Oriyarasoi is on twitter !

Showing posts with label rice dish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rice dish. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Moudardara ( The Lebanese version of Khichdi )

I love rice varieties and when I chanced upon this amazing recipe on the show Vickypedia hosted on Living Foodz channel, I knew that I just had to give it a try ! And while it took time and patience to ready this khichdi, it turned out to be one sparkler of a dish. The richness of the caramelized onions, the aroma of Basmati rice, the luxurious fragrance of saffron coupled with the nutrition from a medley of pulses make it a wholesome choice for one pot meals !

One word about the texture though. As Moudardara essentially means scattered, it is more like a biryani rather than being mushy like a khichidi. So, do not go overboard with the water and the stirring. Remember that we an always add a little bit of moisture whenever needed.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 40-45 mins

Ingredients -
  • 1 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cup mixed lentils ( I used kidney beans, red lentils and horsegram )
  • 2 medium sized onions (sliced finely)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp all spice powder
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp EVOO
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 pinch saffron

Preparation - Wash and soak the lentils overnight.

Crush the cumin and peppercorn into a coarse mix. Soak the saffron in the warm milk.

Cooking - Cook the lentils in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles. They should be just cooked and firm to touch. Drain the excess water but do not throw it away.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onions and fry on low heat till they turn brown. Remove half of these onions from wok and keep aside.

Add the washed rice, cooked lentils, crushed spices, all spice and salt to the same wok. Mix together and cook for 2-3 mins till the rice grains are well coated with oil.

Add the drained water from the lentils and some more such that it just stands a few millimeters above the rice.

Bring to a boil and then let it simmer while covered till rice is almost done. Stir gently once or twice during the cooking.

Add the saffron along with the milk. Cook till the excess moisture disappears.

Mix in the remaining caramelized onions.

Serve with plain yogurt or a raita.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Brown Rice Pulao

Its 'World Health Day' today on the 7th of April. Time to get a clear perspective on our health and eating habits. So let us all take a pledge on this day to eat right and eat healthy.

Nothing more apt than a brown rice dish enriched with lots of vegetables and packed with soya protein for lunch/dinner on this day. I had this packet of brown rice lying around for sometime and I was reluctant to use it. When I finally prepare the pulao, it tasted better than what I imagined. Just give it a try if you haven't and you will not regret it!!

Read on for the easy recipe -

Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cup mixed vegetables ( carrots, cauliflower, green peas, french beans, potaoes, onions )
  • a handful of soya chunks
  • 3 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp ghee (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/5 tsp garam masala
  • a bit of star anise
  • strand of mace
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • 1/3 tsp chilli powder
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Soak the soya chunks in boiling water for 15-20 mins. Squeeze out the water and wash 2-3 times in fresh water.

Soak the brown rice separately in warm water for 1 hour.

Cooking - Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a pressure cooker. Add all the vegetables and soya chunks. Fry on medium high flame for 5-6 mins. Remove and keep aside.

Add the remaining oil into the same cooker. Add the cumin seeds and whole spices (except nutmeg). Fry for 10-12 seconds.

Add the washed and drained brown rice. Fry for 3-4 minutes.

Add 2 1/4 cups boiling water to the cooker. Add the fried vegetables, soya chunks, chilli powder, coriander, garam masala, salt and turmeric. Mix well.

Drizzle the ghee and nutmeg powder on over the contents of the cooker. Close the lid and cook for 2-3 whistles or till done.

Allow steam to escape before opening lid.

Serve hot with some cooling raita and onion slices.

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.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thalassery Biriyani (Malabar Biriyani/Kerela Biriyani)

Thalassery Biryani is the famous biriyani served at Muslim weddings in Kerela. It was originally made from a short grained and flavorful rice variety called Jeerakasala but now people has started using Basmati rice as well. While I came across a lot of variations on internet, some using curry leaves, other had coconut milk and still others used rose attar, this one seemed authentic. It is taken from a local TV channel called Amrita TV.

