Recipes: Tomato Rice

Last week when we were bored of eating the same combinations of food daily, I decided to make this tomato rice. It’s a fairly easy recipe and does not take long to make. This is also a good one pot meal as well as something you can rustle up for a packed lunch.

Tomato Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes, washed, drained and kept aside
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4-5 fresh red chillies (if you can’t get fresh red chillies, substitute with 2-3 dried red chillies)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Grind the ginger, garlic and chilli to a fine paste and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and when warm, add in the cumin seeds and let it splutter.
  • Then add the chopped onions and let them fry for a few seconds.
  • Now add the ground ginger-garlic-chilli paste and let it cook for a couple of minutes
  • When the onions become translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and spices and cook till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  • Now add the rice and cook for a few minutes.
  • If you are using a rice cooker, transfer the rice and tomato mixture to it and add 1.75 cups of water. Check for seasoning and let it cook.
  • If you plan to cook it on the stovetop, then add the water and check for seasoning and cover and cook it it is done. You may need to check it while it is cooking to ensure the rice does not over cook.
  • Serve hot with a raita of your choice.

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Recipe: Tofu Sambal

Tofu is something that everyone in my house, with the exception of me, love. In fact, even my helper who is from India loves tofu. I  am the odd one out, so this recipe is actually an anomaly. It was actually made my by my helper, but I am putting it down here, in case I need to make it when she is no longer with us.

This recipe is a local one, which has been adapted from Chinese cooking, but Indianised to suit an Indian palate.

Tofu Sambal

Ingredients:

  • 2 packs of hard tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 red onions, chopped roughly
  • 1 onion, chopped finely lengthwise
  • 4-5 fresh red chillies (use more if you want it spicier)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Dry the tofu lightly and bake in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Keep aside.
  • In a blender, blend together the onions, garlic, ginger and red chillies into a fine paste and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and when warm, add the onions chopped lengthwise and let it become translucent.
  • Pour the blended chilli mixture and stir until the mixture becomes thick and the oil starts oozing out.
  • In the same blender, blend the tomatoes until it becomes a fine paste. You can also use tomato puree here instead. Add the tomato paste to the pan and let it cook well.
  • Now add the baked tofu into the pan and season to taste.
  • Let it all come to a nice rolling boil and switch off the flame.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with plain rice.

Recipe: Aval Payasam or Poha Kheer

Earlier this week was Avani Avittam, the only festival dedicated to men in Hinduism (or rather tambramism) and since it was BB’s first one, we had to go down to the temple for a special prayer and then the next day was the recitation of the Gayatri Mantra. This sacred mantra is said to be the root mantra and it is said that reciting it 1008 times is said to be very beneficial.

On Avani Avittam, I made my Vermicelli payasam and the day of Gayatri Mantra, I made this easy Aval payasam or Poha Kheer. It’s a simple dish that can be made in less than 30 minutes, start to finish so even an FTWM can make this on a festival.

Aval Payasam/Poha Kheer

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup poha
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-litre full cream milk
  • a handful of cashew nuts
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsps ghee

Method:

  • In a pan heat the ghee and fry the cashew nuts and once brown, keep aside.
  • In the same pan, fry the poha till they slightly turn brown and at this point, add half the milk. Let the poha absorb the milk and then add the remainder of the milk.
  • When the milk comes to a rolling boil, let it boil for another 5 minutes until the poha is soft and has completely absorbed the milk
  • Add the sugar, cashew nuts, saffron and cardamom powder and let the kheer boil for another five minutes.
  • The kheer is ready to serve. Drink hot or cold, though we prefer to drink it cold!

Enjoy!!

 

Recipe: Dal Fry

Dal Fry is such a ubiquitous dish that it finds a place in almost every menu that offers Indian food. However, and when I think back, it is quite strange that I’ve not made this dish ever for the children and S, considering it used to be a staple in my repertoire pre-marriage! So anyway, while planning on my menu last week, I decided to make this at last and it was very well liked by everyone at home. 

This is a fairly easy dish to make and makes the dal thick, unlike traditional dals. So when you cook the dal, make sure you do not add too much water while cooking, so it retains its thickness.

Dal Fry

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups toor dal, washed and soaked in warm water with a pinch of turmric powder for 30 minutes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large red tomato, finely chopped
  • 4-5 pods of garlic, grated or made into a paste
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated or made into a paste
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp carom seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder 
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • In a pressure cooker, cook the dal for 5-6 whistles. If using the stovetop to cook the dal, cook till it is very mushy and becomes whole and smooth with a paste-like consistency. Keep aside.
  • In another pan, heat the ghee and when it warms, add the cumin seeds and carom seeds one after the other, with a few seconds of stirring in between.
  • Now add the dried red chillies and stir for a few seconds. Next add the chopped onions and stir well, letting the onions become translucent.
  • When the onions become translucent, add the garlic and ginger and let them cook for a while.
  • Now add the dry ingredients – salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and stir for around 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture becomes mushy and the tomatoes lose their shape and become soft.
  • Now add the cooked dal and stir well. Check for seasoning and add what is missing. Add the garam masala and let it cook for around 5-10 minutes. You can add water to make it the consistency you like.
  • Switch off the gas and add the lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. 

Serve hot with plain or jeera rice and a vegetable of your choice.

Recipes: Carrot Rice

When you are tired of making the same old food every day and you wish to try something new, this recipe is something you can make. This is exactly what happened the day I made Carrot Rice. We were bored of the same food day in and day out and so I decided to make this dish my mum used to make when we were in school.

This is a very easy dish to make and makes a great addition to your lunchbox or even to your little one’s school lunchbox. It’s very easy to make and hardly takes anytime in the morning when you are rushing to get everyone out of the house on time!

Carrot Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 cup rice, cooked and cooled completely
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • a handful of chopped cashew nuts
  • a handful of raisins
  •  1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • coriander leaves to garnish
  • 1 tbsp Ghee or oil

Method:

  • When the rice is cooked, fluff it a bit and then let it cool completely.
  • In a pan, heat the ghee or oil and add the mustard seeds.
  • When the seeds pop, add the asafoetida and the chopped chillies and let them cook for a while till the chilli becomes crisp.
  • Add the chopped cashew nuts and let them brown.
  • Next, add the raisins and let them plump out.
  • Now add the carrots and salt and cook for a couple of minutes. You don’t want the carrot to cook too much, but retain some crispness.
  • Switch off the gas and add the lemon juice according to taste.
  • Stir well and then add the rice and mix well so that the carrots are completely mixed into the rice.
  • Check for seasoning and then garnish with coriander leaves and serve with a raita, yoghurt or even some chips or crisps.