Recipes: Spinach Rice

I love one pot meals. The chance to have a complete meal without getting many dishes and pots and pans dirty is great! The children love spinach and have been asking me to make spinach rice for a while now. So I decided to make it last week. This is slightly different from the way I usually make it, so thought to document it here.

Spinach Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 4-5 pods of garlic
  • 1-1.5 inch ginger
  • 1 large or 2 medium-sized onions
  • 1 medium-sized green capsicum
  • 4-6 green chillies (depending on the size and your spice tolerance)
  • 1 bunch of coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4-5 cardamom pods
  • 4-5 pieces of clove
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 2-3 cashew nuts
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Wash the spinach thoroughly and keep aside.
  • Wash the basmati rice well, soak it in water for 20-30 minutes and then drain and keep aside.
  • In a dry skillet, dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon till they are done and emit and nice aroma. Keep aside to cool.
  • Soak the cashew nuts in warm water or milk for 10 minutes to soften it up.
  • Chop the onion, green capsicum, green chillies, ginger and garlic and keep aside.
  • In a blender blend everything – the spinach, green capsicum, green chillies, coriander, onion, ginger, garlic, cashew nuts and spices to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan with the ghee and when the ghee warms up, add the bay leaf and stir for a couple of seconds.
  • Then add the spinach paste and stir well. Season with salt and let it cook well, making sure it is still a vibrant green colour.
  • Take the washed and drained rice and add to this paste. Transfer to a rice cooker and cook with 3/4 cup (or as you need for your rice) of water. Once cooked, let it sit for a while before you take it out of the cooker.
  • Serve hot with some crisps and a raita of your choice.

Notes:

  • If you are cooking in your stovetop when you add the rice to the spinach paste, let it mix for a minute, then add the water and any seasoning you want and cook covered on a low to medium flame till done. Let it sit for a while before opening the cover.
  • You can also make the paste in advance and store it in the fridge or freeze it. When you want to make the rice the next day, just add it to the rice in the rice cooker or on the stovetop and continue as above.
  • I didn’t have any coriander with me but had Green Chutney at home. So I substituted coriander with a couple of tbsps of this Chutney.

Advertisements

Recipe: White Pumpkin Rasavangi

The word Rasavangi is very evocative and exotic, isn’t it? In Marathi (or rather the Bambaiya Hindi which is spoken in Mumbai), Vangi means Brinjal or Aubergine. And Rasa in most Indian languages brings to mind a gravy. So I always thought Rasavangi is brinjal cooked in gravy. It was only recently I learnt that it is, in fact, a South Indian term and most probably used by the Brahmins. All this time, I used to call this dish a Pumpkin Sambhar. Anyway, here’s the Rasavangi I made recently.

White Pumpkin Rasavangi

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small pieces after discarding the seeds and fibre
  • 1 lemons sized ball of tamarind, soaked in hot water for 20-30 minutes, then squeezed so the fibres are removed and the tamarind water separated
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 2-3 tbsp chana dal

To be ground into a paste:

  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 6-8 dried red chillies
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 2 tbsp oil

To Temper:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp broken urad dal
  • 5-6 curry leaves

Method:

  • Cook the toor and chana dal until they lose their shape. Whisk them well till it becomes a homogeneous mixture. Keep aside
  • In a pan, take 2 tbsp oil and when the oil warms, add the dried red chillies, coriander seeds and chana dal and stir until they start becoming red. Then add the coconut and keep stirring till the coconut becomes reddish brown and loses all moisture and becomes completely dry. Keep aside to cool.
  • When cool, blend to a fine powder. If your blender can’t do this, you can also add water and blend it to a fine paste.
  • In the same pan, put the chopped pumpkin and turmeric powder with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and ensure it does not burn. You can also add a bit of salt here so the pumpkin is not bland.
  • Cook the pumpkin till it becomes tender. At this point add the tamarind water and boil until the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
  • Now add the cooked dals and the ground paste and check for seasoning. When the Rasavangi starts to boil again, remove from the flame.
  • Take a smaller skillet and pour in the remaining 1 tbsp oil. When the oil heats up, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the urad dal and let it brown slightly. Add the curry leaves and switch off the flame. Pour this seasoning over the Rasavangi.
  • Serve hot as a gravy with rice or even as an accompaniment to a traditional South Indian meal. If serving as an accompaniment, make it thicker than usual. This can also be eaten with Indian flatbreads.

 

Recipe: Dum Paneer Kali Mirch

A couple of weeks back, I was searching for recipes to make when I chanced upon this recipe in NDTV food which was a pure paneer recipe. It intrigued me enough that I decided to make it, after making some changes to it based on what I had at home. It was super delicious and it’s a definite keeper at home.

