Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Fresh Peas of Spring ~ Peas Pulao


I walked to Pike Place Market this morning and came home with two pounds of fresh peas. I sat for some time thinking about what to prepare and the following recipe is what I came up with for our meal today.

Added basmati rice and salt to water. Steam-cooked the rice to tender.

While rice was cooking, I shelled the peas from the pods. I separated about a cup of plump peas for this recipe. Heated a skillet. Added a teaspoon of peanut oil. When the oil was hot enough, added a teaspoon of Mandira’s panch phoran mix. Toasted the spices for couple of seconds. Then added the fresh peas, quarter cup of finely chopped mint leaves for fragrance and a pinch of black pepper for some heat. Slow simmered the whole thing in quarter cup of very diluted homemade coconut milk for about five minutes.

By then the rice was ready. Added the Pea-panch phoran mix from the skillet to the rice. Mixed and served it with cucumber raita.

Thanks to the Basmati, panch phoran and mint presence, the fresh peas of spring season radiated comfortable glow of self-appreciation. I loved my meal today.


Peas Pulao with Fresh Peas and Panch Phoran
(for two persons, for two meals)

1½ cups basmati rice + 3 cups water + quarter teaspoon salt
Skillet
1 teaspoon - peanut oil
1 teaspoon- panch phoran mix
1 cup - freshly shelled, plump peas
¼ cup - finely chopped mint leaves
¼ teaspoon - crushed black pepper
¼ cup - coconut milk (homemade or store-bought)

(Panch Phoran is a Bengali/Oriya spice mix made of Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek, Mustard and Nigella seeds. Take the seeds in almost equal quantity. Mix and store in a spice box. That’s panch phoran.)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Basmati Rice, Peas (Bataani) (Friday May 16, 2008 at 5:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (15)

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Artisan Food ~ Healing Herbal Rice

Brown Basmati and Fresh Methi
Brown Basmati and Fresh Methi

Nutritional supplements and natural herbal remedies don’t have to be in capsule form. Example is this healing herbal rice I have prepared for our meal yesterday.

Three types of fresh herbs with potent medicinal properties and brown basmati, a nutritionally supreme rice are cooked together. The result -

a tasty and tantalizing herbal basmati.

Possessing great inner strength and capable of exerting strong nutritional benefits, this herbal rice with healing fire in its heart is the kind of meal that would provide a nourishing surround to a flourishing imagination.

Healing Herbal Rice with Brown Basmati
Healing Herbal Rice with Potato Kurma ~ Celebrating St. Patty’s Day

Recipe Details:

Artisan Food: Healing Herbal Rice
Ingredients: Brown Basmati, Methi, Mint and Dill
Skill level: Easy. From Novice to Expert
Labels: Vegan, Wholesome, Herbal and Iron rich Food
Price: $2.00
Format: PDF

Healing Herbal Rice PDF


Buy Now

How it Works: After payment via Paypal, PDF file will be emailed to you to download the recipe. For any questions about the recipe or the download process, please email me at mailmahanandi@gmail.com .

****************

Artisan Food Aim and Purpose:

“Artisan Food ~ Revenue through Recipes” program aims to raise money, however small the amount, to support the children at Swami School at Nandyala. This will also lend a sense of purpose to my food blogging, and help me feel like I am accomplishing something through my activity in this Web world.

Previously in Artisan Food:

Artisan Photo Gallery

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Mint, Basmati Rice, Suwa (Dill), Brown Basmati, Methi, Kasuri Methi, Artisan Food (Monday March 17, 2008 at 5:46 pm- permalink)
Comments (2)

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Artisan Food ~ Avocado Annam

Photo Purchase Keywords: Avocado, Rice
(It takes money, time, effort and energy for food photography. Please don’t photosteal. Click on the links and purchase the photos legally to digital download and to print. Thanks.)

Avocado

Seattle has a great support system for homeless population. In downtown, where we live, there are many food banks; there is also one near our home. People who are going through difficult conditions can visit a food bank, and avail themselves of food like bread, fruits, milk, canned soup or soda, onions, potatoes and the like. Everything is given for free, no questions asked. Initially I was surprised to see dozens of people queuing up near our home. Then we realized what was going on. Not all times are our times. I am glad that Seattle citizens are doing a great job in taking care of their own. This good care even made few rabid TV anchors riled up. Jealousy towards the poor and less fortunate, what a way to earn millionaire salaries!