It does not use any red chilli powder, only green chillis. And the gravy made for chicken does not use any oil in it. Only the fried onions called 'Bista' are added to the gravy to deepen its flavor. Read on for the recipe.

Preparation Time - 1 hour ( and some more standby time )

Ingredients - (serves 2)

  • 400 gm Chicken pieces (medium sized)
  • 2 1/2 cups Jeerakasala rice ( or Jeera Samba rice )
  • 3 large Onions (finely sliced in circular/semi-circular shapes)
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch long ginger
  • 4-5 green chillis
  • 2 large tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup mint leaves (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee + Oil for frying the onions

For the Biriyani Masala Powder

  • 3 cloves
  • 1 1/2 inch cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 petal Mace
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • a pinch of Nutmeg

( Some recipes also have a little bit of aniseed and shahjeera added to this masala. But the one I tried was quite good

in itself. )

For cooking the rice -

  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 star anise
  • 2-3 cardomoms
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Wash and marinate the chicken with salt and turmeric.

Cooking - Heat oil in a wok for frying the onions.

Fry onions in small batches on medium heat and take each batch out of the oil for a few second during frying. This makes them crisper as it allows the water content of onions to turn into vapour.

Dry roast all the spices (except nutmeg) mentioned under Biriyani Masala. Allow to cool down a few degrees. Then grind into a powder in a mixer/coffee grinder. (Add a little bit of coarse salt when using a mixer, it helps to get a fine powder )

Roughly grind the ginger, garlic and green chillis.

Cook the rice in a pressure cooker along with the ingredients mentioned under 'For cooking the rice'. After levelling the rice with a spatula, add water in sufficient quantity so that it stands nearly 1 1/2 inch above the rice. Close lid and cook for 1 whistle. Remove and open after steam escapes. Fluff up with a fork.

Heat a thick bottomed vessel (we will be using it for the DUM process later on, so it should be really thick). Add the chopped tomatoes with a little water. Cook till soft and mashy.

Add the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and cook till raw smell goes off.

Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the powdered masala and chopped mint leaves. Mix well and cook till chicken is 80 percent done.

Add 3/4 th of the fried onions at this stage. Mix well and cook till chicken is tender.

Add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix well and switch off flame.

Layer the cooked rice over the chicken. Add remaining fried onions and dot with the saffrom milk.

Cover the vessel with a cloth and put on the lid. Allow to sit on lowest possible heat/flame for 15-20 mins. (I did this process using an induction cooker.)

Remove the lid and cloth. Mix the layers a bit.

Serve hot with raita and coriander coconut chutney.

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)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mushroom Biryani ( Celebrating my 400th post )

My 400th post. So it had to be something celebratory. My sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all my regular and not so regular readers. Your comments and encouragement is much appreciated and help me keep going. And a big thanks to my husband for putting up with my experiments in the kitchen. Thanks everyone for being a part of this wonderful journey.

Preparation Time - 40 mins

Ingredients - 2 cups basmati rice, 200 gms button mushrooms, 2 large onions, 2 tsp GG paste, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp garam masala, 4 tsp thick yogurt, 3 tbsp tomato puree, 6 tsp chopped mint leaves, 6 tsp chopped coriander leaves, whole garam masala ( 1 mace, 1 star anise, 2 pinch nutmeg powder, 3-4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 green cardamon), 1 tsp ghee, 4 tsp oil, salt to taste.

Preparation - Clean and wash the mushroom. Cut along the length into slices of medium thickness.

Soak the mushroom in a pan with water and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder for 1 hour. Drain off the water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Take the yogurt, GG paste, cumin powder, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric half of the chopped mint and coriander leaves, garam masala and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the mushrooms and coat them thoroughly with the marinade. This helps the mushroom absorb the spice flavors. Allow t rest for 1-2 hours.

Cut the onions into thin long pieces.

Cooking - Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Add half of the sliced onions and fry on low flame till they turn brown. You can add 1/2 tsp sugar to hasten the process. Remove the caramelized onions and keep aside.

