Vegetable Pulav

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I am in love with rice be it plain steamed rice, dal rice, varan bhat, bissi belle bhat, narali bhat… whatever can be added before bhat or rice ;) It runs in my family, my parents, mama’s everyone is a rice lover. Our meals do not end without the ultimate curd rice.

They say rice is one of the main causes for putting on fat, who are THEY? I don’t know or care for such they’s …. ;) I do believe anything in moderation can never hurt. So why worry. One such rice preparations is vegetable Pulav. This is very simple to prepare, but full of flavors and very filling.

The goodness of vegetables, dash of spice and the beautiful basmati rice makes a combination to die for.

So here is my version of the Vegetable Pulav

Like Donna Hay would say, fast, fresh and simple

I would also like to mention that this is the first post in the rice series. I’ll try to incorporate as many rice

dishes I can. If you have any recipes you would like to share do send me an email with your recipe and I will share it on the blog.

Ingredients:

Basmati Rice (thoroughly washed) – 1 cup
Cauliflower florets – ¼ cup
French beans (cut in thick long strips) – ¼ cup
Carrot (cut in thick long strips) – ¼ cup
Green Peas (pealed) – ¼ cup
Water- 1 ½ cup
Salt – to taste
Ghee/ Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
Cashew nuts – 5 -6
Green chilly – 1 (halved)

Spices:

Bay leaf – 2 leaves (dried)
Cinnamon sticks – 2 small
Cloves – 2-3
Peppercorn – 4-5

Procedure:

  • In a pressure pan add ghee or oil and add the green chilly along with all the spices mentioned under spices. Sauté on a low flame.
  • Add the cashew nuts and vegetables to this and mix well.
  • Now add the basmati rice and mix everything gently.
  • Add salt and then add water.
  • Once the water starts boiling, close the lid of the pressure pan and cook for 3 whistles.
  • Serve hot with raita, Papad, Sol kadhi, pickle.

Tips:

  • Wash the all the vegetables thoroughly.
  • You can also cook this rice in a pan on open stove, or a rice cooker. Adjust the time accordingly. The rice grains should be cooked well but not very sticky.

 

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Bhurji or Spicy Scrambled Eggs


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Hello everyone, this Girish and today I would be your chef for the day ;)

This is a very simple dish to prepare and enjoy specially when it’s raining outside and you are lazed to cook anything complex. Same situation made me prepare this recipe. It’s been raining and raining in Pune since 2-3 days. A typical Sunday with such a climate is a concoction for an amazingly lazy weekend. It was my cooking day so I decided to prepare today’s breakfast and chose one of the simplest yet tastiest dishes to go. I am egg lover since childhood. Boiled eggs, sunny side up, half fries, scrambled eggs.. you name it, I love it. Not to forget the Spicy egg curry :D

This is a go win situation for any amateur cook. You cannot go wrong with this dish. So give it a try and enjoy those lazy days.

Ingredients

4 eggs beaten
1 onion medium sized finely chopped
1 tomato medium sized finely chopped
1 tablespoon deseeded finely chopped green chilies
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ turmeric powder
¾ teaspoon garam masala
2-3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coriander finely chopped for garnishing
Salt to taste

Procedure

  • Heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, turmeric until mustard seeds crackle
  • Add finely chopped garlic and chilies, give it a stir. Tip in the onion and sauté well till onion is transparent
  • Add tomatoes, give a stir
  • Add garam masala, sauté till the tomatoes are soft or they break in
  • Add eggs and salt, keep stirring till the eggs are scrambled and mix well
  • Garnish with chopped coriander
  • Serve hot with rotis or bread

Tips

  • Add a little milk to the egg while beating to make it more soft
  • You can exclude the garam masala, if you do not like the extra spice
  • Can you also serve it on a tortilla or pita bread or buns

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Tomato Onion Chutney

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Being in love with south Indian food, dosas, idlis are a part of our breakfast and to go with it the common condiments are the tasty coconut chutney, malgapudi which we lovingly call as gun powder and sambhar.

One of my oldest memories of tomato chutney is from my school days when I stayed in Dombivali and we used to bring appam from a famous outlet called Dhanalakshmi. This is the time when my love for tomato chutney began. I can’t believe I had eaten all these wonderful dishes at maximum 10-15 rupees per plate. This was about 15 years back. I so miss that place. The best part about this was unlimited chutney and generous servings. It didn’t matter if the idlis or dosas were done with. The chutneys were finger licking good. ;) Thanks to my elder brother who introduced me to this. Nostalgic!!!!!

Recently we visited Dakshinayan, a well known restaurant in Pune famous for authentic south Indian dishes. Even though I found it to be a little expensive, most of the recipes were true to the palate, which is a rare experience in Pune. The moment the first dish was served, I was bowled over to see two ramekins, one filled with tomato chutney and another with onion chutney and that too unlimited!!! The taste of the tomato chutney lingered for hours together and I decided, no matter what I had to prepare this soon.

Here’s my take on my favourite chutney. Hope you too are a fan as well.