Inspired by what I see in Seattle, I resolved to generate some monetary support for our school at Nandyala through my recipes. You see, just like here, people are going through some rough conditions in Nandyala and surrounding villages. The number of school dropouts has increased greatly in recent months. Here in America, several regions took an economic hit, but at Nandyala, where the majority population, depends on agriculture, drought has brought despair. Unfortunately, unlike Seattle, there is no strong support system for children leave alone for elders in my hometown to recover.

When we wrote the maa badi post two years ago, some of you showed interest and offered help. At Swami School, we developed a system so that the school would function self-sufficiently without outside contributions. So, we kept quiet. We are providing the best education possible with minimum burden on a child’s family, and the scholarships we sponsor have been funded with our own money. But now, the need has increased immensely, and this is the time to get involved actively. As a student who has benefited from scholarships, I know how every rupee can help. With these things in mind, I am starting “Artisan Food ~ Revenue through Recipes” program to raise money, however small the amount, to support the children at Swami School at Nandyala. This will also lend a sense of purpose to my food blogging, and help me feel like I am accomplishing something through my activity in this Web world.

In Artisan Food series, there would be a brief description of recipe and the recipe will not be posted on this website. If you are interested, make a purchase and I will send you a PDF document with complete recipe details.

Well, this is a first. Wish me good luck!

Artisan Food ~ Avocado Annam

Avocado Annam

Avocado Annam is a pleasing but not fluffy kind of recipe. Ingredients are avocado and annam (=Sanskrit word for rice). Tomato, onion, cilantro and lime juice are also added. The preparation process and the end result have that perfect balance of interesting, but not so tedious that it becomes frustrating. “Why didn’t I think of this simple idea before” you marvel once everything is done. The recipe is easy and quick to prepare, and makes a great luncheon or dinner dish. Avocado fans particularly will enjoy this avocado annam.

How it Works: After payment via Paypal, PDF file will be emailed to you to download the recipe. For any questions about the recipe or the download process, please email me at mailmahanandi@gmail.com .

PDF Avocado Annam
Details:
Artisan Food: Avocado Annam
Ingredients: Basmati, Avocado etc.
Skill level: Easy. Novice to expert
Labels: Vegan (Meat-Free), Party Pleaser
Price: $2.00
Format: PDF


Buy Now

******
~ Indira
Thanks V!

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Zen (Personal), Basmati Rice, Avocado, Artisan Food (Monday February 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm- permalink)
Comments

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Fragrant Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar

Fresh Tuvar (Toor Dal, Kandulu)
Fresh Tuvar (pacchi kandulu)

Toor dal is among the most easily digestible of all food, and can serve as central element in a meatfree diet. The nourishing toor dal starts its life as an oval-shaped bean in beautiful green, neatly tucked in a row in a tuvar pod. Each tuvar pod contains about four to six plump tuvar beans. Exquisitely dense and full of spring-flavor, fresh tuvar, like green peas and green garbanzos, is a culinary delight when lightly cooked.

At Nandyala, fresh tuvar pods appear at farmers markets for a few weeks during summer time. Streetside vendors sell boiled tuvar pods in paper packets for as little as your pocket change. At our home, we used to simmer the whole pods in salted water and then shell the pods to snack on the cooked beans. Luckily, in recent years, the local Indian grocery shops in the United States have started importing fresh tuvar from India. Already shelled and in frozen avatar, a pound is usually priced at two to three dollars. It’s a good buy.

If you haven’t tried this protein powerhouse yet, you must now. Lightly cook fresh tuvar beans in salted water for a delicious snack. Or add them whole to vegetable curries or kurmas, and to rice preparations. This lentil lifeline instantly livens up any preparation.

For today’s meal, I made basmati pulao with fresh mint and tuvar. Easy to cook, incredibly fragrant and best of all, it’s so rich in flavor because of fresh mint and tuvar, that it needs little enhancement. Imagine pasta or orzo tossed in flavorful mint pesto ; almost the same taste here, but with basmati rice.

Fresh Coconut, Mint and Tuvar
Fresh Coconut, Mint and Tuvar

Recipe:
(for four to six people)

2 cups basmati rice
1 cup fresh tuvar
¼ cup roasted cashews
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon peanut oil

To prepare masala: Take about 2 cups fresh mint leaves in a Sumeet style mixer. Add two tablespoons of fresh, grated coconut, 5 green chillies, 4 cloves and a one-inch cinnamon piece. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and blend them together to fine paste.

