthani Lentils Recipe)

It is that time of the year when everyone is either partying or taking a vacation. But since I am doing neither, I have enough time to feel nostalgic about home and indulge about fifty grades of nostalgia. Looking though old photos, revisiting my early blog posts, calling up long forgotten friends/cousins/relatives, taking out and cleaning old stuff, cooking up my mom's dishes and so on, the list is almost endless. Hence, the craving for home cooked traditional food at a time when most of my blogger friends are dishing out cakes and party food by the dozen.

I was introduced to this recipe by my Mom. Unlike the mom in that Freecharge advert who refuses to go beyond Urad dal, she enjoys watching cooking shows and then replicating the same in her kitchen. Thanks to her I have developed a taste for all types of cuisine and my definition of comfort food is not limited to just Odia cuisine. For me, comfort food, irrespective of the place off its origin, has a very magical quality that immediately infuses my entire being with a warm glow. And I guess it is the same for most foodies who have been able to transcend the cultural barriers that seek to create ghettos around certain types of cuisine.

But enough of that introspection and analyzing. Moving on to this recipe, it is a simple, aromatic and delicious preparation that does without the usage of onion and garlic. While the traditional version uses lentils with skin on them, I have cooked it with the split and skinless version that was readily available in my pantry.

Here is the recipe -

Preparation Time - 45 mins ( Plus soaking for 4 hours)

Ingredients -

  • a fistful of Toor dal
  • a fistful of Urad dal
  • a fistful of Moong dal
  • a fistful of Masoor dal
  • a fistful of Channa dal
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 3 dry red chilis
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch hing
  • 2 pinch garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Preparation - Wash and soak the lentils for 4-5 hours.

Chop the tomato into fine bits. Lightly crush the ginger and green chili.

Cooking - Take the lentils in a pressure cooker along with 3-4 cups water, turmeric and salt to taste.
Cook for 3-4 whistles on medium flame.

Keep aside till steam escapes. Open the lid and slightly mash dal with a heavy spoon. Add some hot water to adjust consistency and put it back on a low flame.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, asafoetida and broken red chilis. Once it starts spluttering, add the crushed ginger and green chili. Fry for a minute.

Then add chopped tomatoes, salt and garam  masala. Cook till tomatoes turn pulpy.

Pour this mixture into the pressure cooker and mix with the dal. Let it simmer for 15 mins.

Finally garnish with cilantro and remove from the flame.

Serve it hot with phulkas or rice. ( I have served it with a simple vegetable pilaf and some radish salad. )

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mango Ginger Puliogare

Mango ginger is not a very common spice and quite a few folks would have never come across it. Belonging to the ginger family and possessing a smell that mimics mangoes, it is usually added in chutneys and some pickles too. And in Odisha, I have seen people frying it up and adding it to farsan, chat, dal, etc. I feel that it does lend a special flavour to any dish.

However when I was making Pulihora or Puliogare yesterday, I realized that I was out of the spice powder. There was no time to go to a shop or make a batch myself at home, so I made a rather simple recipe by adding mango ginger instead of any spice. Of course, I put in the usual tempering but nothing else. And my family was blown away with the result. Even my three year old loved it.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1  1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1 1/2 tsp mango ginger
  • 1 tsp tamarind juice (adjust as per taste)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/3 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 fenugreek seeds
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 2-3 dry red chilis (byadgi)
  • a handful of peanuts
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro for garnishing

Preparation - Cook the rice in a regular manner (pan/pressure cooker/electric cooker). Keep aside for 5 mins.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add the peanuts and fry for 1-2 mins. Remove and keep aside.

Add the broken red chili, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida to the same wok. Fry for 30 secs.

Add the tamarind juice, 3-4 tbsp water, salt and sugar. Let it boil for 2-3 mins till it turns thick.

Add the cooked rice and mango ginger. Mix in. Cook for 2 mins.

Finally mix in the peanuts and cilantro. Remove from flame.

Serve hot !! (I served it with a brinjal raita /dahi baigana)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sri Lankan Egg Curry

"Why egg curry ?", asked my husband."Why not egg curry ? Eggs are wonderfully delicious and they also contain a bit of almost every nutrient that we need. And they actually help us lose weight as they are incredibly filling. Plus they  provide protection from eye disease, blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and promotes healthy skin and hair", I replied back. Argument won, we had a comforting egg curry and white rice for lunch.