Add 2 tsp oil to the same wok. Add the remaining onions and fry till light brown. Add the tomato puree and fry for another 2-3 mins.

Add the marinated mushrooms along with the marinade. Cook for 4-5 minutes till the excess water evaporates and masalas are well cooked. (It is ok if mushroom is still under-cooked, it gets done along with the rice.)

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pressure cooker. Add the remaining mint and coriander leaves. Fry for 1 minute.
Add the whole masalas and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the washed basmati rice, mushrooms and 2 2/3 cup water (add another 1/3 cup if you want softer rice). Mix gently. Sprinkle ghee and salt over the contents. Add half of the caramelized onions. Close the lid and cook for 1 whistle.

Allow steam to escape before opening lid. Keep aside for 10-15 mins before serving. Just before serving gently mix the rice and mushrooms so that they are evenly distributed ( mushrooms tend to rise to the top while cooking ).

Serve hot with raita and papad.

Note - Add 1/2 cup capsicum to the marinade along with the mushrooms. Give a really nice twist/flavor to the mushroom biryani. ( Again it depends on whether you like capsicum ). Also if you are not really into mushroom, try a combination of baby corn and capsicum which is equally good.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Oats Pongal

My son's liking for this simple and wholesome rice dish has turned me into a faithful fan (read follower). Easy to make and quite comforting, I have been cooking it regularly in the last weeks. With my current obsession with oats, i felt tempted to add some to the regular pongal. Turned out to be quite nice. Also, adding oats greatly increases the soluble fiber content of this dish which helps reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and keeps one's heart healthy . Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients - 1/2 cup rice, 1/2 cup yellow moong dal, 1/2 cup quick oats, 8-9 cashews, 1 tsp peppercorn, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 pinch carom seeds, 1/2 inch ginger (cut into juliennes), 3-4 tsp ghee, salt to taste, 41/2 cups water.

Cooking - Heat 2 tsp ghee in a pressure cooker. Add the cashew and lightly fry them. remove and keep aside.

Add cumin, carom seeds, peppercorn and ginger. Wash and add the rice and moong dal. Fry for 2-3 minutes or till a fragrance comes.

Add the hot water, fried cashews (keep aside a few for the garnish) and salt. Close lid and cook for 2-3 whistles.

Allow steam to escape before opening. Put on the stove again. Add another 1/2 to 1 cup of hot water (only if required) and the quick cooking oats. Cook for 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the remaining ghee and stir in.

Garnish with a few cashews and serve hot.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pudina Biryani

I have been quite lazy of late and been looking around for quick fix /one pot meals. While all that i want to do is lie down on the couch with a feel-good book and a hot cup of green/ginger/lemon tea, it is quite a case of wishful thinking with a two year old running around the house. This is a simple and nutritious rice recipe that I prepared last week. While I would have done good with my old Pudina Rice recipe, my kid has been looking forward to eating more spicy stuff these days. I guess its the cold which has dulled his taste buds. Without much delay, read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredient - 2 cups Gobindobhog rice ( you can use sona masuri instead ), 1 cup soya granules, 1 medium sized potato, 3 tsp mint paste, 3 tbs thick yogurt, 1 medium sized onion, 2 dry red chillis, 2 tsp oil, whole garam masala (2 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 1/2 star anise, 1/2 javitri, a pinch of grated jaiphal, 1 small green cardamom) , salt to taste.

Preparation - Wash, peel and chop potato into small pieces. Cut onion into thin long slices.

Soak the soya granules in hot water. After 10 minutes squeeze and wash 2-3 times with fresh water.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add broken red chilli and onion pieces. Fry till translucent.

Add the whole garam masala and saute for 30 seconds. Add mint paste and cook for 2 minutes on medium flame.

Add the potato and soya granules. Fry for another 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the yogurt and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium to high flame till the mixture starts leaving oil.

Add the washed rice along with 3 1/2 cups of hot water. [ Sprinkle some chopped mint leaves if you wish ]

Close lid and cook for 2 whistles.

