Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spinach/ Palak Rice

I am unable to resist another entry to Monthly Mingle #33 - Ravishing Rice Recipes event at Edible Garden. We love Palak/ Spinach at home, and it features at least twice a week on the menu. In case I am too lazy to make Palak Paratha or Aloo Palak or Dal Palak or plain Palak subji, I make Palak Rice. The main advantage is I need not make any side dish separately to go with this; curd or papad or pickle or coconut chutney will go really well with it. What's more, if you have leftover rice, this is more easy to prepare.

To make the Palak Rice seen in the picture, you will need:

Rice - cooked - 2 cups 
Spinach/ Palak - chopped -4 cups
Onion - chopped - 1
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 1 tsp
Garlic - peeled and pounded - 1 tsp

Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp

Water - 1/2 cup (only if required)

Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste


  • Keep cooked rice ready
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic
  • Once the onions are cooked and light brown, add all powders except garam masala and pepper and stir well
  • Add the chopped palak and mix well and leave to cook covered and on low flame for 3-5 minutes
  • Palak will have given out water and at this stage, add the cooked rice, garam masala and pepper and mix well
  • Keep on flame for another 3 minutes and turn off heat

Note: If you wish to add water to make the rice softer like I do, add water while adding the rice, and wait for the water to dry

Serve as is or with any of the options mentioned above

This is my second entry to Monthly Mingle #33 - Ravishing Rice Recipes event. Monthly Mingle is an event started by Meeta

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vegetable Pulao/ Vegetable Rice

I am addicted to rice. More of a bane than boon, this addiction has led to very difficult situations, especially because I cannot sleep at night unless I have had at least a little bit of rice. There have been instances when I woke up at midnight (or even at 1 pm!) and cooked rice and ate with pickle or curd. I do not think this has anything to do with being a South Indian (a Mallu), because my parents have always had chapathis for dinner. However, Amma always ensured that there was rice for me at night since I insisted on eating rice even if I had 1 or 2 chapathis.

Of course, this addiction has also led to serious weight issues as well, especially after motherhood when I totally gave up any form of exercise, and all that carbohydrate got converted to fat! All diets go for a toss when I give into the tempation for rice after 1-2 days. 

Anyway, though my staple diet is rice, I have not posted many rice based dishes on my blog yet! The only two I could find are Ajwain Rice and Curd Rice. I realized this after Nags announced that she is hosting Monthly Mingle #33 - Ravishing Rice Recipes at Edible Garden. Monthly Mingle is an event started by Meeta.

I wanted to post something simple, but I decided to overcome my laziness and dedicate a post to Amma's version of Vegetable Pulao/ Vegetable Rice. I give it the alternate name of Vegetable Rice because I am not very sure if this fits into the definition of a Pilaf or Pulao. Whatever the name, I love this dish because of the vegetables and the preparation.

To make the Vegetable Rice in the picture, you will need:

Basmati Rice - 4 cups (serves 6)
Water - 6 cups (or per instructions for the Basmati Rice)

Tomatoes - finely chopped - 4-5
Onions - chopped lengthwise - 2 large
Ginger Garlic Green chilly paste - 3-4 tbsp (about 2 green chillies only)
Spring Onions 
(You can use any vegetable you prefer. We added spring onions because it happened to be in the fridge and did not add potatoes because we ran out of potatoes)
Peas - 1 cup
Carrot - chopped - 2 
Beans - chopped - about 200 gm
Cauliflower florets - 2 cups 
Coriander leaves - chopped

Bread - small pieces - 2 cups

Cloves - 5-6
Whole pepper corns - 6-8
Cinnamon - small broken sticks - 2-3
Cardamom - 3-4 pods

Cashew and Raisins - as desired

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds powder - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder- 2 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp

Salt - 1/2 tsp for rice, to taste for the vegetables
Ghee or butter - 2 tbsp for rice, 1 tsp each for onions, dry fruits, and bread
Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp

  • Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a large pan, add the whole pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and after roasting a little, add the washed basmati rice and roast for a few minutes stirring slowly, and remove to another bowl
  • In the electric rice cooker, bring 6 cups of water to boil and add the rice with 1/2 tsp of salt and leave to cook