Even if I were to ignore the above health benefits, I would still go for eggs. An egg curry seems special when compared to any vegetarian fare yet it is somehow comforting than any non vegetarian preparation. For me and lots of other folks, egg do not fall into the 'strictly non vegetarian' category. And I know for sure that almost everyone enjoys a good egg curry. Here is a simple Sri Lankan style egg curry recipe that I picked up from the internet and modified it a bit . Yeah you guessed it right...it is the Peter Kuruvita effect !!!

Read on -

Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients -
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Sri Lankan Curry powder
  • 1/5 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 pandan leaf
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 green chili
  • 3 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro for garnishing
For curry powder -
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 2-3 dry red chilis
  • Sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 1/2 inch long cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon rice
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

Preparation - Heat a frying pan. Add all other spices (except for turmeric) mentioned under 'For curry powder' and roast till they give off their fragrance.

Remove from flame and allow to cool down. Grind into a fine powder and mix turmeric with it. Since this is more than what you need for the curry, keep the rest of it in an air-tight bottle in the fridge.

Boil the eggs for 10 mins. Immerse them in cold water for a minute, crack them and remove their shells.

Chop the onion into medium sized pieces and the tomato into smallest possible bits.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Pierce the eggs with a fork and add to the wok. Sprinkle a little salt and fry then for 3-4 mins till they turn brown on all over. Remove and keep aside.

Add the onions to the same wok and fry till translucent. Add the turmeric, chili powder and sri lankan curry powder and fry for a minute.

Add the tomatoes and cook till mushy.

Add the coconut milk along with 1/2 cup water. Throw in curry leaves, slit green chili and pandan leaf. Add salt and bring it to a boil.

Add the eggs and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 6-7 mins.

Remove from the wok and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve hot with white rice.

Note - Sri Lankan egg curry is traditionally served with Idiyappam.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Curd Rice /Thayir Sadam (Comfort food from down South)

"Does anyone need a recipe for curd rice ??", I blurted out in bewilderment. "Yes, in fact a lot of them do. Else they will keep dishing out variations that range from being chewy to being downright watery", replied by frustrated husband. He had had a particularly bad day at office and it was exacerbated by the unpalatable lunch that the caterer had chosen to serve. Though the curd rice served by the canteen guys is never the best, it was really bad that day and had my husband fuming.

Now even though I am not a South Indian, I have stayed down South for a long time and have picked up the nuances of quite a few South Indian recipes (especially the ones that my husband and kid adore). And I do make good curd rice ( a fact endorsed by my South Indian friends ). I find it easy, quick and quite soothing on the tummy. So, while it is a staple during the summers, I end up making it once in a while during the winters when I have had a heavy dinner on the previous night.

( Do not forget to check out the Odia version of this recipe - Dahi Pakhala )

Read on for my recipe -

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup cooked rice (needs to be cooked softer than usual)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh yogurt
  • 3 tbsp coarsely grated carrot
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1-2 finely chopped green chilis
  • 7-8 cashews (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chili (I prefer Byadgi which gives a good flavor)
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Take the still warm rice in a mixing bowl. Use the back of a heavy spoon to mash it up. Add warm milk little by little and mix it up.

Allow the rice and milk mix to cool down completely before adding the beaten curd. Add salt, grated carrot and chopped green chilis to the mixing bowl and mix everything thoroughly.

Heat the oil in a tempering pan. Add the mustard seeds, urad dal, cashews, dry red chili, asafoetida and curry leaves. Fry for 8-10 seconds.

Pour the tempering over the contents of the mixing bowl. Mix it uniformly.

Serve immediately along with a pickle and/or papad .

Note - If you are making it for kids, do not put any green chilis. Instead add about 1/2 tsp sugar and fruits like grapes (chopped into small bits), pineapple (chopped into small bits) and pomegranate. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Green Mango Rice (Mamidikaya Pulihore)

Green mangoes are much in season and I am trying to make the best use of this opportunity. From chutneys to dal, summer drinks to main meals, I have added it to everything. There is something about the tongue tickling mouth watering tang provided by these green mangoes that makes me go bonkers.

I was feeling quite lazy yesterday afternoon and was hesitant to cook something. But a growling tummy has its own way of kicking one into action. When I finally sauntered up to the fridge, I saw some leftover rice. Immediately, the thought of some indo-chinese style fried rice cam to my mind but as I rummaged though the cut-vegetables boxes, I found a few slices of raw mango. I usually cut up the veggies on the weekends to save some time on busy weekdays. That is when I decided to make some lip-smacking mango pulihore.