This recipe cooks on dum in the last stage which essentially means cooking it in its own steam and not let the steam escape. I have cooked something on dum on a stovetop for the first time and it was achievement unlocked for me with this recipe!

Dum Paneer Kali Mirch

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups paneer, chopped into biggish chunks
  • 2-3 pieces of clove
  • 2-3 pieces of cardamom pods
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic pods
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 4 green chillies (use a lesser number if you are using the smaller green chillies as they tend to be spicier)
  • 10 pieces of cashew nuts soaked in warm milk for 20 mins and then blended to a smooth paste
  • 1 small cup of beaten yoghurt
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper (to garnish)
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the onions and on fry them on a medium to low flame. We need to brown the onions, but not burn it, so you need to keep stirring. When nice and brown, cool it, blend into a fine paste and keep aside.
  • Grind the ginger, garlic and green chillies to a fine paste and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add the remaining oil and fry the dry whole spices – cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and let them fry till the oil becomes fragrant.
  • Now add the browned onion paste and let it fry for around 5 minutes till the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.
  • At this point, add the ginger-garlic-chilli paste and saute for a few minutes.
  • After this, add the cashew paste and let it cook for a few minutes.
  • Next, add the beaten yoghurt and the dry spices – turmeric powder, chilli powder, pepper powder and garam masala and let it cook.
  • Add some water to bring it to the consistency you want and let it come to a rolling boil.
  • Add the paneer/cottage cheese and salt and any extra water should you need.
  • Now you need to cook it in dum. What it means is that you cook it in its own juice with no steam being able to escape. You seal the pan with aluminium foil and then cover it with the lid of the pan and let it cook on a low flame for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the foil, garnish with coriander seeds and cracked pepper and serve hot with any rice dish or even Indian flatbreads. I served this with a simple pulao.

Simply delicious!!

Recipes: Thalagam Kozambu

Earlier this week was the festival of Thiruvathirai which is mostly celebrated in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. I decided, for the first time, to make this dish which is only made for this festival.

This dish is a traditional dish of the brahmins who come from the Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu (of which I am also a part of from my parents) and is something I’ve always grown up with, but never actually made.

It is traditionally eaten with a sweet rice dish called kali, but I decided to pair with Ven Pongal. I also didn’t have all the vegetables traditionally used for this dish, so I improvised!

Talaga Kozambu

Ingredients:

  • 1 small lime-sized ball of tamarind, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and the juice squeezed out
  • 1 carrot, chopped into big pieces
  • 1 radish, chopped into big pieces
  • 2 large potatoes, chopped into big pieces
  • 2 raw bananas, chopped into large pieces
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

To be ground into a paste

  • 6 dried red chillies
  • 2 tsp toor dal
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp oil

To temper

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek/methi seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder

Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan and put in the red chillies, toor dal and sesame seeds and stir.
  • When the dal turns light brown, add the grated coconut and continuously stir until the coconut is crisp and brown. Ensure the coconut does not burn.
  • Let it cool completely and blend this into a fine paste with water.
  • Wash the vegetables and put them in the same pan. Add just enough water to cover and then the turmeric powder and some salt. Cover and cook until the vegetables are half cooked.
  • When the vegetables are half cooked, pour in the tamarind juice and cover and cook for approximately 5 minutes or till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
  • Next, add the blended masala and stir well. Check and add salt if needed. Remove from the flame around five minutes after it comes to a rolling boil.
  • In a smaller pan, heat the ghee and put in the mustard seeds, fenugreek/methi seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. When the curry leaves become crisp, remove from the flame and pour over the Kozambu.
  • Enjoy with any rice of your choice through the traditional accompaniment is kali

Notes

The traditional vegetables used are raw banana, ash gourd, yellow/orange pumpkin, yam, brinjal/aubergine, broad beans, sweet potato, potatoes, radish, etc.

Recipes: Suran Matar

So after we made the Eriseri, we still had around half a yam and was wondering what to do with it when R suggested a dish they make in their village. R comes from a village in the northern part of India and this recipe is an earthy, rustic one.

Suran Matar

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup elephants foot or yam, peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces and kept aside
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp oil + oil to deep fry
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Heat the oil to deep fry in a deep bottomed pan and when hot, fry the cubed yam pieces until they are crisp. Keep aside on kitchen paper.
  • In another pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and fry the cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, onions and tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes soften and turn mushy. Keep aside to cool and then blend to a fine paste.
  • In the same pan, heat the balance oil and pour the onion tomato paste and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add all the dry spices – red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the peas and cook till the peas are almost cooked.
  • Now add the fried yam and season with salt. Add any other seasoning if you need it.
  • Let it cook for another 5 minutes. You can add water at this point to thin it to the consistency you want.
  • Remove from the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with any Indian flatbread of your choice.