Rajma pulav

Rajma pulav is the ultimate one-pot comfort food for the six year old who can eat rajma any number of times in a week.  This was an accidental recipe. I was trying to do half a dozen different things one evening and ran out of time to wash the pot I normally use to cook rice. I ended up sauteing the rice in a frying pan and then throwing it all into the pot of rajma I was making. The result got a huge thumbs up from the rajma fan and is now a regular feature on the list of ‘things I want to eat this week’.

I love serendipitous recipes! Don’t you?

Rajma pulav

Ingredients:

400 grams of rajma (kidney beans), soaked and lightly pressure cooked

1 large onion, chopped fine

2 large tomatoes, blanched and pureed

1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste

2 tablespoons yoghurt

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

2-3 cloves

1″ cinnamon

1 star anise

4-5 peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon amchur powder or chaat masala (optional)

salt to taste

1 1/4 cup rice, washed and drained

1 tablespoon ghee

2-3 tablespoons oil

a tablespoon mint leaves, chopped

chopped coriander, to garnish

Method:

  1. In a preheated pan, add the ghee. Then add the whole spices – cumin, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and peppercorns. Saute briefly and then add the washed and drained rice. Saute until the rice is fragrant for about 4-5 minutes. Take off the heat and keep aside.
  2. In a deep pan, heat the oil. Add the chopped onion and saute till pink. Then add the ginger- garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, chilli powder and cumin-coriander powder and amchur powder (if using). Mix well.
  3. Add the partly cooked rajma. Add the tomato puree, salt and cook for a few minutes. Now add the rice and mix well.
  4. Add enough water to cover the rice-rajma mixture. Stir in the yoghurt and add the mint leaves.
  5. Cover and cook until the rice is done.
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
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Quick cooker dal (oil free)

This recipe is courtesy of a friend and former neighbour who had introduced me to the wonders of oil free cooking. I must confess this one is all I retained in my memory. I found it hard to believe that a dal cooked without a tadka would be worth committing to memory, let alone making every week. This recipe, however, proved me wrong and it now makes a frequent appearance on the menu.

Give it a go – it makes for a light, healthy and delicious addition to your evening meal.

Quick cooker dal (zero oil)

Ingredients:

3 fistfuls of whole moong (I use a fistful per person)

1/4 + 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin-coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon amchur powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 tomato chopped

2-3 tablespoons, crispy onions (or 1/2 an onion, finely chopped)

salt to taste

1 tablespoon chopped coriander

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Method:

  1. In a pressure cooker, add the moong with about 600 mils of water with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and the asafoetida. Cook for about 10-12 minutes. After 2-3 whistles take off the heat.
  2. When the cooker is cool enough to open, add all the dry spices (turmeric, chilli powder, cumin-coriander, amchur and garlic powder). Add the salt and mix well.
  3. Next add the chopped tomato, onions, grated ginger and lemon juice. Mix well.
  4. Garnish with coriander leaves just before serving.
  5. Serve hot with rice or chapatis.
Posted in A-Z 2018, Quick Weeknight Recipes, stews, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Potatoes for Puri-bhaaji

Potatoes made this way have always been our favourite side dish with puris and shrikhand, and still is. This is part of a classic Maharashtrian lunch. As anyone who has grown up in India will testify, variations of the puri-bhaaji combination are dotted all over the Indian sub continent. This is also perfect travel food, if you prefer to rely on a home-cooked meal that can withstand long hours of travel.

The potato bhaji is simple to rustle up and is one that the little man loves too. I tend to serve it with chapatis for a weeknight meal. It’s best to leave the puris for a weekend when the husband is around to help fry them.  There are no free meals around here!

Puri-bhaji chi bhaji

 

Ingredients

500 gms potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed (about 5-6 potatoes)

2-3 tablespoons oil

a pinch of asafoetida

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon garlic, chopped fine

1 green chilly, slit lengthwise

8-10 curry leaves

3/4 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste

Chopped coriander leaves, for the garnish

Method

  1. Heat oil on a high flame. Throw in the mustard and wait till it splutters. Add hing (asafoetida), garlic, curry leaves and the chopped green chilli.
  2. Once the chilli sizzles, add in the potato cubes. Add the turmeric and salt.
  3. Mix well until the oil and turmeric coat the potato cubes.
  4. On a high flame, stir gently, for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Turn off gas and let rest for 10 -15 minutes so that the potatoes can absorb all the flavours.
  6. Sprinkle with coriander leaves before serving.