Read on for my version of this South-Indian delicacy -

Preparation Time - 8-10 mins ( I have used cooked rice but if you do not have it, add another 10-15 mins )

Ingredients -

2 cups cooked rice
1/3 cup grated green mango ( you can increase/decrease as per liking )
a handful of peanuts
2 tbsp skinless urad dal
2 dry byadgi chillis
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a sprig of curry leaf
a generous pinch of asafoetida
2-3 tsp oil
salt to taste

Cooking - Heat the oil in a shallow pan. Add mustard seeds and broken red chilis. Once the mustard starts spluttering, add curry leaves with asafoetida. Fry till they wilt a bit or  turn brown.

Add the urad dal and peanuts. Turn up the flame so that they crackle a bit.

Add the raw mango and stir for 1 minute. Finally add the rice .

Sprinkle salt to taste and gently mix in. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan.

Serve hot with some papad.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Vangi Baath (Brinjal rice)

Vangi baath or brinjal rice is a spicy and sour rice dish (with a hint of sweetness which is optional) that is quite easy to prepare. Though I had tasted this for the first time in Hyderabad, I did not quite like it at the time. But it was reintroduced to me by one of my roomies who used to cook it with a special home-made masala and I have been a fan ever since. Maybe the fact that she was a Kannada Brahmin made all the difference. After all, its origins are attributed to the Brahmin community of Karnataka.

I made it with parboiled rice ( which is healthier) but usually people make it with raw rice. I quickly made a bit of 'Vangi baath masala' at home (got the recipe on net) but it is quite easily available in the shops. And even my kid likes it when I reduce the amount of 'Vangi baath' masala and add a sprinkling of jaggery. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 15 mins ( if you have cooked rice else add time needed to prepare rice )

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced brinjal
  • 8-10 cashews
  • 2 tsp channa dal
  • 1/2 tsp thick tamarind paste
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 tsp cooking oil
  • 2 pinch turmeric
  • salt to taste

For the Vangi baath Masala

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
  • 6-7 cloves
  • 2 red chilli
  • 1 marathi moggu
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp split urad dal
  • 1 tsp oil

Preparation - Add a little salt and turmeric to the brinjal slices. Keep aside for 10 mins.
Cooking - Heat 1 tsp oil in a frying pan. Add all the ingredients for Vangi Baath Masala and fry till a  fragrance starts to fill the kitchen. Remove and allow to cool a bit. Grind into a fine powder.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the brinjal slices and fry till cooked.

Add 1 1/2 tsp of the Vangi Baath Powder ( I keep it less spicy ) along with the tamarind paste (diluted with 3-4 tsp water). Fry for 1 minute.

Add the cooked rice and mix in. Adjust salt.

Heat 1 tsp oil for the tempering. Add broken red chilli, mustard seeds and channa dal. After channa dal turns a little brown, add cashews. Pour the tempering over the rice. Mix in.

Serve hot with yogurt and papad.

Note - If you like a hint of sweetness, add about 1-2 tsp powdered jaggery while adding the tamarind paste.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ram Khichdi ( Kathiwadi Khichdi)

This is another recipe that I made from a Tarla Dalal cookbook. As I am into comfort food for the entire week (OK...maybe I will cook something special on the weekends), I wanted something light and nutritious for lunch. Also, it had to be palatable for my kid. While leafing though the cookbook, this recipe caught my attention. Along with the rice and pulses, it also had assorted veggies which made it a complete meal in every way.

Just tweaked the recipe a bit as per kiddo's liking and he really enjoyed it along with his favorite fryums. The final tempering done after cooking the khichidi is optional. I used it mainly as the combined flavors of the curry leaves, asafoetida and cumin resemble that of pongal, kiddo's favorite dish.

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients - 1/2 cup rice, 1/2 cup split moong dal, 2 cups of assorted vegetables ( cauliflower, carrot, french beans, aubergine, potato, sweet potato, green peas - use atleast 3 or 4 vegetables ), 1/2 of a small onion, whole spices ( 1 bay leaf, 1/2 inch cinnamon, 3 cloves ), 2/3 tsp cumin seeds, 2 pinches garam masala, 2 pinches asafoetida, 1 green chilli, 1 red chilli, 1/4 tsp turmeric, salt to  taste, 2 tsp ghee, 3 1/2 cups of hot water.

For final tempering - 1 tsp ghee/oil, 1 sprig curry leaves, a pinch of asafoetida, a pinch of carom seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds.