To prepare Mint Pulao: Heat the oil in a big pan over medium heat. Add the onion and Tuvar. Saute to tender. Next, add and cook the ground masala paste, over low heat, stirring for about five minutes, until it turns to pale green from bright green color. To the cooked masala, add the basmati rice, salt and about 5 cups of water. Mix. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until water evaporates and rice cooks to tender. At this stage, add the cashews, and fluff the rice gently with a spoon. Let it sit, covered for five minutes and serve hot.

This mint pilaf is definitely delicious enough to eat on its own, but I have prepared aloo kurma and cucumber raita to go with it. Good meal.

Mint Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar
Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Mint and Tuvar ~ for Linda’s Toor Dal Jihva

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mint, Basmati Rice, Fresh Tuvar (Kandulu) (Tuesday December 4, 2007 at 9:16 pm- permalink)
Comments (16)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Bittergourd and Basmati (Karela Pulao)

Kakarakaaya Annam


This is a sweet way to prepare karela (bittergourd), especially for those finicky family members who say they don’t like bittergourd. This colorful karela rice laced with golden jaggery and ripe red chillies, may just win them over.

The recipe is result of my experimentation in the kitchen and inspired by my mother’s Kakarakaaya Kura. I was pleasantly surprised at how the fresh karela, ripe red chillies and jaggery combination made this out of the ordinary basmati rice preparation extraordinary. Hot and sweet with bitter note, karela pulao tasted like life served on a plate. Definitely worth experiencing.


Karela, Ripe Red Chillies, Red Onion, Jaggery and Curry Leaves

Recipe:
(Serves 2 as a main meal.)

Basmati:
Cook one cup basmati rice in two cups of water to tender.

Karela:
Pick 6 fresh looking karela. Scrape the outer ridges with a peeler. Wash, remove the ends and finely chop to tiny pieces (about one cup).
Peel and finely chop one red onion lengthwise (about half cup)
Pick 6 ripe red chillies and slice lengthwise to thin pieces

Karela Pulao:
In a wide skillet, heat a tablespoon ghee until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Keep the heat to medium. Add a sprig of curry leaves and toast to pale gold color. Add the onion and ripe red chillies. Saute them to soft brown. Next goes the karela pieces. Saute and when they are tender brown, stir in about quarter cup of jaggery pieces, half teaspoon each- turmeric and salt. Sprinkle two tablespoons of water and mix.

Now the cooking process gets interesting. First jaggery starts to bubble, then becomes watery syrup like. Stir continuously. Jaggery cooks to thick consistency and coats vegetable like caramel. This is what we want and this process allows jaggery’s full flavor to develop. It takes anywhere between 15-20 minutes on medium heat. At this stage add the cooked basmati rice and half cup toasted peanuts. Mix thoroughly. Taste for salt and adjust to your liking. Remove the karela pulao from the heat. Serve at once with a cup of yogurt and fruit for a complete meal.

If there is a flavor combination that describes my mother, then this is it. So I would like dedicate and name this creation of mine after my mother Rajeswari.

I look forward to hearing your input on Rajeswari Karela Pulao. Thanks.

Karela Pulao
Karela Pulao with a Cup of Watermelon and Whited-out Yogurt

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Jaggery, Kakara Kaya(Bitter Gourd), Basmati Rice (Tuesday September 11, 2007 at 5:02 pm- permalink)
Comments (27)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

How to Food Blog? ~ Live and Let Live philosophy & Methi-Nariyal Pulao (Fenugreek-Coconut Pilaf)

The holiday season is here in US!

Food blogging community is abuzz with calls for donations and charity drives, to show that we are not some greedy gluttons always in search of next best exotic ingredient, and we have a compassionate heart. Good things we are doing. Also without some family ‘discussions’, where is the joy in holidays? In last few weeks, we’ve seen amateur gourmets to who spits wine, issuing ultimatums to the community. One blogger writes stop being mediocre, stop writing about what you had for lunch and urges us to strive for the foodie exhibitionist avatar, him in a nutshell. And one wants to name and shame the bloggers who don’t provide - ha… the terminal crime, RSS feeds. Imagine the audacity of some food bloggers, who wish for people to spend some time visiting their page and recipes they laid out neatly, instead of being treated like ‘grab and gulp’ fast food road stops. Imagine, for all their hard work, some food bloggers want people visit their actual web page, instead of being one more bland white page in a RSS feed hell.