Serve hot with chapatis (or puris, if you have the inclination).

Note:

If the potatoes are too floury, you may need an extra tablespoon or so of oil so that they don’t turn to mush.

Posted in A-Z 2018, Batate (Many ways to cook potatoes), Potatoes, Quick Weeknight Recipes, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Okra Pachadi

The words crunchy, indulgent and more-ish are rarely associated with weeknight meals but every one of these can be used to describe this okra pachadi. Add a few notches of excitement to a mid week dinner and serve these crispy okra bites in spiced yoghurt with plain and simple steamed rice.

Traditionally, the okra are fried but this recipe uses the oven to save time and turn out an oven baked version. All credit to my sister in law for introducing me to this awesome pachadi and for sharing her family recipe.

Okra pachadi

Ingredients for the okra:

350 grams okra, washed, dried and cut into small pieces

2-3 tablespoons oil

salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin-coriander powder

a pinch of turmeric

Ingredients for the spiced yoghurt:

1 cup yoghurt

salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon cumin coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon chaat masala*

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 220 C for 10 minutes.
  2. Cover an oven proof tray with parchment paper. In a bowl, add the oil, salt, chilli powder, turmeric and cumin-coriander powder. Add the okra pieces and mix till the okra is covered with the marinade.
  3. Pop the okra into the oven until crispy (about 15- 20 minutes at 220 C).
  4. In the meanwhile, add the salt, cumin -coriander powder and chaat masala to the yoghurt.
  5. Mix the crispy okra into the yoghurt and serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. Chaat masala is a popular spice mix in India and is easily available in most grocery stores selling Indian spices.

 

 

Posted in A-Z 2018, Quick Weeknight Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nachni and rava pole

Nachni (finger millets) and rava (semolina) pole are very similar to uthappams except for the fact that they do not use a rice-lentils base. They make for a quick meal without the hassle of soaking and fermenting the rice-lentils batter that you need for uthappams.

They also make for an excellent addition to a brunch menu.

Ingredients:

1 cup nachni flour

1/2 cup semolina

1/2 cup yoghurt

1 1/2 cup water

1 onion, chopped fine

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted (optional)

5-6 curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 a green chilli, finely chopped (optional)

salt to taste

3-4 tablespoons oil

Nachni-rava pole

Method:

  1. Mix the nachni and semolina. Add the salt and pepper and mix well so it’s evenly distributed.
  2. Add the yoghurt and mix into the dry ingredients. Add the water gradually until you have a batter the consistency of pole (pancake) batter.
  3. Add the chopped onion to the batter and mix well.
  4. In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the cumin seeds, curry leaves. When the cumin seeds splutter, add the ginger and the green chilli (if you are using it) and saute for 2 mins. Add this to the pole batter.
  5. Heat a pan and smear with some oil. Add a pinch of sesame seeds and drop a ladleful of the pole batter. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes. Flip and cook the other side until done.
  6. Serve hot with ketchup or some green chutney.

This makes 6-10 pole or pancakes depending on the size you choose.

Posted in A-Z 2018, Quick Weeknight Recipes, Savoury snacks, Teatime snacks or Brunch ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mushroom soup

Mushrooms are top on the list of divisive foods in our household and the battle lines are very clearly drawn. The little man and I can have mushrooms intravenously whereas the better half would much rather be clubbed on the head than have to eat these fungi.

I was delighted when the six year old asked for mushroom soup for dinner and ‘with some pieces left in’, please.

So here’s the dairy free version of mushroom soup I make. It has only a handful of ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to get to the table.

You can leave out the butter if you prefer a vegan version.

Ingredients:

250 grams mushrooms, chopped

2 large shallots, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil (I used one infused with rosemary and garlic)

1 tablespoon butter

1 hearty tablespoon, chopped garlic

salt to taste

750 mls water

Mushroom soup

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil and saute the garlic for a couple of minutes. Then add the shallots and saute till lightly caramelised.
  2. Add the butter and then the chopped mushrooms. Saute for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the pepper and salt. Add the water and simmer for about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Reserve 1/2 a cup of the broth along with the mushrooms and onions. Blitz the rest in a blender.
  5. Pour the blended soup back into the pot with the reserved mushroom and onion pieces. Mix well.
  6. Ladle into soup dishes and serve hot.
  7. For a pop of colour, I serve with some avo toast on the side.