Allow steam to escape before opening lid.

Serve hot with papad and raita. Or just pack some for your lunchbox.

Note - Instead of using pudina paste, one can use pudina and coriander leaves in equal proportion for making the paste. Throw in 5-6 garlic flakes for added flavor.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mandira Khichudi

Khichdi or Khichudi as it is called in Orissa is a wonderful and healthy one pot meal. One can also add vegetables like beans, carrots, cauliflower and potato to it to up the nutritional content. However the version that is served at temples does not use any veggies. It is the clever use of spices and condiments that makes it super fragrant and delicious.

Preparation Time - 15-20 mins

Ingredients - 1 cup gobindobhog/sitabhog rice, 1 cup moong dal, 1 tbs cumin seeds, 2-3 bay leaves/annapurna leaves, 2-3 dry red chillis, 1 inch long ginger, 1/2 tsp asafoetida, 2-3 tsp sugar (optional), 1/3 cup raisins, 2-3 tbs ghee, 1/2 tsp turmeric.

Cooking - Heat a frying pan. Dry roast the moong dal till it gives off a faint fragrance. Remove and keep aside to cool down.

Wash the rice and moong dal. Mix in the turmeric and keep in a plate to dry a bit.

Heat 1 tsp ghee in a tadka pan. Add broken red chillis and cumin seeds. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the asafoetida and remove from flame. Keep aside.

Heat the remaining ghee in a pressure cooker. Add the rice and moong dal. Fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add 6-7 cups of boiling water. Add crushed ginger, bay leaves, raisins, salt and the contents of the tadka pan.

Close lid and cook for 3-4 whistles.

Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Stir in the sugar.

Serve with tomato khajuri khatta and sagaa bhajja on Osa bara / fasting days.

This is usually offered as a prasad to Goddess Durga on Ashtami/Navami.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vegetable-Soya Biryani

Nothing beats the comfort and warmth of a one pot meal. And biryani happens to be one of my favorite ones. Chicken, mutton, prawn, vegetable, soybeans or even kabuli chana, i enjoy all the varieties that come with this awesome dish. The Hyderbadi 'Dum' style of making biryani is the closest to my heart. And i have managed to replicate the results by using a presure cooker instead of a handi. 

One can get very close to the 'hyderabadi biryani' by half boiling the rice in a vessel and then transferring it to a pressure cooker ( with the whistle taken off ) along with the 3/4th cooked chicken for the final dish. But i always end up making it a one step process due to shortage of time. 

When we moved to Blore, my husband used to get very nostalgic about Hyderabad and that made him frequent 'Ammi's biryani'. It is the best we have had till date in Blore. and they deliver at your doorstep too. But the effects do show up on your waistline and that made him stop. 

Home made biryani allows more control over the quantity of ghee and spices used. Plus one can cook the chicken/mutton/vegetables/soya and keep it in the fridge for 4-5 days and make some mouth-watering biryani whenever desired. Vegetable biryani can provide the right balance of carbohydrates and fats along with dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This time i combined the vegetables with some soya chunks to enrich the protein content of my meal. 

Here is the recipe:

Preparation Time - 30 mins.

Ingredients - Basmati rice ( 2 1/2 cups ), milk ( 1 cup ), chopped carrot ( 1 /2 cup), chopped beans (1/2 cup), chopped onion ( 1 no, medium sized ), boiled soya granules (1 cup), green peas (1/2 cup), coriander powder ( 1 tsp ), cumin powder ( 2/3 tsp), chilli powder (1 tsp), turmeric ( 1/3 tsp), garam masala powder ( 1/6 tsp), ghee (2 tsp), oil (2 tsp), curd ( 3 tbs), ginger garlic paste ( 1 1/ 2 tsp), 1 inch cinnamon stick, 1 green cardamon, 1/2 of a mace, 1 star anise, 4-5 cloves, salt to taste.

Preparation - Take the curd, chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix together. Add the boiled soya granules, green peas and chopped vegetables. Mix and allow to marinate for 30 mins.