Ingredients:

Tomato – 3 medium sized diced
Onion – 1 medium sized diced
Garlic- 4 cloves peeled
Dried Red chillies – 1-2
Chana dal – 1 ½ Tablespoon
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1 teaspoon

Tempering:

Oil – 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – 3-4

Procedure:

  • In a kadhai or a pan heat the oil mentioned under ingredients.
  • Fry the garlic cloves and chana dal till golden brown in colour and keep it aside on a plate.
  • In the same oil fry the dried red chillies till they turn a little brown. Transfer this too on the plate and let it cool.
  • In the remaining oil sauté the onion till transparent and then add the diced tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes are soft. Add salt during this process. Let this mixture cool down.
  • Transfer the tomato-onion mixture along with the fried garlic cloves, chana dal and dried red chillies in a grinder and grind everything together to a smooth paste. No need to add water. Transfer this to a bowl.
  • Temper this with the ingredients mentioned under tempering. Mix well and serve with dosa, idli, or paniyaram (appe).

Tips:

  • Try this chutney on bread as a spread. It tastes amazing.
  • This can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

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Sol Kadhi

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An authentic maharashtrian thali will always have a delicious appetizer with a base of coconut milk. That’s sol kadhi. It’s a common food item from the coastal lines of Maharashtra and Goa. You can have it chilled as an appetizer before meal or with a little tempering added it can be served with steaming hot rice. Yumm!! Can’t beat that.

Kokam gives it a definite sour for which sol kadhi is known for. It’s a real soul food especially during summers. Well I like it any time of the year.

More about Kokam.

Ingredients:

Dried Kokam/ Aamsul / Mangosteen– handful
Coconut milk – 2 cups
Garlic – 3-4 cloves
Salt – to taste
Hot water – 1 cup

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Procedure:

  • Soak the dried kokam in the hot water for almost half an hour. Later squeeze out the juice from it and discard the remains of the squeezed kokam. You will get a thick pink colored juice.
  • In a blender mince the garlic cloves along with the coconut milk.
  • Now mix the kokam juice with the coconut milk infused with garlic.
  • Add salt as per taste.
  • Chill it in the refrigerator for 1 hour and serve cold.

Tips:

  • You may also try it with steamed rice.
  • It should have a soup like consistency, so if you have bought coconut milk do adjust the consistency as per your liking.
  • It is best to use freshly made coconut milk. In this case mince the garlic along with the scrapped coconut and add little warm water and then blend it. Sieve it and use this extract.

Review ~ Ching’s Secret Red Curry Paste. Recipe for Veg Thai Red Curry

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Around 1 year back we tried Thai curry at a restaurant for the first time. We wanted to taste something different, something out of the box which we were sure, we had never tasted. I had heard about Thai curry, but I was very skeptical as I knew fish sauce is added to the curry :( But this particular had an option sans the fish sauce so I immediately opted for it :) :) It’s been a regular order since then. The aroma of the curry, vegetables in it, basil & the mind blowing taste of kafir lime leaves makes the curry to die for.

I found a vegetarian recipe with a huge list of ingredients. I started going through it and THEN it said fish sauce. I kept the recipe aside and started to look for a new one. I did find a few and once again went back to the humongous task of collecting the ingredients. While I was at it, I saw this line on bottles placed on a rack of Big Bazaar which said Chings Secret  Red Curry Paste with a Green Dot. I thought of buying it but then hesitated as it could be very expensive. I went ahead and came back all the way to check the price. I was really surprised looking at the price tag which was Rs 140/-. It was quite unbelievable as such exotic items and preparations cost quite a bomb. I took it right away, raced home and started preparing it. I generally have broccoli, colored bell peppers, mushrooms at my place. Luckily I had picked up baby corn as well. Everything was ready to cook.

I followed the instructions with a few changes from my side and the curry was ready within half an hour. The taste was exactly like what I had in the restaurant. Plus I had the option of making it more spicier simply by adding more paste from the bottle. It’s a super quick way of making this exotic Thai curry without any effort. This fits into “anybody can cook” and “lazy cook” category ;). Perfect for people who don’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. You could ask your husband’s to give it a go while you rest and enjoy your timeout. Don’t let me get started with aroma that fills your house!!!

Let’s do a little costing as well. I pay almost double or triple of what I had spent to buy the bottle, vegetables and coconut. The order in the restaurant serves just one person while this served 2-3 people at least. I have used only half of the paste so becomes really worth the buck.

They have put a good effort in making it look authentic. Packaging is really good. Comes in a very cute little bottle with a black lid, excellent for future food photographs.

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My warning – Do not open the lid if you do not wish to make it right away, cause you CANNOT resist the aroma that springs out right into your nose and down to your tummy ;)

This also becomes first review for a product. I hope you’ll all give it a try. The best part is that you get it at any supermarket, you don’t have run around searching for a gourmet store. And it’s quick, there is no hassle of collecting en number of ingredients. If you feel like eating a Thai curry late at night, this is it !

My verdict is, you should give it a try, specially all your vegetarians out there. I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Have a go and let me know, how yours turns out :)

Ingredients

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3 tbsp Ching’s secret red curry paste (the pack says 2 tbspn but I feel you need 3)
2 cups (200 gms) of cut vegetables (I used Broccoli, Red, Yellow bell pepper & baby corn)
1 cup water
400 ml of coconut milk
Steamed rice to serve with the curry

Procedure

I have followed the instructions and procedure as per mentioned on the bottle. The only change that I made was the vegetables I’ve used and I add a little more extra fresh holy-basil (It made no difference to the taste). I have also used homemade coconut milk.

  • Take a large saucepan and simmer 200 ml coconut milk along with the water.
  • Add the vegetables, Ching’s Secret Red Curry Paste and stir well.
  • Simmer on low heat for 10 mins till the vegetables are cooked.
  • Now add the remaining 200 ml of coconut milk and continue to simmer for another 3 minutes.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Tips:

You may also serve this curry with appam or set dosa.

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