 

Posted in A-Z 2018, Soups | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lentil soup

Lemony lentil soup is one of my must order dishes at a Turkish or Anatolian restaurant. The creamy lentils with a hint of spices and herbs and a generous kick of lemon juice are a wonderful way to start the meal. Sometimes this soup can be a satisfying meal in itself, served with some pita bread.

This is my version of lentil soup, inspired by many visits to a handful of restaurants, but using ingredients I had in the store cupboard.

It’s my dinner equivalent of camomile tea – calming, refreshing and nourishing. A perfect antidote to a particularly busy and chaotic workday.

Ingredients:

3 fistfuls of red lentils (masoor dal) – I use a handful per person

1 medium carrot, roughly chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium potato, chopped

1 red pepper, diced

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 tablespoon of garlic

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin-coriander powder

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 bouillon cube

salt to taste

750 mls water (approx.)

1 sprig mint leaves (optional)

a few slices of lemon

2 tablespoon chopped coriander (optional)

Lentil soup

Method:

  1. In a pressure cooker, heat the oil. Add the chopped onion and garlic and saute until the onion is pink.
  2. Next add the chopped carrots, pepper, potato, celery, tomato and saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the paprika and cumin-coriander powder. Mix well.
  4. Add the lentils and 750 mils of water and turn up the heat.
  5. Now add the bouillon cube and the mint leaves, if using them.
  6. Pressure cooker for 2 whistles. Turn off the heat.
  7. Once the cooker cools, open the lid, add the salt and tomato paste while the soup is still hot. Simmer on medium heat for 3-4 minutes and until the soup is as thick as you like it.
  8. Ladle into bowls. Add a squeeze of lemon and some more cumin-coriander powder, if required.
  9. Garnish with chopped coriander and a couple of slices of lemon.
  10. Serve hot.
Posted in A-Z 2018, One Pot Meals, Soups, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kokum amti with steamed rice

Kokum is a sour fruit belonging to the mangosteen family. It is native to the Western Ghats region of India and is widely used in Maharashtrian and Konkan cuisines. The combination of kokum, garlic, cumin and chilli powder give this amti its distinctive taste that is quite unlike other coconut based curries.

My favourite way to eat this kokum amti is with steamed rice and crispy potatoes, just the way Aji (my grandmother) used to serve it.

This recipe has a very special place in my heart. When I was new to cooking, Aji would often include recipes in the letters she would write me. I have preserved these hand written letters ever so carefully along with the fond memories of this amti.

Aji’s recipe for Kokum amti

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup grated coconut

2-3 pods garlic

1/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds

4-5 peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon Chilli powder

Salt to taste

2 pieces of Kokum

1/4 teaspoon rice flour

1 tablespoon oil

Kokum amti

Method:

  1. Blend together the grated coconut, garlic pods, peppercorns, chilli powder and salt until you have a smooth and velvety paste. Keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep pan. Add the asafoetida and cumin seeds. Saute till cumin seeds splutter.
  3. Now add the paste of coconut and spices and saute on medium heat until it changes colour to turn a mild pink.
  4. Turn down the heat and add the rice flour. Add the coconut milk and stir to avoid lumps. Simmer on medium heat until it reaches a rolling boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Turn down the heat. Add the kokum and stir briefly. Take the pan off the heat and let the kokum soak in the coconut curry for at least an hour or so.
  6. Heat on a mild flame and serve with steamed rice and crispy potatoes or a spicy prawn pickle.

Notes:

  1. I have modified Aji’s recipe slightly. Instead of blending the cumin seeds with the cocounut, I like to saute them lightly.
  2. I also use rice flour instead of chickpea flour as I am allergic to besan (chickpea flour).
Posted in A-Z 2018, Curries (Kaalvan, varan, sambhare etc.), Quick Weeknight Recipes, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Jardaloo chicken

Apricot chicken makes for a change from the usual chicken curries. It is an unusual combination and the sweetness of the apricots balances the spices beautifully.

It’s one of the little one’s favourite chicken curries and served with steamed rice makes weeknight dinners a simple affair.