Just few lunches with corporate promoted celebrity chefs and few sponsored dinner reservations at 300 dollars a meal - French Laundry, is all one needs these days to act like all-knowing, bloggity wisdom dispensers. Like utterly corrupted evangelical leaders that issue bully ultimatums of one has to follow only their religion to enter the heaven, these food bloggers who tasted the fame, suddenly forgot their beginner days of blogging and thunder on us, to write like them and do what they do, to enter the golden greedy gates of mainstream fame. What if the ‘mediocre’ home cooks start writing what’s on their minds about such things? These sermon serving, self-proclaimed soul savers, will they be ready to hear how shallow they sound in their daily posts.

What happened to “live and let live” philosophy?

They may join forces with few food magazine columnists in demeaning the home cooks who blog about cheese sandwiches - the everyday food. But they keep forgetting that home cooking and bloggers who write about lunch meal recipes have been the building bones of food blogging community. Home cooks in general are compassionate, understanding and gentle. Rarely narcissistic and flashy. Not only towards the ingredients and the recipes they blog, but also in their writing style and in interaction with readers. This approach is considered boring and mediocre by advice dispensers. Really? If we want to read glorified, glibbery accounts of restaurant food or doltish gibberish of kitchen mishaps, or how micro plane zester or some latest kitchen gizmo saved their cooking - we already have puffed up Frank Bruni and his kind’s writings in newspapers and food magazines, all available free at the local libraries. These ‘wannabe’ food bloggers may think they are being original, but who are they kidding?

I blame the current tide in food blogging world on holiday pressures. I do hope that this drive to conform foodbloggers to their thinking passes once the holiday season is over. There are many ways and many reasons to blog. Live and Let Live. With that said, here is today’s recipe - what I had for lunch, very much homemade, not RSS fed - coconut and fenugreek pulao.

Aromatic basmati rice, sweet homemade coconut milk and potent fresh fenugreek leaves - cooked together is a recipe that I have learnt from my mother and very much illustrates the ingenuity and wisdom of home cook. Nutritious, wholesome and a one-pot meal, give it a try.


Homemade Coconut Milk, Basmati Rice, Fresh Fenugreek Leaves

Recipe:

2 cups basmati rice
2 cups fresh methi (fresh fenugreek) leaves
6 chillies - sliced thin lengthwise
1 cup fresh peas
1 cup finely sliced onion - lengthwise
½ cup homemade coconut milk or ¼ cup of store-bought type
½ cup roasted cashews (optional)
1 teaspoon each - ghee or peanut oil and salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon each - black peppercorns, cloves and fresh ginger pieces
coarsely grind using a spice mill or in a mortar with pestle

Wash and soak basmati rice in 3 cups of water for about 15 - 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a thick-bottomed wide pot, heat ghee or oil on high heat. Add and fry the onions first and then the peppercorn-clove-ginger paste and chillies. Add the fresh peas and fresh methi leaves. Stir-fry until the leaves wilt.

Add the basmati rice and along with the water it soaked in. Stir in coconut milk and salt. Mix thoroughly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered for about 15 to 20 minutes. By the end of 20 minutes, the water will be absorbed and rice will be cooked to perfection. At this time, add and gently mix roasted cashews. Close the lid and let the rice sit for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve hot. Sprinkle in some lime/lemon juice just before serving.

Coconut milk and fresh peas balance methi ruchi (flavor). Basmati and roasted cashews addition makes it even more pleasant. Good meal when combined with a kurma/kofta curry or just plain yogurt/raita.


Methi-Nariyal Pulao with Yogurt ~ Our lunch today

Added on Dec 7:
Thanks for all your responses. It has been a lively discussion. Glad to see this topic has given all of us a chance to express our ideas about food blogging and how to do it. I had to scrub four comments because of the rude and soliciting nature of the content.
Also, thanks very much for trying out the recipe and letting me know. I greatly appreciate it!
- Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Amma & Authentic Andhra, Basmati Rice, Coconut (Fresh), Menthi Kura(Fenugreek) (Wednesday December 6, 2006 at 7:46 pm- permalink)
Comments (37)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Cherry Tomato ~ Basmati Pulao


Tomatoes from My Container Garden

The past week before going on a weeklong working vacation to DC with Vijay, one thing I did was picking the cherry tomatoes from my container garden. There were almost two pounds of tomatoes from 4 plants. I picked even the unripe ones, thinking the plants were not going to survive this hot weather without getting water daily. By the time we returned, we were like fried puris all red and puffed up, whereas our plants were all shriveled up and looking tired because of extremely hot weather. I think there is one more crop in them, that’s all.

Cherry tomatoes have thin skin, filled with juice without lot of thick flesh, just like the tomatoes that I would find in India. That’s why I prefer them for planting for my container garden every year. They are perfect for curries, rasams, salads and for rice. And one of the best recipes that truly do justice to the incredible flavor of summer tomatoes is tomato pulao. I often prepare it during this season. Quite easy, a one-pot meal and always a crowd favorite, if you haven’t tried tomato pulao yet, trust me and give it a try. Juicy tomatoes and fragrant basmati rice cooked together is a taste that would make you whistle summer tunes.:)


Summer’s Tomato Bounty

Recipe:

Tomatoes and Veggies:
15 to 20 cherry tomatoes or 1 pound ripe tomatoes of any variety - chopped
1 onion and 6 green chillies - finely chopped lengthwise
½ cup of finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup of frozen fresh chickpeas
(available as ‘Choleye’ in Indian grocery shops-frozen section. Green peas fresh or dried, or roasted cashews - they all taste good with this rice. Your choice.)

Basmati Rice:
1 cup of basmati rice and 2½ cups of water

For Masala:
2 each - cardamom pods and cloves
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon of black peppercorn
Coarsely grind these together.
Salt, bay leaf and ghee or oil to taste

1 In a large saucepan, heat ghee/oil. Add and saute the onions until soft and red.

2 Add the green chillies, masala powder, bay leaf and chickpeas, saute for few minutes.

3 Stir in the cut tomatoes, juice, seeds everything. Increase the heat to high, cook them covered until the tomatoes when pressed with a spatula turn to soft, concentrated mush.

4 Stir in the basmati rice and salt. Add water and mix. On high heat, bring the water to boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Mix only once and resist the temptation to stir frequently (frequent stirring breaks the rice and makes a soggy mess.) Turn off the heat and leave it to rest for about 5 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle fresh cilantro, gently mix taking care not to brake the basmati rice.

Serve with kurma and/or raita (yogurt is mixed with salt, finely chopped onions, green chillies and grated carrot, cucumber).


From Pot to Plate ~ Tomato : Basmati Pulao with Raita ~ For Green Blog Project”

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Tomato, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Basmati Rice, Chickpeas-Black (Thursday August 3, 2006 at 2:04 pm- permalink)
Comments (36)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

The Arisiupma trilogy (Guest Post by Janani)


Food blogging has opened a window for me to meet interesting and like-minded people who also share my passion and philosophy of cooking. Janani Srinivasan from Toronto is one such person. After reading her comments on some of my blogged recipes, I knew I found a friend and I had to ask her if she would be interested to share her family recipes on “Mahanandi”. She agreed enthusiastically and readily to my delight. Here she is, sharing her family’s treasured, traditional recipes in “The Arisiupma Trilogy”. Enjoy!
- Indira

My fondest childhood memories are of mealtimes at the home of my maternal grandparents where my grandmother- Annapurani in nature as in name- would whip up meal after magical meal prompting my late grandfather to often say in Sanskrit “Anna dhaata sukhi Bhava” (May the giver of rice be happy). If the story of a people’s deepest aspirations can be seen in their metaphor, then this poetic conflation of rice as food itself speaks volumes to the centrality of grain in the foodscapes of India’s many cultures.

One of the other remarkable features of the Indian subcontinent, is that depending on what filter or combination of these that you use- language, religion, culture, region, social identity, you could carve it up into a delightful array of unique variants of regional cuisines.

If I were to cite the major culinary influences that shape my own approach to cooking, I would pick out, as my example, my paternal grandmother Vathsala’s austere, methodical, cooking-with-what’s-on-hand-to minimize-waste? Kumbakonam Iyer style, with Annapurani’s elaborate, lavish, incredibly rich preparations shaped by her own life in Hyderabad and Bangalore; to my mother Jayanthi’s innovative style from her many travels, her tendency towards the fiery twists of her life in the Rayalseema region but always with a strong adherence to the authentic approach of her own paternal grandmother.

So when Indira asked me to guest blog, I could not think of a better tribute to my heritage and to the food grain that has sustained generations of my family, than the humble “Arisiuppma” with two of its popular variations “Thavalaadai” and “Pudikozhakattai”.

Ingredients:

(a) For the “Upma Odasal” or the cracked rice meal:
Rice- 1 cup (Using Brown basmati for this takes it to a whole new level of dense nutty chewy perfection but regular basmati or ay other rice especially par-boiled rice is quite acceptable and is the norm)
Urad Daal- 1 tsp
Toor Daal- 2 tsp
Dried red chilies- 4- 6 (depending on the level of spice tolerance)
Black peppercorns- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Ingredients for Cracked Rice Meal

(b) Tadka or seasoning:
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Few Curry leaves
Green chilies- 3 to 4, chopped finely into rounds
Ginger root- 1inch, finely chopped .
Fenugreek seeds- Just a tiny pinch (optional)
Asafoetida- a pinch (the extract of the solid version soaked in water is ideal but the powdered form is acceptable too)
Sunflower oil- 1 tbsp (It is normally used but if you have the gutsJ, coconut oil tadka will make this dish quite ethereal.)
(c) Garnish:
Freshly grated coconut a fistful (can be omitted if it’s not preferred or my paternal aunt’s variation is to substitute it with sauteed onions)
(d) Salt to taste

Tadka or Seasoning Ingredients

Procedure:

1 In a blender/food processor coarse grind the ingredients listed under “(a)” to a cracked wheat consistency.

2 In a wide-bottomed pan, heat the oil and do the tadka.

3 Once the seeds start to sizzle and splutter, add fresh water in the proportion 1: 3 rice meal and water.

4 Once the water starts to boil, add in the coarsely grinded “(a)” list of ingredients and mix well.

Now when I made it this time, I had to ensure that my pipeline was effective since I was making three dishes with the exact same ingredients. Typically, one would only make one of the three preparations at any given time.

Up to step 4 above is common to all 3 dishes. After this point, the procedure diverges for each preparation.

Pudikozhakattai (Steamed Cracked Rice Dumplings)

Pudikozhakattai (steamed cracked rice dumplings)

When the mixture is well mixed and the water is just absorbed, take it off the heat. Depending on your heat tolerance, try not to let it cool down too much. Work rapidly using some cold water to wet hands and roll it into balls. Steam for about 8-10 minutes till done. A special twist here is to bury a smidgeon of jaggery in the center of this so you stumble upon a heart of sweet goodness as a surprise while biting into it.

Thavaladai (Rice Lentil Croquets)

Thavaladai (Rice lentil croquets

After step 4, take it off the heat. Once it’s cooled down shape into patties and shallow fry on a griddle. Can be served with ketchup or any chutney if desired or just plain.

Arisiupma

Arisiupma

(Try as I might, I could not come up with a nifty English equivalent for this dish. Let’s hope this will enter the lexicon alongside the likes of Bulghur, Couscous and Cream of Wheat. )

Keep going from step 4 till the uppma is well done. To serve, especially for kids, a popular pairing is with some ghee and sugar. Pickle and yogurt is also a combination but mostly its just eaten plain and piping hot.

- Guest Post by Janani Srinivasan, Toronto
Jayasri Srinivasan - Ingredient lineups and picture arrangements
Dr.S.Ramachandran - Photographs

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Zen (Personal), Basmati Rice, Sona Masuri Rice, Janani Srinivasan (Tuesday May 23, 2006 at 1:13 pm- permalink)
Comments (29)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Pulao with Red Radish and Fresh Corn

Red Radishes and Fresh Corn From the Farmers Market

We love going to the local farmers/flea market on Sundays during spring and summer here. They are the only natural atmosphere, which come close resembling to the vegetable markets of my hometown, Nandyala, India.

Back home at Nandyala, most of the produce sold in markets usually comes from neighboring villages or from the farms around the town. Whereas here in this small city in the USA, where we live now, most of the produce comes in boxes and crates from Oregon and California, even at the local ‘Farmers Market’. Thriving small farms are rare and few, it seems, surprising; after all this is midwest, the heartland of America.

But there are a couple of stalls that sell limited variety of produce and fruits, which are truly locally grown and from real soil. We usually buy whatever they had available that week from them. Along with some fruits and veggies, yesterday I purchased radishes, green onions, corn and I prepared pulao for lunch today with them.

Fresh corn, green onions and red radishes, they all have a very delicate flavor and they don’t take well to overcooking, particularly red radishes. Pulao is perfect recipe for them, lightly sauté and mix them with cooked basmati rice, sprinkle some limejuice, viola… delicious colorful meal with fresh spring flavors will be ready.

Pulao with Aloo Kurma

Recipe:
Cook:
1cup basmati rice in 2 cups of water
Wash, cut and chop:
1 bunch of fresh radishes - quartered
1 bunch of green onions - finely chopped
1 fresh corn - husked and kernels chopped
1 red onion and 4 green chillies - finely sliced lengthwise
1 fistful of fresh green peas - shelled from pods
Prepare or Take Out From the Pantry and Fridge:
1 teaspoon of ginger-garlic-cilantro paste (GGC Paste)
1 teaspoon of clove-cinnamon- cumin-coriander seed powder (CCCC Powder)
½ teaspoon of salt or to taste
Few sprigs of fresh cilantro - finely chopped to garnish
Lemon/lime juice to sprinkle
Sauté, Mix and Serve:
Heat 2 teaspoons of peanut oil or ghee in a big pan or kadai on medium heat. Add the GGC Paste and CCCC powder, sauté for few minutes, until they leave the raw smell. Continuously stir and take care not to burn the masala. Add all the veggies listed above and sauté for few minutes, until they soften. Add the cooked basmati rice to this sautéed veggie mixture. Sprinkle in salt and finely chopped cilantro. Mix thoroughly. Serve hot with a curry and a cup of yogurt for a light meal.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Radish, Biyyamu (Rice), Basmati Rice, Corn - Fresh (Monday May 15, 2006 at 3:51 pm- permalink)
Comments (20)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Pudina Pulao (Mint Fried Rice)

With the start of long and plenty of sunshine days, the mint in my container garden is growing like crazy. Just like the hair on my husband’s head:), except of course the hair knows no season. It needs once in a two week trimming and pruning session, otherwise it can branch off into one irritating but pretty in a wild way, kind of growth.

Not only I had trimmed branches of mint, I also bought a bunch for a quarter (25 cents) at farmers market. Together that’s lots of mint for two people, and the best way to use all of it in one setting is of course the good, old pudina pulao. Natural fragrance of Basmati rice, cloves and other spices we use in making the pulao mask the overpowering mint aroma. So, don’t be afraid to try this dish, if this is your first time or if you are on the fence about mint recipes.

Recipe:

1 bunch of mint- Rinsed and leaves and tender stems plucked
2 cups of Basmati rice, washed and soaked in 4 cups of water
3 green chillies and one onion - sliced thinly, lengthwise
¼ cup of fresh coconut - chopped
1 inch piece ginger and 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 each - cloves, cardamom, small cinnamon pieces, bay leaves & 1 star anise
¼ cup - roasted cashews
1 tablespoon - ghee
1 teaspoon - salt, or to taste

Mint, Green chillies, garlic, ginger, Cashews, Bay leaves, Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Star anise

Preparation:

Take mint leaves, coconut, green chillies, ginger and garlic in a mixer. Add a pinch of salt and blend to fine consistency without adding any water.

Put the Rice cooker pot on stovetop on medium flame. (To make it a one-pot meal, usually what I do is - I would saute the masala for pulao in rice cooker pot first, then I would add the soaked basmati rice along with water to the same pot and cook.)

Heat ghee on medium heat in rice cooker pot. When it is hot, add the spices (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves and star anise), saute them first. Then the onions, saute until onions start to brown. Now, add the pureed mint-green chilli-coconut paste. Fry until the mint paste changes color from bright green to light-green color. Take care not to burn/brown the masala paste.

Paste of Mint and Greenchillies , Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Star aniseSaut�ing the mint masala with onions and peas

Into this sauteed masala, empty the Basmati rice and the water it soaked in. Add salt; stir the whole thing, so that all the ingredients would mix together. Now remove the pot from stovetop, put it back in rice cooker and switch on the plug to cook. Once the rice cooks to tender, remove the lid and add cashews. Mix it once. Put the lid back and let it stand for another five minutes. Then turn off the plug.

Mint pulao, Potato kurma, Raita and lemon wedge

We had pudina pulao with potato kurma , raita and lime wedge on the side - one good meal.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Mint, Basmati Rice (Tuesday June 21, 2005 at 9:40 am- permalink)
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