Preparation - Wash and soak the rice and moong dal. Was the vegetables and keep aside.

Cooking - Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker. Add the broken chillis along with cumin seeds and asfoetida. Follow with the whole spices and fry for 10 seconds.

Add the chopped onion and vegetables. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric and garam masala.

Add the soaked rice and moong dal (discard the water used for soaking). Mix everything well and fry for 3 minutes.

Add the hot water and close the lid. Cook for 3-4 whistles. (Again this depends on the pressure cooker and the consistency you require. For example, if you are making it for toddlers you need to cook for longer duration and so on.)

Allow steam to escape before opening lid.

Heat the oil in a small pan for the final tempering. Add cumin seeds, carom seeds, asafoetida and finally the curry leaves. Once the leaves are wilted, pour this tempering over the khichidi. Mix well.

Serve hot with raita and papad/pickle.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tawa Rice

It has been a while since I blogged about some comfort food. I have been trying a lot of recipes lately and sharing the best of them with you. But all the effort has really tired me out and over the next week I will be taking it quite light. Simple one pot meals will be the order of the day and the first one will be this really simple Tawa fried rice which I generally make from leftover rice. While I prefer it spicy with loads of raita to counter the heat, I reduce the amount of spice and sprinkle it generously with processed cheese for my toddler. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 10-12 mins (if using cooked/leftover rice)

Ingredients - 2 cups cooked rice, 1 medium sized onion finely chopped, 1 medium sized tomato finely chopped, 1/2 cup chopped capsicum, 2 tbsp yogurt, 2 tsp oil, 2 pinches of garam masala, salt to taste.

To be made into a coarse paste - 7-8 garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder, 1/2 tsp chili flakes.

Cooking - Heat a non-stick tawa. Drizzle with oil.

Add the finely chopped onion and fry to light brown.

Add the garlic-chili paste and fry for 2-3 mins.
Add the chopped tomatoes, capsicum, yogurt and garam masala. Cook for 2 mins.

Add the rice and stir on high for 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with raita and papad/chutney.

Note - Garnish with coriander leaves and a dash of lemon juice. (Sprinkle grated Amul cheese if serving to kids)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dal Fry (Odisha Style)

Dal Fry is one of the most common dishes ordered at any Indian restaurant. While it tastes best with white rice, this rich aromatic lentil dish can go down well with any flavored rice or flat Indian bread. Usually it is prepared from toor (tuvar) dal but in Orissa channa dal is most commonly used in this recipe. I consider this as comfort food ( if m not making it for guests ) and i pair it with a simple white rice & fried papad. Blissfully easy and deliriously yummy.

Read on the recipe for my version:

Preparation Time - 15-20 mins (10 mins of idle/standby time)

Ingredients -
To be pressure cooked - 3 cups channa dal, 2 green chillis, 1/2 inch long ginger, salt to taste, 1/2 tsp turmeric.
For tempering - 2 medium sized onions, 1 large tomato, 3 green chillis, 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp asafoetida, 1/4 tsp chilli powder, 1/5 tsp garam masala, 3 tbs kasuri methi, 4 tsp oil, salt to taste.

Preparation - Chop the onion and tomato into small pieces. Make small slits in the green chillis.

Cooking - Wash and soak the channa dal for 2-3 hours.

Take the soaked channa dal in a pressure cooker. Add salt, turmeric, crushed ginger and green chilli. Add 4 cups of water and close the lid. Cook for 2-3 whistles.

Allow steam to release. Open the lid and slightly mash the dal with a heavy spoon.

Heat the oil in a wok. Add mustard and cumin seeds.

Once the seeds start spluttering add one chopped onions. Fry till they start turning translucent.

Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add chilli powder, asafoetida and a pinch of turmeric. Stir fry masalas for 30-40 seconds.

Add the chopped tomatoes and sprinkle salt over it. Allow to cook till tomatoes soften and oil starts leaving the sides of the wok.

Add kasuri methi and garam masala at this stage. Cook for a minute.

Pour the contents of the pressure cooker into the wok. Mix well.

Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves (or grated coconut if you want that exclusive Odisha touch). Serve hot with rice/rotis.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Corn Khichdi ( makai khichdi )

Preparation time - 10-15 mins

Ingredients - Sweet corn kernals ( 1 cup ), milk ( 2/3 cup ), cumin seeds ( 1/5 tsp ), mustard seeds ( 1/5 tsp ), a pinch of asafoetida, pinch of turmeric, dry red chilli ( 1 no ), curry leaves ( 3-4 nos ), salt to taste, lemon juice ( 1/2 tsp ), a bit of butter, cooking oil ( 1/2 tsp ), coriander leaves for garnish.