Jardaloo chicken

Ingredients:

250 – 300 grams boneless chicken

1 big onion, finely chopped

a handful of coriander, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon, turmeric

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon Pathare Prabhu sambhar masala*

6-8 jardaloo (apricots), deseeded

salt to taste

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste

Method:

  1. Marinade the chicken with salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, Pathare Prabhu sambhar and ginger garlic paste. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
  2. In the meanwhile, in a flat bottom pan, add the oil, finely chopped onion and coriander. Crush with your fingers until you have a coarse paste. This should take about 10 minutes.
  3. Put the pan on medium high heat. Add the marinaded chicken pieces and mix so that they are covered with the onion-coriander paste.
  4. Add 1/2 cup water, put the lid on and cook till the chicken is almost cooked.
  5. Add the jardaloo (apricots) and simmer till done. Make sure that the apricots do not turn to mush.
  6. Serve hot with steamed rice.

 

Note:

  1. This serves two.
  2. If you don’t have the Pathare Prabhu sambhar, use the rest of the spices and do not substitute with cumin-coriander powder for this recipe.
Posted in A-Z 2018, Chicken, curries, Gravy dishes, Meat and Poultry, Quick Weeknight Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hummus and carrot sandwiches

Hummus and grated carrots might sound like a strange sandwich filling. I discovered this combination while exploring a newly opened cafe near work. They had peri peri hummus and carrots in some delicious brown bread. This is the inspiration for this ‘no recipe’ post. I, however, am partial to sourdough and that’s what I have used here.

It makes for a light and health dinner, served with some soup or a salad and dinner can be on the table in under 15 minutes.

It also makes a handy travel snack and it’s been a life saver on quite a few flights when the 6 year old turned up his nose at the kids’ meal.

Ingredients:

150 grams hummus

2-3 teaspoons of peri peri spice powder or 1-2 teaspoon of peri peri sauce (depending on how spicy it is)

4-6 slices of sourdough

2 tablespoons of salted butter (optional)

1 large carrot, finely grated (approx 1 cup)

salt to taste

 

Method:

  1. Lightly butter the slices of bread.
  2. Mix the carrot, hummus and the peri peri powder or sauce. Add salt, if required.
  3. Spread the desired quantity of the carrot-hummus mix on a slice of bread and top with another slice of bread.
  4. Serve with soup or salad for a light and delicious evening meal.

Notes:

  1. Do not toast these sandwiches. It results in an unbelievable mess.
  2. Baguettes are also a great alternative to the bread.
  3. For a vegan version, omit the butter or use an olive oil spread.
Posted in A-Z 2018, Quick Weeknight Recipes, Savoury snacks, Teatime snacks or Brunch ideas, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Pepper boats with mince

Green Pepper Boats are a carb-light version of a Shepherd’s pie.  This does need some planning and prior preparation if you are planning to make it for a weeknight supper and from scratch. It’s quick to assemble once you have all the ingredients sorted.

The notes section of the recipe provides some tips on prior preparation.

In this version I have used chicken mince and Indian spices as a twist on the original recipe.

 

Ingredients for the minced Chicken:

400 grams minced chicken

3 tablespoons oil

3 medium onions, finely diced

1-2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/4 teaspoon ginger garlic paste

1 cup peas

1 tablespoon biryani spice mix

½ teaspoon chaat masala

salt to taste

Ingredients for the potato mash:

1 tbsp salted butter

3 potatoes, boiled and peeled

½ teaspoon chilli powder

salt to taste

Ingredients for the peppers:

4 green peppers, halved and deseeded

1 tablespoon oil

½ teaspoon cumin powder

½ teaspoon chilli powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Salt to taste

