Showing posts with label Rice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rice. Show all posts

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Simple everyday pilaf

#PilafRecipe #SimpleEverydayPilaf #IndianPilaf #Recipe #SJPhotography
 Neel from Learn food Photography hosted a free food photography work shop sometime in September, like last year I took the plunge.  I met some amazing photographers and made some good friends, after all it was 30 days of working together and lots of inspiration and interaction. There are about 500 plus members in this group and somehow you  end up ‘connecting’ with some people.

 I met Krystallia through this workshop and by met, I mean, met online. We seem to like similar images,…I don’t know what it was, but we became friends.  Krys asked me to do a guest post on her blog ‘My Cooking Secrets’ , we started brainstorming about ideas, The time difference of eight hours did not come in our way, we were chatting till midnight. I asked her to tell me a little about herself,  other than photography,…. “My favorite moto is ‘’DO NOT WASTE FOOD, there is always a way to CREATE a dish from scratch’’. Seriously it was like my mom talking, I grew up on that….wasting food was unheard of and you eat what you get. I knew why we had become friends, we talked about a lot of things about Greek food, about real food, local foods and why we both started blogging, she said, “I didn' t set out to be a food photographer, let alone a blogger. I was previously an executive secretary and account assistant. When I got married and moved to Malta I focused on what I loved most. To create recipes, promote the Greek cuisine and inspire people to cook. My blog was the perfect way to combine my creative interests, yet it made me feel incredibly happy, so I ran with it.” Two women thousands of miles apart, who have never seen each other ( Krys, better put up a profile picture on FB), yet had so much in common. At the end of the day we are all the same under the skin and we relate to similar emotions. Krys is so passionate about her food, it percolates to her blog. Her enthusiasm and passion is surely contagious. Thanks so much Krys for your friendship and all the energy you bring to the blogging world.

Krys had a few questions…over to her to read the informal chat.

#PilafRecipe #SimpleEverydayPilaf #IndianPilaf #Recipe #SJPhotography

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Wild Black Rice n’ Pumpkin Masala

Browsing through the grain section of the grocery store, my eyes fell on long shiny black rice, that was labeled wild rice. I was drawn to it like an artist is drawn to paint. I felt it with my hands, it was slippery and shiny and had extremely long grains, for a minute it looked too perfect, as though it was pieces of ebony that were hand polished. It made it’s way home with me and it lay on the pantry shelf for weeks. I was beginning to get skeptical, even thou I cook brown rice but my true love is pure white basmati:long aromatic grains of rice. A girl who likes her rice pure white, has here in her hand deep black shiny rice. Being attracted to black shiny long grains is one thing, eating it is another.

I took the plunge and put out some water to boil. Waited for 20 minutes, it smelled nothing like white rice. Very, very strong nutty aroma, and when I say strong, I mean really very strong. Something, told me this was not for me, with lot of inner courage I tasted the almost raw rice that was boiling away on the gas stove, I loved the crunch. First there was a crunch then a bit soft…. The aroma of the rice boiling in the water, grew on me, but definitely not my favorite. The taste: I really liked. It sat on the gas stove for 40 minutes, and barely cooked. Out came the pressure cooker and in went the rice - 3 whistles later there was nutty, aroma-less black rice. It’s has a strong flavor, so for me it is definitely not the main ingredient in the dish.  It really pairs well with pumpkin and together they can make a great tasting side. One cups makes almost two and a half cups, so keep that in mind when you cook it. 

#BlackWildRice #PumpkinNWildRice #Recipe #MasalaWildRice
#BlackWildRice #PumpkinNWildRice #Recipe #MasalaWildRice

#BlackWildRice #PumpkinNWildRice #Recipe #MasalaWildRice

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Well, 2012 has been a year full of surprises! It's been quite a year, with both its ups and downs. Looking back, it has been a year of tremendous learning and growth - I've connected with some amazing people and made some good friends, thanks to Facebook and the blogging community. I've absolutely loved being a part of The Daring Bakers, The Daily Meal, and some exciting blog events - I've enjoyed working on the challenges, recipe reviews, and the traditional exchange sponsored by Kikkoman - the slideshow is on my Facebook page. I must confess, am no social network snob and love connecting on Facebook and other social media - nah ! not addicted ;) I am looking forward to a great 2013, with some exciting work and a lot of learning! Thanks for all of the support, guys - from the tech support with my endless FB questions to the feedback, recipe help, encouragement and appreciation!!

These are some of my favorite posts!! It was really hard to pick just a handful - I love everything I cook - but I somehow managed!!! Cheers to 2013, everyone - a year filled with lots more on our plates.