Preparation - Take 2/3rd of the corn in a grinder cup and grind for 1-2 secs to get a coarse mix.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a pan. when it smokes, add red chilli, cumin and mustard seeds. once the seeds start spluttering, add curry leaves and asafoetida.

Add all the corn after a couple of seconds. Sprinkle salt and turmeric. Stir for a minute.

Pour in the milk and cover with a lid. Allow to cook for 6-7 mins till the corn is done.

Serve hot with a dash of lemon juice, a little butter and some freshly chopped coriander.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hariyali Pasta ( Pasta with green sauce )

Preparation time - 15-20 mins

Ingredients - 1 cup paste, 1 cup chopped spinach ( palak, use only the tender leaves with stems chopped off ), 1 medium sized onion, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1 green chilli, 2-3 garlic flakes, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/3 tsp chilli powder, 1/5 tsp garam masala (optional), 2-3 tsp tomato ketchup, 1 tsp oil, 1 small cube of butter, inch of turmeric, salt to taste.

Preparation: Bring water to boil in a pan. Add spinach to it for 3 mins. Drain off and fill with cold water.
Drain and squeeze out excess water from spinach. Also known as blanching, this step retains the green color of spinach.
Chop the onions into small pieces. Slit the garlic flakes along their length into thin slices.

For pasta - Heat sufficient water in a pan. When the bubbles start to come, add pasta and salt. Boil till the pasta is cooked yet firm. Drain all the water in a colander and give it a shake to prevent pasta from sticking to each other.

For the sauce - Heat oil in a wok. Add cumin seeds and allow to splutter. Add chopped onions and saute them for 2 mins. Put in the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell is gone ( 2-3 mins ). Add the chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and blanched spinach. Cook for 3 mins.
Allow to cool down. Transfer to a grinder along with a green chilli and 3-4 tbs of water/vegetable stock. Make a smooth paste.

Heat the butter in a wok so that it just melts. Throw in the garlic slices and stir them so that they give off their smell. Toss in the pasta and saute for 1-2 mins. Add the sauce along with the ketchup. Allow the sauce to coat all the pasta.

Garnish with chilli flakes or crumbled ricotta cheese if desired.Serve hot .

Note: Cook the pasta a few degrees softer when preparing for kids. Also reduce the chilli content and cut up the cooked pasta into bite size portions. Sending this to

Guru's Cooking Giveaway Kids Special 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Leftovers series: Tomato Rice


Preparation Time: 5-10 mins

Ingredients: Cooked rice ( 1 cup), chopped tomato ( 1 medium ), green chilli ( 1-2 nos ), onion ( 1 large ), curry leaves ( 1 sprig ) , chana dal ( 2 tbs ), urad dal ( 2 tbs ), mustard seeds ( 1/2 tsp ), asafoetida ( 1/5 tsp), broken cashew pieces, salt , oil ( 2 tsp ), chopped coriander for garnish ( optional ).

Preparation: Chop the onion and tomato into small pieces.
Fry the cashew, urad dal and chana dal with very little oil and keep aside.

Cooking: Heat oil in a wok. When it starts smoking, add mustard seeds followed by the broken green chilli, curry leaves and asafoetida. Stir for 10-15 secs.
Add the chopped onions. Stir fry for 2 mins. Add the tomatoes along with some salt. cook till the tomatoes soften.
Add the rice and stir fry for a few minutes. Sprinkle more salt on top ( if required )and add the fried dal & cashews.Serve hot.

Note: If the rice is kept in the fridge, microwave on high for 1 minute. Else add to boiling water and drain off after 1-2 mins.
The fried dals and cashews are added at a later stage to retain their crunchiness.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Biri Chop ( Urad dal bonda )

Preparation time: 30-40 mins

For the outer layer - 1 small cup chopa chada biri ( dehusked black lentil ), 2-3 tsp semolina, 5-6 crushed peppercorns, a pinch of baking powder, chopped green chillis, salt to taste, oil for deep frying.

For the stuffing - 2-3 medium sized potatoes ( boiled and peeled ), 1 tsp grated garlic, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 medium sized onion ( finely chopped ), mustard and cumin seeds for tempering, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/5 tsp turmeric, 2-3 tsp chopped coriander leaves, fried peanuts/boiled yellow peas/green peas, 2-3 tbs chopped coconut pieces, 3-4 tsp oil, salt to taste.