Green peppers with mince and mashed potatoes

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C for about 10 minutes. Arrange the peppers on a baking tray.
  2. In the meanwhile, in a bowl, add 1 tbsp of the oil, cumin, ½ teaspoon chilli and garlic powders. Add salt. Mix well and brush this mix over the cut peppers.
  3. Bake or grill for about 25-30 minutes. (This can be done a few hours in advance or even the previous evening.)
  4. In a pressure cooker, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add the chopped onions and saute until pink. Add the ginger-garlic paste and continue sautéing. Now add the tomato paste, peas and the biryani spice mix. Mix well.
  5. Add the chicken mince to the pressure cooker and mix well so that it is coated with the onion-tomato-spices mix.
  6. Add 1 cup of water and pressure cook for about 5 minutes. After the first whistle, turn off the heat and let the pressure cook cool down.
  7. In the meanwhile, mash the boiled potatoes and add salt, ½ teaspoon chilli powder and 1 tbsp butter. Mix well and keep aside.
  8. Once the cooker has cooled, check if the water has evaporated. If there is still some left over, saute on high heat, stirring constantly until there is no more water left. Taste and add some chaat masala, at this stage, if required.
  9. Take off the heat and start assembling the green pepper boats.
  10. Spoon the chicken mince into the peppers. Top with some mashed potato. Add some grated cheese, if you prefer.
  11. Preheat the oven on 200 degrees C for about 7-10 minutes. Place the tray of stuffed peppers in to the oven until the potatoes are lightly browned or the cheese is melted.
  12. Serve hot.

Notes:

  1. Advance prep can include grilling or baking the marinaded peppers as well as cooking the mince. Both can be done a day in advance.
  2.  You can also make a vegetarian version using potatoes. See the image, below.
  3. I used 2 green peppers, halved, and 3 boiled potaoes. I sauteed the potatoes and a handful of peas with cumin, chilli powder, salt  and chaat masala. These ingredients are separate from the quantities listed above.

Green pepper boats with potatoes

Posted in A-Z 2018, Chicken, One Pot Meals | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fish Patiya

You may well be familiar with a dish called Fish Patiya but there are numerous versions of this tangy and tomato-ey fish curry and this is the one I’ve grown up eating.

Every Saturday my dad and my ajoba would go to the fish market to stock up on fish for the week. With all the cleaning and gutting involved, lunch would be a simple affair with rice, curry and fried fish or fried prawns. The more involved preparations and any curried versions of fish and prawns were reserved for later in the week.

My sister and I looked forward to this one in particular, served with a plain dal and steamed rice so that the rich flavours could be savoured.

As you may know by now, I temper the spices down quite a bit for our little man. Feel free to turn up the volume on the chilli powder and turmeric. Just don’t forget the vinegar. It gives this dish its distinctive taster.

I hope this becomes as regular on your menu as it is on our weeknight meal plan.

Bon appetit!

 

Ingredients:

250 grams cod fish or any other white fish, cut into large chunks

2 large onions, finely chopped

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

10-12 curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 tablespoon vinegar

salt to taste

1 tablespoon coriander, chopped

 

 

Fish patiya

Method:

  1. Heat the oil. Add the curry leaves and saute until the oil is fragrant.
  2. Add the onions and tomatoes and fry till  the oil separates.
  3. Add the fish, salt, dry spices and the vinegar.  Mix well.
  4. Add enough water to cover the fish. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes or so or until fish is cooked.
  5. Add the chopped coriander, stir and take it off the heat.
  6. Serve with steamed rice and plain dal.

Notes:

  1. I use white wine vinegar although malt vinegar is fine too. You might want to taste the final dish and add more vinegar, if you prefer. You want a tang without the vinegar overpowering the taste.
  2. If you prefer a spicier version, add more of the chilli powder. Do not add green chillies.
Posted in A-Z 2018, Fish, Gravy dishes, Quick Weeknight Recipes, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eggs over tomatoes

Eggs over tomatoes is a versatile dish that can be turned into brunch or dinner. This, again, is my ‘one pan’ adaptation of the much fancier version that mum used to serve us. Think of it as an Indian version of Shakshuka or simply a deconstructed masala omlette gone crazy.

The tangy tomato-onion-garlic mixture adds depth to the eggs and makes for a super quick dinner, served with toast or even some hot parathas to mop up the juices.

Mum used to crush some potato crisps over the top, just before serving, for an added crunch. I do too, if we have any handy.

Eggs over tomatoes

Ingredients:

3 eggs

2 large onions, finely chopped

3 large tomatoes

1 tablespoon garlic

1 teaspoon ginger (optional)

2-3 tablespoons salted butter

1/2 a teaspoon turmeric

1/2 a teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 a teaspoon cumin-coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon chaat masala

1 tablespoon coriander leaves, finely chopped

salt to taste

Method:

  1. Heat a large pan. Add the butter. When it melts, add the garlic and saute for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the onions and saute till light brown.
  3. Now add the tomatoes. Saute for another 2-3 minutes and add the ginger. Cover and cook till soft.
  4. Now add all the dry spices and salt. Mix well.
  5. Make 3 wells in the masala and crack an egg in each.
  6. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, till the eggs are done.
  7. Uncover, garnish with coriander and serve hot over a paratha or a slice of toast.

