Recipes: Raw Mango Rice

A dish from the state of Karnataka made on special occasions, my mother has been asking me to make this ever since she tasted it in Bengaluru. My sister also makes a version of this rice and kept telling me to try it as it was very tasty. I finally caved in and made it a couple of weeks back when I found some nice raw unripe mangoes in the market. The rice was very tasty and reminded us of lemon rice which is prepared similarly.

Recipes: Raw Mango Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 raw mango, peeled and grated to get about ½ cup of grated mangoes
  • 1 cup basmati rice, soaked in water for about 30 minutes
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp broken urad dal
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • 6-8 cashew nuts
  • 2 dried red chillies, broken
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped to garnish

Method:

  • Cook the rice and let it cool. When cool, gently fluff it with a spoon and spread it on a large plate. Keep aside
  • Heat the oil in a pan and when the oil warms up, add in the mustard seeds and let the seeds pop.
  • Next add the turmeric powder, and the urad dal and stir for a few seconds. After this add in the dried chillies, the peanuts and cashew nuts and stir until the cashew nuts start to become golden brown.
  • At this point, add in the grated mango and the salt and stir. Cook covered until the mangoes become tender and cooked.
  • When the mangoes are cooked, add in the rice and gently mix everything. You can check for seasoning at this point and add what is missing.
  • Add in the grated coconut and stir well.
  • Cook covered for a minute or two and serve hot garnished with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Recipes: Cauliflower and Broccoli Pulao

Since GG started her internship, I have been trying to make more one-pot meals that she can take with her. Some experiments in making one-pot meals are successful or some are a big failure. Today’s recipe is one of those experiments which were successful. Everyone loved it and S who is usually not a big fan of the cauliflower and broccoli combination asked me to make this instead of the usual stir fry I make.

This is a very simple recipe to make and barely took me 10 minutes to prep and put in the rice cooker. If you are making this on the stovetop, it will need a bit more care as you need to keep an eye on the water level.

Cauliflower and Broccoli Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • ½ a head of cauliflower, cut into medium-sized florets
  • ½ a head of broccoli, cut into medium=-sized florets
  • 1 medium-sized onion, halved and sliced finely
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • inch cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp green chilli paste or 1 green chilli, chopped into big pieces
  • 10 pieces of cashew nuts
  • Salt to taste
  • 1.5 cups water

Method:

  • Wash the basmati rice well till the water runs clear and then soak it in water for 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add the ghee and when the ghee warms, add the cashew nuts and let the nuts become golden brown.
  • At this point, add the cumin seeds and let the seeds pop.
  • Once the cumin seeds pop, add in the bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom pods and saute for a few seconds each.
  • Then add in the green chillies or the chilli paste and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Now add the chopped and washed cauliflower and broccoli florets and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Once the florets are cooking for a few minutes, add in the washed and drained rice and season with salt. I usually add about 1 tsp of salt for a cup of rice, but this is a personal preference.
  • Transfer the rice mixture to a rice cooker and add 1.5 cups of water and cook until done. If you are using the stovetop, stir once a while until all the water is completely absorbed by the rice and the rice is cooked.
  • Once the rice is done, switch off the stove or rice cooker and let it sit for a while before opening it and fluffing it with a fork.
  • Serve hot with a raita.

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: Methi Matar Pulao

During this lockdown when we can’t go out much, sometimes, you have pretty much nothing left in the fridge to cook with. Last week was one of those times. I was staring at a an empty fridge and still had to make lunch. So I decided to make this Methi Matar Pulao with what I actually had which was an onion, some frozen green peas and dried methi plus some spices. It actually was super delicious and GG even said that this could have been eaten on its own though I paired it with some onion boondi raita and some potato chips or crisps. Do try and let me know if you liked it!

Methi Matar Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, washed well and soaked for 20-30 mins
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • 1 onion, sliced finely
  • 2-3 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves or Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 4-5 cardamom pods
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 green chilli, chopped into 1 inch pices
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee

Method:

  • After the basmati rice has been soaked for 20-30 mins, drain the water from the rice and keep aside.
  • Heat the ghee or oil in a pan and when the fat heats up, add the cumin seeds and let them pop.
  • After the cumin seeds pop, add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and stir for a few seconds.
  • Then add the green chilli and ginger and stir for a few seconds. After this add the onions and stir until the onions are translucent.
  • Now add the frozen peas and stir. Once the peas have been coated with the oil, take the dried fenugreek leaves in the palm of your hand and crush it lightly to release the oils. Sprinkle this dried leaves over the peas and stir.
  • Add the drained rice and salt and stir well.
  • If you are using a rice cooker, pour this into the rice cooker, add the appropriate amount of water and cook until done. I generally use slightly less than 1 cup of water for every cup of basmati rice, but you can play with this depending on your rice.
  • If you are cooking on the stovetop, add slightly less than the water needed and cook covered. If you feel you need more water, add towards the end when the rice is almost cooked so you can control how much water you add.
  • When the rice is cooked, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before you fluff it up with a fork. Serve hot with a raita.

Recipe: Saffron Cumin Rice

I saw a reference to Saffron Rice in some recipes I was browsing while thinking about what to cook last Sunday. The name intrigued me and I got thinking about how this recipe would look and taste. So I tried making my version and the result was a delicious, fragrant but simple dish which I put together in less than 15 minutes of prep time plus cooking time.

Saffron is a very exotic and expensive spice. It is derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigmata and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Although some doubts remain on its origin, it is believed that saffron originated in Iran, but Greece and Mesopotamia have also been suggested as the possible region of origin of this plant.

Saffron is a powerful antioxidant and is said to have cancer fighting properties. It is also said to reduce heart disease risk factors, lower blood sugar levels and improve eyesight in adults with age-related macular degeneration. It may improve memory in adults with Alzheimer’s disease

Saffron and Cumin Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Soak the basmati rice for 20-30 minutes and drain and keep aside.
  • Warm the milk in a small container and then put one pinch of the saffron and let the saffron dissolve in the milk.
  • Heat the ghee in a pan and when warm, add the cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds splutter and then crush the remaining saffron with your fingertips and add to the ghee.
  • Add the turmeric powder and stir for a couple of seconds. The turmeric is added to enhance the colour of the rice plus for its antiseptic properties. So you can omit it if you want.
  • Next add the soaked rice and stir for a few minutes. Stir the dissolved saffron and milk and add this to the rice. Mix well.
  • Add the salt (approximately 1 tsp per cup of rice) and stir well.
  • Transfer to a rice cooker, add the water and cook until it is done. Let it sit in the rice cooker for 10 minutes and then fluff the rice. Serve hot with any gravy vegetable.
  • If you are cooking using the stove top, add the water to the rice while using the pan to fry the rice, then cook it until it is al-dente. Keep an eye on the rice and add more water if needed.

I served this rice with a yummy kadhai vegetable, the recipe which I will share very soon