Cooking - Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the chopped onion and fry till translucent. Add the marinated ingredients and cook for 5-6 minutes to get rid of the raw smell and half cook the vegetables.

Put a pressure cooker on the flame. Add 1 tsp of ghee and fry the whole spices in it for 20-30 seconds. Wash the rice and add to the cooker. Pour in the milk. Add enough water to cover the rice and an extra 1 inch above it. Stir in the cooked vegetables and soya . Drizzle the remaining ghee on top and close the cooker lid.

It takes about 10-12 minutes or 1-2 whistles to cook through. Remove from flame and allow to stand for 10 mins.

Serve hot with Dahi pacchidi/phalahari raita.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Kanika is a fragrantly sweet pulao that is traditionally prepared in Orissa. It finds a place of pride among the 'chappan bhog' or 56 items that form part of Lord Jagannath's menu. Before the fried rice and biryani became popular in Orissa, it used to be served at all wedding feasts, picnics and family gatherings. It is stronger in flavor than a traditional pulao and also a little sweet. Usually prepared with arua chaula 'raw rice' ( one can find it outside Odisa by the names Ambebhog/GovindBhog ), one can replace it by any other aromatic rice ( Basmati for example ). Though these days it is usually prepared for offering as prasad, I have many a childhood memories of sampling it with some finger-licking mutton/chicken curry.

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients - Basmati rice ( 1 cup ), ghee ( 1 1/2 tsp ), raisins ( 10-12 nos), cashews ( 10-12 nos), whole spices ( 1/2 black cardamon( bada aleicha), 1 green cardamon (chotta aliecha), 1/2 inch long cinnamon ( dalchini), 2-3 cloves ( labanga), 1/4 of a mace (jaitri), 1 big bay leaf ( tejapatra) ), 1/6 tsp nutmeg powder, sugar ( 2-4 tsp ), salt to taste, 1/5 tsp turmeric.

Preparation - wash and soak rice for 1 hour. Drain all water and spread on a plate.

Sprinkle the turmeric over the moist and mix it gently with rice. Allow to dry for 1-2 hours in natural air circulation ( can also put it in the balcony but not under direct sunlight )

Cooking - Heat the ghee is a deep and thick bottomed vessel. Add the raisins and cashews. Fry till cashews swell up but do not burn them. Remove with slotted spoon and keep aside.

Add the whole spices and stir for 20 seconds. Add the dried rice and fry it gently for 3 minutes. Still better if you can gently toss it instead of stirring as with the latter one might end up with broken rice grains.

Add enough boiling water ( a little more than two cups in my case ) to cover the rice. Add salt. Allow to cook on a low to medium flame.

Stir gently at an interval of 4-5 mins. Once rice is almost done, add the sugar, nutmeg powder, cashews and raisins, and mix them gently with the rice. (Keep aside a few cashews and raisins to garnish later.)

Allow all the water to dry up. Remove from the flame.

Serve with mutton jholo or if vegetarian, go for channa dali-amba khatta.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Spinach rice

It is a lazy Friday afternoon. The sky is overcast and its very windy outside. I am curled up on the sofa with today's Sudoku. Little one's had his lunch and is now busy with his toys.

Everything seems perfect till the hunger pangs hit me. My toes curl in protest as i get down from the sofa. Damn, i curse the Banglore weather. Its turning me into a couch potato.

Nothing fancy today, just a one pot meal. My mind is made up.I make a quick trip to the Pandora's box ( my fridge as i sometimes call it). So, what evil are we going to unleash today????

As i open the door, this evil looking bunch of spinach stares at me. It looks like its cozying up to my Tupperware bowl ( it contains cooked rice ). Humm...so u guys have a thing for each other. Lets get u married i thought (no dates ?? ....no engagement?? guess i was inspired by the wedding mania that has hit the Saas-Bahusphere (aka, the telly world) in recent times).

I made this quick spinach puree ( as i always do..... if you have been reading my blog ) and popped the rice in a micro for heating.