 

Posted in A-Z 2018, Quick Weeknight Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dhaansaak

Dhansaak is one of the flag bearers of Parsi cuisine. Traditionally, it is a one pot dish of lentils, meat and vegetables served with brown rice (caramelised rice).  This, however, is my quick and vegetarian adaptation of the popular Parsi dish.

It makes for a great weeknight meal and if you use a pressure cooker, dinner can be on the table in under 40 minutes despite all the chopping and blending.

If you struggle with getting your kids to eat veggies, you will love Dhansaak for the no fuss way in which you can hide the melange of vegetables that find their way into it.

I normally serve it with steamed rice on weekdays but if you have the time and inclination, caramelised brown rice is the best accompaniment.

Ingredients:

1 large onion

2 medium tomatoes

2-3 fistfuls of red lentils (masoor dal) *

2 cups of mixed veggies – aubergine, red pumpkin, potatoes

a handful of spinach

1/8 cup fenugreek leaves

2 tablespoons dhansaak masala

1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste

salt to taste

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon ghee (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the onions and saute till light brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook till soft.
  3. Now add the ginger-garlic paste, dhansaak masala and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the veggies, spinach, fenugreek leaves and the lentils. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles. Turn the heat down and let cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Once the pressure cooker has cooled down, add salt.
  6. Mash or blend the veggies and lentils.
  7. Add a tablespoon of ghee (optional).
  8. Serve hot over steamed rice or brown rice.

 

Note:

Apologies for the lack of a photograph of the final dish. I’m away on hols and am unable to upload the image until next week.

 

Posted in A-Z 2018 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cauliflower bhaat

Cauliflower bhaat or cauliflower khichadi was what mum would make when we returned home after a tiring day out. You and I would probably order a takeaway meal but mum used to roll up her sleeves and prepare this cauliflower rice, promising that dinner would be ready in a jiffy. While that claim is absolutely true, this meal is also a throwback to a time when the takeaway as an option didn’t really exist and eating out was mainly to celebrate special occasions.

I must admit that at the end of the day we did enjoy eating a hot and wholesome homemade dinner – it was usually accompanied by prawn pickle or crispy papad and some cool dahi raita(tomatoes and cucumber in yoghurt).

I now find that I often channel my mum and dish up cauliflower rice on weekdays when I’m short of time. It’s still as satisfying, in every way possible.

Ingredients:

1 cup Basmati (or any other long grained rice)

2 baby cauliflowers, cut into florets (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup green peas

1 tbsp ghee

1/2 tbsp oil

2 large onions – cut horizontally into thick slices

4-5 cloves

1 inch stick cinnamon

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp Pathare Prabhu sambhar masala*

salt to taste

Cauliflower bhaat

Method:

  1. Wash and drain the rice. Set aside for 10 mins.
  2. Heat oil, add cloves & cinnamon. Saute till fragrant.
  3. Add the onions & fry till lightly pink.
  4. Now add the cauliflower, peas, salt, turmeric, chilli powder and Pathare Prabhu sambhar masala*. Sprinkle a little water. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. In the mean time, heat the ghee in another pan & saute the rice for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Now add the rice to the pan with cauliflower and peas. Add water and cook till done.
  7. Serve hot with some tomato-cucumber raita on the side.

Notes:

  1. Pathare Prabhu sambhar masala* is a spice blend unique to the Pathare Prabhu community. It is similar to a garam-masala blend but the ingredients are different. If you don’t have access to this masala, you can use cumin-coriander powder (dhania-jeera powder) or omit it altogether.
  2. If you are in a hurry, you can omit step 5. However, you will need to make sure that you add just enough water to your rice so that it doesn’t turn to much. What you want are rice grains that are well cooked but can be fluffed with a fork.
  3. To make a vegan version, simply omit the ghee and saute the rice in a little oil.
  4. You can also add prawns to this dish. Marinade the prawns in lemon, tumeric, chilli powder and salt. Add these after step 4, when the cauliflower and peas have been cooked for a few minutes.
Posted in A-Z 2018, One Pot Meals, Quick Weeknight Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments