Recipes: Spinach Mint Rice

During the lockdown, I was experimenting with food and one day found a small bunch of spinach and another small bunch of mint lying in the fridge. I usually make a chutney with the mint, but I didn’t have enough coriander leaves to make my usual chutney, so thought of combining the two. I used my Spinach Rice recipe as the basis of this one and it turned out super yummy! When the rice was cooking, the whole house was enveloped with this pleasant mint aroma and while eating this dish, I was eating with more than just my mouth! And the best part about this recipe is that it is a one pot meal dish. This is a great addition to a lunchbox and both GG & BB have asked me to add this to their lunch boxes.

Spinach Mint Rice

Ingredients:
• 2 cups basmati rice
• 1 bunch spinach
• 1 bunch mint with the leaves plucked
• 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
• 10-15 curry leaves
• 1 medium sized onion, chopped roughly
• 1 bulb garlic, peeled
• inch piece of ginger, peeled
• 5-6 green chillies
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 10-12 pieces of cashewnuts, chopped into half
• 2 tbsp oil or ghee
• Salt to taste

Method:
Soak the rice in water for 20-30 minutes and then wash it thoroughly, drain and keep aside.
• Take some water in a large pan and boil it. While the water is boiling, wash the spinach leaves thoroughly and keep aside.
• Wash the mint, curry and coriander leaves and keep aside.
• Blanch the spinach leaves, a few at a time for around 10-15 seconds in the boiling water and remove and keep aside.
• In a blender, blend together the spinach, mint leaves, coriander leaves, curry leaves, garlic, ginger, green chillies and onion into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
• Heat the ghee in a pan and when it warms up, add the cashewnuts and fry until they are brown and nicely toasted. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
• In the same pan, with the remaining ghee, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
• Then add the blended paste and some salt and let the paste cook for around 5 minutes. The paste should start thickening and at this point add the rice.
• Mix the rice well into the spinach mint paste and once each grain of rice is coated with the paste, remove it to a rice cooker and add the water needed to cook the rice. Cook until it is done and then let it sit for 10 minutes before opening the rice cooker. Fluff it with a fork and add the fried cashewnuts.
• If you are cooking in a pan, when the rice is coated with the paste, add the water and let it cook until the rice is done. Switch off the gas and let it sit for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork and then garnishing with the cashewnuts.
• Serve hot with a raita and some chips. I served this with an onion pineapple raita. This raita is very simple. Beat some yoghurt in a bowl and add salt and pepper to it. Then add some finely chopped onions, finely chopped pineapples (either fresh or from a tin) and some finely chopped coriander leaves. Taste for seasoning and serve. For the chips, I fried some traditional vadam.
• Vadam is traditionally made by drying a paste made of rice and other ingredients in the sun until all the water is leeched out. Then during days when vegetables are in short supply, you fry these in hot oil and use them as an accompaniment to any rice dish.

Recipes: Green Apple Chutney

While making dinner the other day, I wanted to make a chutney to go with dinner. I wanted to make something easy and also try something different when I saw some green apples on the counter. I quickly went online to see what I could do and saw many recipes playing with green apples and coriander and so I decided to make something similar.

Green apples are very versatile and tart Granny Smith apples (which I used) can also be used in place of raw green mangoes. I’ve previously made a version of my instant mango pickle using green apples and though it does spoil faster than the pickle made with mangoes, it is a yummy addition to your pickles at home, especially when you are craving pickles but don’t have mangoes in the house.

Anyway, on to this recipe. I made this recipe similar to my green coriander chutney and even though it was a tad on the spicier side, it was yummy.

Green Apple Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 2 green apples
  • 4-6 green chillies
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 small bunch coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Peel the garlic and ginger and keep aside.
  • Chop the green chillies into smaller pieces and keep aside.
  • Core and chop the green apples (keep the skin) and put it immediately into the blender.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, green chillies and coriander leaves to the green apples and blend together to a fine paste.
  • Add salt and the sugar and continue to blend, adding water as necessary to make it into a smooth and fine paste.
  • Eat with idli, dosa, rotis and even as a base for a sandwich.

Notes:

When I first made it, it turned out to be too spicy for S and BB who don’t like spicy food. So I blended a portion of the chutney with some homemade plain yoghurt and it was even better. I would just blend it with yoghurt instead of water. You can also increase the number of chillies if you can tolerate the spice.

Recipes: One Pot Coriander Rice

I was feeling very lazy to cook last week and didn’t want to make something complicated. I thought of making some kind of a pulao, then zeroed on to this coriander rice. This is a one pot meal and is super yummy and delicious! It’s also very easy to make, even if you are a novice in the kitchen.

One Pot Coriander Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice, washed well and soaked in water for 20-30 minutes.
  • 2 medium sized onions, sliced finely
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 carrot, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 medium sized potato, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup paneer, chopped into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 5-6 green chillies
  • 4 pieces of clove
  • 4 pieces of cardamom
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil

Method:

  • Drain the rice and keep aside.
  • Blend together the coriander leaves, garlic pods, ginger and green chillies to make it into a fine paste and keep aside.
  • In a pan, heat the ghee or oil and when warm, add the cumin seeds. When the seeds splutter, add the cloves, cardamom pods and the bay leaf.
  • Then add the onions and sauté till it becomes translucent. Add the bell pepper and continue to sauté.
  • Add the remaining vegetables (except the paneer) and sauté for around 5 minutes.
  • Now add the blended paste and the paneer and stir well. Add salt to taste and when the mixture starts to bubble, add the drained rice and check for seasoning.
  • If using a rice cooker, pour this with around 1 to 1.5 cups of water and cook till done.
  • If using the stove top continue to cook using water as required. The rice should be separate and well done.

I served this with my Sweet Corn Sundal which I repurposed as a salad for today and a pineapple and onion raita.

Recipes: Green Coriander Chutney

An extremely versatile chutney, this green coriander chutney is also sometimes referred to as Bombay Sandwich chutney as this one is found almost everywhere where you have the roadside sandwich sellers (super yums👍). I’ve been making this chutney for ages and I remember friends telling me to make this when they come over for a meal when we were in college. And now, both BB & GG also love it, especially as a spread for sandwiches..

Green Coriander Chutney

IMG_4554[1]Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh green coriander leaves, chopped, washed and drained of water
  • 1 large onion or 2 small onions, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 pods of garlic (optional)
  • 4-5 green chillies ( more or less depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 1 tsp sugar or sweetener
  • 1-2 tsps lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Method:

This is very easy. Just put all the ingredients except sugar, salt and lemon juice in a blender and  blend till it’s a smooth purée. Add water a bit by bit, just to get the blender going. Avoid adding too much water to make it thicker. Add the lemon juice, sugar and salt to taste and blend till you achieve the right consistency. Remove and put in a bowl with a lid and refrigerate. This should keep for a week (if it lasts that long that is)

NOTE: Refrigerating the chutney will cut down the spiciness a bit, so if you like it a bit spicy, adjust the green chillies accordingly.

IMG_4553[1]