  • Heat another tsp of ghee in the pan and add one chopped onion to this and roast well until dark brown and keep aside
  • Similarly, roast the bread and cashews and raisins separately in a tsp of ghee and keep aside
  • Heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil and saute the srping onions separately and keep aside
  • Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan and saute the remaining chopped onion along with ginger garlic paste
  • Add tomatoes and once the tomatoes are done, add all the vegetables - carrot, peas, beans, cauliflower - along with turmeric, coriander, cumin seeds powder,  garam masala, and salt to taste, cook covered on low flame
Do not add water unless absolutely necessary (tomato and vegetables give out water which is sufficient)

  • Once the vegetables are cooked, add the spring onions and mix well 

  • In the rice cooker, start layering the rice and vegetables and cashews, raisins, bread, onions as you would in a biriyani
First, add one glass of water, then rice, then vegetables, then bread, then cashew and raisins, then onions, and repeat layers until all are added and leave in 'keep warm' mode so that all the flavours are absorbed by the rice
  • Garnish with the onions, cashews, raisins, bread and chopped coriander leaves
Serve with raita of choice

We had ours with mint chutney and cucumber raita.

This is my entry to Monthly Mingle #33 - Ravishing Rice Recipes

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Prawn Curry

This was another dish prepared along with the Brinjal Masala for lunch, the recipe being Amma's and the cook being me. Normally, I prefer prawns fried. However, we wanted something interesting to go with rice for lunch that everyone would like, and prawn curry seemed the best option. 

To make the Prawn Curry seen in the picture, you will need:

Prawns - deveined - 1/2 kg
Onion - finely chopped - 2 large
Tomatoes - finely chopped - 3 large
Ginger -  peeled and pounded - 2 tbsp 
Garlic - peeled and pounded - 1 tbsp 
Green chilly - 1 - sliced

For the marinade:
Salt - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp

For the paste:
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Roasted coriander powder - 1 tsp
Jeera/ Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Lemon juice - 1 whole lemon (optional)

Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste

  • Marinade the prawns in salt, turmeric, red chilly powder and keep aside for 15-20 min
  • In a pan, heat a tbsp of oil, saute 3/4 of the onions with ginger, garlic, green chilly
  • Add the tomatoes after the onions are done and cook
  • Meanwhile, boil the prawns with one cup of water, and cook covered over medium heat
  • Grind the grated coconut, red chilly powder, cumin seeds, roasted coriander powder, to a smooth paste
  • Add the paste to the cooked prawns, mix well, and cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes
  • In a tadka pan, heat the oil and add the remaining 1/4 of the chopped onions and lightly stir until light brown
  • Add the onions to the dish, then add the lemon juice and mix well

Note: You may increase the red chilly powder quantity if you like the curry to be spicy. But if you have children who are gonna eat the dish and have a share of the prawns in the curry like A did, I suggest you keep the spice level low. Also, I mentioned that the lemon juice is optional because the tomatoes will add a tanginess to the curry. If you prefer more tanginess, the juice extract of a lemon-sized ball of tamarind can be used as a substitute for lemon, however, it should be added along with the paste and cooked.

Serve with hot rice/ chapathi

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Brinjal Masala

This is a dish, among many others, that I have been putting off posting for so long! When I went to Singapore in October during Diwali vacation, my Bhaabhi (elder sister-in-law) made this dish, and we all loved it. Though I clicked pictures of dishes prepared at home in Singapore, I never got around to posting them. 

Last week, I was browsing through  my Picasa albums (a favorite pastime!:D) and stumbled upon these pictures below. I wanted to post the recipe, however, I realized I had forgotten how Bhaabhi made it. And while editing the pictures in Picasa using 'Retouch' , with reference to Nags' Google Picasa editing article, I think I did something weird and later, I could not find the pictures!

After many attempts of locating the files and a final search and scan of all pictures in the system, I 'retrieved' the pictures (don't ask me what had happened, I have no clue!), and asked my Bhaabhi to email me the recipe, which she did. So here goes!