Once they were togather, the duo looked a little sad. What is missing?? Humm....no wedding is ever complete without the baaratis (guests). Another quick trip to the Pandora's box. A rather sad looking half of a yellow pepper and a ripe juicy tomato were staring at me. I guess they were upset abt not being invited. How did i miss u guys?? In you go.

Things are looking better now. But i miss something. Ahh, its the 'Phoren touch'. Indian weddings are incomplete without foreign liquor and exotic flowers/fruits/vegetables/dancing girls. None of them fit by budget, so i decide to make do with some foreign cheese ( made in india, ofcouse ).

Last dash to the fridge. I get the Parmesan and shower some of it over my happily married couple.
Marriage over...now lets hit the food stalls. Thats what we Indians look forward to at all marriage functions.

Preparation Time : 10-15 mins

Ingredients: cooked rice ( 3 cups ), coarsely chopped spinach ( 1 cup, tightly packed), chopped onion ( 1 small ), ginger ( 1/2 inch long ), garlic flakes ( 10-12 nos ), 1 green chilli or 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, tomato ( 1 no, small, chopped ), bell pepper ( one small, chopped ), olive oil ( 2 tsp ), fresh rosemary ( 1/2 tsp), garam masala ( 1/5 tsp ), grated parmesan/plain cheese ( 3/4 cup ), salt to taste.

Preparation: Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Add the chopped onion followed by the ginger and 4-5 garlic flakes. Fry till translucent. Add spinach and fry for 5 minutes on medium flame till all the water evaporates. Remove and allow to cool down.

Grind the above into a smooth paste along with the grren chilli (if using).

Cooking: Heat a wok. Add 1 tsp oil. Throw in the garlic flakes and saute for 10-15 seconds.
Add the spinach paste and fry for 2 mins. Stir in the cooked rice and mix everything nicely.

Add the bell peppers, tomato and cheese ( add chilli flakes if using ). Mix well and cook for 3-4 mins. Sprinkle rosemary.

Remove from wok and serve hot.

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.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Muga Khichudi ( Whole green moong khichdi )

Cooking Time Required: 15-20 mins

  • 1 cup Rice
  • 1/2 cup whole moong/ split moong (with skin)
  • 1-2 dry red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp fennel ( optional )
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated/finely chopped coconut
  • 2-3 pinch cumin seeds
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 green cardamon
  • 2 cloves 
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste

Preparation: Soak the whole green moong overnight. Or if using the split variety, for 2-3 hours.

Wash the rice and moong and keep aside to drain excess water.

Cooking: Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker. Add the fennel seeds, cumin seeds,
cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, broken red chilli and bay leaf.

Fry for 30-40 secs till the fragrance of the spices fills the kitchen.

Add the washed rice and moong along with the coconut and stir fry for 3-4 mins. Pour
3-4 cups of water along with salt, turmeric and sugar.

Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.

Serve warm/cold with curd or raita . (Excellent option for lunchbox)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Soya Biryani

Cooking Time Required: 12-15 mins
Cost of Preparation: 20-25 rupees

Ingredients: Basmati Rice (1 cup), onion ( 1 small ), nutrela soya granules ( 1/3 cup ), tomato puree ( 1 tbs ), dry red chilli ( 2 nos ), biryani masala ( 1/3 tsp), cumin powder ( 1/5 tsp), coriander powder ( 1/5 tsp), salt, oil ( 1 tsp ).

Preparation: Cut the onion into small pieces and keep aside.

Cooking: Cook the rice with salt and 2 cups water in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle. One can also cook rice in a open vessel if one is not pressed for time.

Keep aside and allow to cool down completely.

At the same time boil the soya granules with a little bit of salt for 5 mins. Drain and allow to cool down. Squeeze out any remaining water.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the red chilli and onion and saute till it turns brown along the edges. Add the boiled soya and fry for 2 mins.

Add tomato puree, biryani masala, cumin powder and coriander powder. Stir fry for 2-3 mins.

Spread the cooked rice over the fried soya granules and sprinkle salt . Mix carefully without breaking the rice grains. Remove from fire after 2 mins.

Note: This is one quick and easy to make lunch box recipe. Goes well with any raita, especially the fruity ( pineapple/apple) ones.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pudina Rice with Soya Granules

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins
Cost of Preparation: 12-15 rupees

Ingredients: Rice (1 cup), Nutrela soya granules ( 1/3 cup ), onion ( 1/2 , small ), green
chilli ( 1 no ), cut mint leaves ( 2 tbs ), cut coriander leaves ( 1 tbs ), cumin seeds ( 1/6 tsp), fennel seeds ( 1/6 tsp), mustard seeds ( a pinch ), salt, oil ( 1 tsp ).

Preparation: Grind the onion along with the green chilli, coriander leaves and mint
leaves and keep aside for 15-20 mins( this will neutralize the raw onion smell).

Cooking: Cook the rice with salt and 2 cups water in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle. One can also cook rice in a open vessel if one is not pressed for time.

Keep aside and allow to cool down completely.

At the same time boil the soya granules with a little bit of salt for 5 mins. Drain and allow to cool down. Squeeze out any remaining water.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the cumin, fennel & mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.

Add the boiled soya and fry for 2-3 mins.

Add the paste and stir for 30-40 secs. Add the cooked rice. Sprinkle salt and stir for 3-4 mins. Add a few mint leaves and remove from fire.

Serve with curd and fried chicken/stir fried veggies.

Note: The low spice content & presence of mint ( pudina) makes it an ideal lunch-box
option during the hot indian summers.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mutton Biryani

Cooking Time Required: 1 hour
Cost of Preparation: 250-300 rupees
Serves: 4-5 nos.

For the marinade: Mutton (1/2 kg), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tbs ), mustard oil ( 1 tsp), sour yogurt ( 1 tbs ), dry red chillis ( 3-4 nos), salt, turmeric.

For the gravy: Onion ( 1 medium ), red chilli ( 2 nos), coriander seeds ( 1 1/2 tsp ), cumin seeds ( 1 tsp ), cardamon ( 3 nos ), cinnamon ( 1 inch long ), cloves ( 3-4 nos), tomatao ( 2 nos, medium ).

For the biryani rice: Basmati rice (1/2 kg), ghee ( 1 tbs ), bay leaf ( 1 no), star
anise ( 2-3 nos), javitri ( 1 flower), onion ( 1 medium), red chilli (2-3 nos), salt to taste.

For cooking: 5-6 tsp oil ( mix of oil and ghee is also good ), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tsp ).

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients for marination and keep aside for 2 hours.

Grind all the gravy ingredients into a fine paste.

Cut the onion into rings and keep aside.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a wok. Add the ground paste along with a bit of salt. Allow to cook for 3-4 mins. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook till the oil separates from the masala.

Add the marinated mutton and cook for 10 mins in the open vessel. Transfer to a
pressure-cooker and add 1-2 cups water along with salt. Close lid and cook for
2-3 whistles or till it is soft.

Remove from fire and keep aside.

Wash the basmati rice, drain and keep aside.

Heat another pressure cooker ( large one, 5ltr preferably). Add the ghee followed by the whole masalas and red chillis, and fry for 30 secs. Add the cooked mutton and the washed rice. Mix well.

Add 1 1/5 cups of water for every cup of rice. Sprinkle salt and the onion rings. Close lid and allow to cook for 2 whistles.

Remove from fire and allow to stand for 10 mins. Serve with ajwain raita.

Note: Tastes best when the mutton has a bit of fat in it.

Mutton Biryani

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kabuli Chana Palau ( Chickpeas Pulao )

Cooking Time Required : 20-25 mins
Cost of Preparation: 50-55 Rupees

Ingredients: Basmati rice ( 2 cups ), red chillis ( 3 nos ), onion ( 1 medium ),
chickpeas ( 1 cup ), cinnamon stick ( 2 inch long ), star anise ( 2-3 nos), javitri ( 1 flower ), cardamon ( 3-4 nos ), cloves ( 4-5 nos ), bay leaf ( 1-2 nos ), ghee ( 3 tsp ), salt .

