Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tamarind Rice (Pulihora)

One of those 'go-to' recipes', when we are bored with our regular fare of rice and curries. Here is how I make tamarind rice.

Rice - 3 cups
Tamarind pulp - 4 tbsp (adjust per your taste)
Turmeric - upto 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sesame seed powder - 3 tbsp (coarse, toasted)
Oil - 4 or 5 tbsp

For seasoning/popu/tadka:
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Chana dal - 3 
Urad dal - 3 tsp
Dried red chillies - 5, tear and deseed
Peanuts - 3 tbsp
Ginger - 2 tsp, finely chopped
Green shillies - 10-14, slit lengthwise
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Asafoetida (hing/inguva) - 1/2 tsp

  1. Cook rice with 5 or 6 cups water, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 tbsp oil. Remove into a wide bowl, spread to let cool a little.
  2. To make tamarind pulp: soak tamarind fruit in warm water for an hour, remove the pulp, strain into a saucepan. Add 1/2 tsp salt and cook until all liquid evaporates and the pulp becomes thick
  3. Heat oil in a saucepan, add mustard seeds, let them crackle, add cumin seeds before adding chana and urad dals.
  4. Fry until dals turn pale brown, add dried red chillies, peanuts
  5. Fry for a couple of minutes and add ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and hing
  6. Let fry for just a minute, turn the heat off
  7. Add the above popu to tamarind pulp, add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp turmeric, mix well and set aside for 1/2 hour
  8. To the rice, add the popu/tamarind pulp mixture and toasted sesame seed powder
  9. Mix well taking care not to break the rice
  10. Set aside for an hour, allowing the rice to soak the tamarind flavour

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chicken Kheema (Minced Chicken)

Requires very basic ingredients, quick and easy to prepare. Can be had with rice or chapathi/roti. You can also make chicken puffs/samosas.
Minced Chicken - 1 Lb
Onions - 2 medium, finely chopped
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Red chillie powder - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Masala powder - 2 tsp
Fennel seeds powder - 2 tsp
Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Mint leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil - 4 tbsp

For seasoning/popu/tadka :
Cloves (lavang) - 6, crushed
Cardamom pods - 4, crushed
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dired red chillies - 2, tear and deseed
Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
Ginger - 1/2" piece, chopped
Curry leaves - sprig

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan, toss in the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned above, let fry for a minute.
  2. Add chopped onion, sprinkle little salt and turmeric. Cover the pan, let cook until onion turns translucent.
  3. Add minced chicken and break apart with a wooden spatula
  4. Season with salt, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes
  5. Toss in masala, fennel and red chillie powders, mix well 
  6. Cook uncovered until all liquid evaporates. (Minced chicken cooks quickly)
  7. Adjust salt, add chopped coriander and mint, and turn the heat off

Eggplant - Bell Pepper

I was a little skeptical about pairing chinese eggplant and red bell pepper, as both tend to be sweet. But I had just one each of these and had to quickly make a curry for rotis. So, just tossed them together with quite a dose of chillie powder, and the result was not disappointing. Was a visual delight too!

Chinese Eggplant - 1 big, cut into chunks
Red Bell Pepper - 1 big, cut into chunks
Onion - 1 big, thinly sliced and halved lengthwise
Salt - to taste

Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Red chillie powder – 2 tsp
Your favorite masala powder – 2 tsp
Fresh Coriander leaves

Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Curry Leaves - sprig
Oil - 1 tbsp

  1. Heat oil in a wide skillet, toss in cumin seeds, garlic and curry leaves
  2. Imediately add sliced onions, saute just until tender and toss in eggplant and bell pepper chunks
  3. Sprinkle salt and turmeric, saute on medium heat until the vegetables are softened
  4. Add chillie powder and masala powder, mix well
  5. Add chopped coriander leaves, turn the heat off

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cabbage - Ravva Upma

The first time I ever tasted this upma, was at my sister's house. However, when I tried at my home, it turned out tastier! (We will not tell my sister, though!:-) ) Here is my version of Cabbage Upma!

Cabbage - 2 cups, chopped
Sooji (cream of wheat) - 2 cups, lightly roasted until pale brown
Water - 3 ½ cups
Tomato - 1 medium, finely chopped
Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Green chillies - 4, slit lengthwise (chop, for more heat)

For seasoning/popu
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Ginger - 1 tbsp, chopped
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - sprig
Oil - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp

  1. Heat oil in a wide skillet, add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add rest of the seasoning ingredients. Fry until the dals turn pale brown. Add chopped ginger and let fry for 1/2 a minute 
  2. Toss in chopped cabbage, green chillies, salt and turmeric. Saute just until cabbage loses its raw smell
  3. Add chopped tomato, cover and cook for a couple of minutes
  4. Add water, adjust salt if required. Let the water come to a boil
  5. Slowly stir in sooji; keep stirring continuously to avoid any lumps
  6. Stir in chopped coriander leaves
  7. Keep stirring until the sooji absorbs all liquid. Add a tbsp ghee. Turn the heat off
  8. Mix well and serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice and any chutney

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Shrimp (Royyalu/Prawns)

Shrimp - 4 cups cooked
Onion - 1 big, finely chopped
Tomato paste - 2 tsp
Cloves (lavang) - 4, powdered
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 1 tsp, minced
Curry leaves
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Red chillie powder - 1 or 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil and Butter - 1 tbsp each

  1. Heat oil and butter in a wide skillet
  2. Add powdered cloves, cumin seeds, garlic and curry leaves. Toast and add chopped onion
  3. Saute until onion turns soft, add shrimp
  4. Sprinkle turmeric and salt, saute on medium-high heat until all the liquid is evaporated
  5. Add tomato paste, red chillie powder and garam masala powder. Mix well, fry for a couple of minutes
  6. Stir in chopped coriander leaves, turn the heat off
Nice accompaniment to any rice variety.