Preparation: Wash and soak the biri for 3-4 hours. Grind into a smooth thick paste in a mixer/grinder and keep aside for 3-4 hours to allow fermentation.

Just before frying, add the remaining ingredients to the batter and mix well. Add water if required to get the correct consistency. On dipping the balls, the batter should form a layer of 1-2 mm thickness.

Cooking: Heat 3-4 tsp oil in a wok. Add mustard-cumin seeds when the oil starts smoking. Follow with chopped onion and the grated ginger and garlic. Fry for 4-5 mins till the raw smell goes away.

Add the mashed potato along with chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Fry for 2-3 mins. Now add the fried peanuts/boiled peas, coconut pieces and chopped coriander. Fry for 1-2 mins. Remove from heat and keep aside till it is bearable to touch.

Make small balls out of the above.

Heat another deep vessel/wok with sufficient oil for deep frying. When the oil just starts to smoke, lower the heat.

Dip the potato balls in the batter and add to the wok few at a time. Fry on all sides to a medium brown colour.

Serve hot with ghuguni/chutney/ketchup.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Coffee and orange flavoured French Crepes

Cooking Time Required: 15-20 mins
Cost of Preparation: 30-35 Rupees

Ingredients: Whole wheat flour ( 1/2 cup ), egg ( 1 no. ), milk ( 3/4 th cup ), cooking butter ( 3 tsp ), sugar ( 2 tsp ), salt ( a pinch ), baking powder ( 1/5 tsp ), grated orange rind ( 1/4 tsp ), coffee powder ( 1/4 tsp ), orange marmalade ( 2-3 tbs ).

Preparation: Break the egg in a bowl. Beat well. Add the milk, sugar, coffee powder, grated orange rind and salt. Beat for 2 mins.

Sift the flour with the baking powder. Add to the beaten egg and milk. Melt 2 tsp of butter and add to it. Beat for 4-5 mins.

Cooking: Heat a small frying pan to a low temperature. Add a few drops of oil/butter. Rub with a cloth to spread uniformly without leaving excess greasiness.

Take 2 tbs of the batter and tilt the pan to spread uniformly.

Cook for 40-45 secs on either side and remove from pan.

Spread a thick/thin layer ( as per taste ) of orange marmalade all over the pancakes
and twist into a tight roll. Cut up into bite sized pieces and serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Instant Sabudana Kheeri

Cooking time required: 5-8 mins
Cost of preparation: 15-20 rupees


  • 1/2 cup Sabudana/Sagu
  • 1 1/2 milk 
  • 3 tsp raisins
  • 2 tsp cashews 
  • 3-4 tsp sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp ghee 

Preparation: Soak the sabudana for 2-3 hours.

Cooking: Heat the ghee in a saucepan. Add 1 tsp sugar and allow it to turn brown.

Next add the raisins & cashews. Stir fry till the raisins swell.

Add the milk and soaked sabuadana.

Boil for 5-6 mins while stirring at short intervals as it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Serve hot.

Note: One can also add a little cardamon/saffron for the flavouring.

Sending this recipe to :

Food Blog News

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tomato n Garlic Noodles

Cooking time required: 10-15 mins
Cost of preparation: 15-20 rupees

Ingredients: Maggie Noodles ( 1 packet, Masala/Tomato flavour ), ripe tomatoes ( 2 nos, large ), red chilli powder (1/2 tsp), garlic flakes ( 7-8 nos), onion powder (optional, 1/6 tsp), pepper powder ( 1/5 tsp), oil ( 2 tsp), butter ( 1 tsp ), salt to taste.

Preparation: Cut the tomatoes into small pieces.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a saucepan or any deep vessel.

Add the tomato pieces and sprinkle some salt. Stir fry till it softens. Crush the tomato pieces in the saucepan itself.

Add 3 1/2 cup water. Add the red chilli powder, pepper powder, onion powder and crushed garlic flakes . Bring to a boil.

Add the broken maggie noodles and the seasoning. Boil for 5 mins and add more salt if required.

Pour into soup bowls ( makes 3 ). Sprinkle a little pepper powder and add a little
butter on top.

Comforting soup is ready.

Note: One can add also finely cut onion pieces instead of onion powder. Add it before the tomato pieces and fry till translucent.

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