To make the Brinjal Masala seen in the picture, you will need:

Brinjal - cut into cubes - 3 cups
Tomatoes - finely choppped - 2
Large onions - finely chopped - 2

For the masala:
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 2 tsp
Garlic - peeled and pounded - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1-2 tsp (depending on how hot you like the dish to be)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Lime juice - 1 medium sized lemon 

Coriander leaves - chopped (optional)

Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste

  • In a pan, roast the chilli powder, turmeric powder, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds along with ginger and garlic in a tsp of oil, and allow to cool
  • Grind the above to a fine paste
  • Heat remaining oil in a pan, sauté the onion until brown, add the tomatoes and fry until the oil separates
  • Add the brinjal and masala paste, mix well, and cook covered on low flame until brinjal is cooked
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the dish and garnish with coriander if you feel like it

Note: You can also use vinegar as a substitute for lemon juice, however, I am not sure of the quantity. Both taste fine.

Serve with rice/ chapathi

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mung Bean Sprouts and Potato Masala

The other day, I was busy clearing up stuff in the kitchen and dicovered a whole jar (about 500 gms) of mung beans. I was not sure how long the beans had been lying there, waiting to be used, but I knew I had to finish them before buying fresh stock. I just washed the whole quantity and decided to sprout half, while the remaining half was used in preparing the cherupayar curry. It was served with puttu for breakfast, and with chapathi(R and A)/ wheat bread (me) for dinner.

However, I still had the sprouts to finish and was thinking of making a simple salad, when I remembered a masala subji Amma used to make with mung bean sprouts.

This used to be one of my favorites with chapathi/ bread. The recipe is very simple too.

To make the Mung Bean Sprouts and Potato Masala seen in the picture, you will need:

Mung bean sprouts - 2 cups
Potatoes - 2 large - peeled and cubed
Tomatoes - 3 large - finely chopped
Onion - 2 medium sized - finely chopped
Green chilly - 1 sliced
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 1 tbsp
Garlic - peeled and pounded - 2-3 cloves

Water- 1/2 cup

Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds powder - 1 tsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1/4 tsp

Coriander leaves - chopped - to garnish

Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste


  • Heat oil in a pan, and add onions, ginger, garlic, green chilly and stir well
  • After the onions are done, add the tomatoes and cook covered on low flame for 3-5 minutes
  • Throw in all the powders except garam masala, add the potatoes and sprouts along with half a cup of water, mix well
  • Cook covered on low flame until the potatoes are done, add the garam masala, mix well, and cook uncovered until the subji is dry
  • Garnish with coriander leaves

Serve with chapathi/ bread

Though I did not use the whole quantity of sprouts for the dish, I was happy I did not have to make a salad with all of it! Maybe what remains will end up being used in a salad.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

3-Fruit Salad

As I hope the name suggests, I recently prepared the 3-Fruit salad with 3 different fruits. After the healthy salad I posted earlier, I have been trying different ways to include a salad in my daily diet. The recipe (I watched on TV) called for just two fruits. However, I started sympathizing with the third fruit that had been left solitary in the fruit bowl (notwithstanding the 3 days of languish in it), and decided to cube and use the fruit in the salad.

Of course, you can guess the recipe from the picture above. Let me just pen... err...type it down though.

To prepare the 3-Fruit Salad, you will need:

Oranges - 2-3 medium sized
Pomegranate - 1 large
Pears - 2

Coriander leaves - chopped - 1/2 cup (optional)


  • Cut the pomegranate into two halves and squeeze each half into a salad bowl to separate the arils from the internal white pulp membranes
  • Peel the oranges, deseed, remove the skin and pith and add to the salad bowl
  • Cube the pears and add the pieces into the salad bowl
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve

Note: The original recipe also calls for an extra virgin olive oil dressing and salt. I did not use any in my version, and yet loved it! Unfortunately again, I did not click a picture after plating and garnishing with coriander leaves.

Serve as it is, or pack it for a quick healthy snack when you are traveling.

Updated: With everyone hinting that this is perfect for summer, I have to send it to Priti's Festive Food: Summer Treat event.