Preparation: wash the rice and drain away all the water. Spread on a plate and allow to dry natuarally ( or under a fan ) for 30 mins.

Cut the Onion into thin pieces.

Cooking: Boil the soaked chick peas for 2 whistles and keep aside to cool. Drain away the water.

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. Add the onion and saute till translucent. Add red chillis and whole spices at this stage. Saute for 30 secs.

Add the washed and dried rice. Stir fry for 2- mins. Add the boiled chick peas and stir fry for 1 min.

Add 2 1/2 cups of water. Close the lid and cook for 10 mins.

Allow steam to escape, open the lid and keep aside for 5-6 mins ( this will prevent the rice from breaking when it is very hot ).

Serve with raita and a vegetarian side dish.

Note: This can also be preapared without onion. One can add a few coriander stems instead.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Corn-Peas pulao with Fried chicken and Apple raita

Cooking Time Required: 30-40 mins
Cost of Preparation: 150-160 rupees
Serves : 2

For the Corn-Peas pulao:

Ingredients: Basmati rice ( 2 cups ), corn ( 1/2 cup ), green peas ( 1/2 cup ), coriander stems ( cut into small pieces, 1 tsp ), jeera ( 1/2 tsp, optional ), jeera-lanka ( roasted cumin-chilli ) powder ( 1/2 tsp ), chilli powder ( 1/3 tsp ), star anise ( 2-3 nos), javitri ( 1-2 flowers ), ghee ( 1-2 tbs ), salt.

Cooking: Boil the basmati rice using sufficient water ( 4-5 times the quantity of rice ) in a open vessel. Add salt, star anise, javitri and 1 tsp ghee to the water.

Cook the rice for 10-12 mins or till it is almost done. Strain all the water and keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a wok/pan . Add the jeera, followed by the coriander stems, green peas and corn with a pinch of salt. Stir fry for 2 mins.

Now add the jeera-lanka powder and red chilli powder. Add the strained rice after 30 secs.

Mix well. Add more salt if desired.

Keep covered for 2-3 mins.

For the Fried Chicken:

Ingredients: Chicken legs ( 2 nos ), lemon juice ( 1 tsp ), thick curd ( 1 tsp ), chicken tandoori masala ( 2/3 tsp ), coriander powder ( 1/2 tsp ), cumin powder ( 1/2 tsp ), chilli powder ( 1/3 tsp ), ginger garlic paste ( 1/2 tsp ), turmeric ( 1 pinch ), onion ( 1 no., small ), garam masala ( 1/4 tsp , optional ), salt, oil ( 3-4 tsp ).

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients into a thick paste except for the chicken legs, onion and oil.

Make small cuts/slits into the chicken legs . Rub the paste all over and keep in the fridge to marinate for 5-6 hours ( 1-2 hrs will also suffice if you do not have time ) .

Grate the onion and keep aside.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a wok. Add the onion paste and fry till it turns brown. Add the marinated chicken.

Stir for 2-3 mins and add a little it of water. Cover with a lid for 5 mins.

Uncover and stir fry till the chicken is done. Remove and keep on a bloting paper to absorb excess oil.

For the Apple Raita :

Ingredients: Apple ( 1 no. ), yogurt/curd ( 5-6 tbs ), jeera-lanka powder ( 1/3 tsp ), roasted coriander powder ( 1/5 tsp ), sugar ( 1 tsp ), salt.

Preparation: Beat the yougurt with salt, sugar , coriander powder and jeera lanka powder, Add water to get desired consistency.

Cut the apple into small pieces . Add to the yogurt and mix well.

Serve with the corn-peas pulao.

Featured Post

Green Papaya Laddoos (SugarFree recipe)

Mom is undoubtedly the dessert specialist at home. God forbid, if she takes to blogging, she could give a lot of folks a run for their mone...