Masala bread   
Fruit chai 
Battenburg cake 
Filled pate a choux swan 
Tamarind rice 
Apricot curry  Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Apricot Curry and Cumin Rice

 I was at the local library, in the cook book aisle, while finally teen was rampaging through the mystery isle...searching for "that" book which is almost always checked out. "Go check in the teen section" was my instant response, meaning more time in the cook book section for me. Doesn't matter if it's a toddler or a teen, once their job is done, they are hungry or tired or falling apart and it becomes an immediate emergency that we leave the given place and drive to the next destination. So with the limited time window, my eyes fell on "50 great curries of India by Camellia Panjabi" and while browsing through it,  the page landed on "mixed dry fruit curry " I knew instantly my family is going to love this one.... the key word savory with a hint of sweet. We never need an excuse to eat spicy food!! The constant complaint is "it's not spicy enough", never "it's too spicy"... Not so much finally teen, but the other person in the house. Not naming any names here. :)  But, mind you, if the curry in question is rich n creamy with a mild sweet savory after taste... the spice nagging is thrown out of the window. Weird, but as they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Can't argue about that - spicy or not. My mother always says men are weird like that, they have contradictory likes....she does have a point here. Well the curry is NOT at all spicy and was LOVED by the family. Love is a mild acknowledgement of the emotion - "best thing I ever ate" was finally teen's response. The other half thought it was a "great recipe and well made", a big compliment from a person who is a perfectionist. I thought it was a great recipe too.  If you are having people over -  wow factor - this is it... not for a late dinner, though, it's rather heavy. Let's say a great lunch curry. It's very unique (in a good way) and extremely rich in flavors, not too much masala but very fragrant.  You can use the same curry base and add koftas or even paneer, I don't see why not. Any great curry recipes leave me the link - it's the next best thing after chocolate. I did alter the recipe, by reducing the amount of nuts, so I can eat more, guilt free.

The recipe is called - Mixed dried fruit curry or Dry fruit Korma. I thought apricot curry was a better name as, apricot is the real star in this recipe.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Tamarind Rice / Puliyogare

For once, I am kind of sad that it's Friday! Have had week long Diwali celebrations, followed by my special day. Thanks to my family and friends, for making my day extra special. I am glad to be surrounded by people who love me for who I am... tons of phone calls, texts, emails and surprise 'ringings' of the doorbell. I am so thankful!

It's amazing that what started as a food blog has become such a huge part of me. My week is incomplete if I do not share my jabbering with you. At first I thought that I was not going to blog about my big day but then... my fingers just typed and when I read it, I could only smile.When I started the blog, I did not know what to write, what to share, and how much to share. Now, writing here is like talking to a best friend. I am so glad, I found my voice. Thanks, guys, for hearing me jabber. And no, I am not sharing my age ;)

Going back to what's cooking...Puliyogare is a family recipe that has been passed down to me by my mother and my mother-in-law. It is one of those recipes that brings back memories and does tie all the generations together. It used to be my dad's favorite and it is also "finally teen's" absolute favorite. A dish that all of us enjoy as a quick weeknite meal and it is almost always a part of elaborate spread during festivals or wedding in the south of India. There are so many recipes that come to my mind when I talk about heritage dishes or family recipes.....but I think this one wins hands down. Am sure a lot of you have different versions of the same things, please feel free to leave a link, I would love to see the variations. 

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Pongal - Rice and lentil porridge

Thanks to my sister for designing the new header.Thank you sista. Flashback to childhood, I remember as a child I was always asked to go to my sister for homework help and seriously I always felt it was like timeout - some how, she made things look harder then it was. I don't now how when or where things changed and now when ever am in doubt I  reach out to her, somehow she makes things look so simple. It is amazing how perspective change with time.  And thank God they do.

 I have never been a picky eater but neither  the kind to be pleased with everything on the table and I was very vocal about my disappointments. It amazes me to think - pongal which was top on my list of  "what I don't want for dinner" has moved to the other side.I enjoy the one pot meal - it's a wonderful meal for a busy weeknight. Love the way it turns out in a crock pot.

For those of you who are new to this - pongal is a  savory rice and lentil porridge, a traditional South Indian delicacy, named after the festival Pongal -  It is a  four-day festival of thanksgiving to nature, which takes its name from the Tamil word 'pongal' meaning "boiling over" signifying abundance and plenty.  It is celebrated in the month of Thai (January-February) Jan 14th to be specific, during the season when rice and other cereals,  are harvested. 

There is a sweet version of pongal too, but for today savory is the flavor of the day !! Served with some tomato chutney . 

For Pongal 

1 cup Rice
3/4 cup Moong daal (split)

For seasoning
1/2 tbs crushed black pepper
3-4 cloves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 green chili split
3-4 curry leaves
2 tbsp ghee or more :)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste

Wash the rice and daal and roast it in 1 tbsp of clarified butter or ghee. In a crockpot add the rice and daal with 4 cups water and salt.

In a small sauce pan add the remaining ghee, add mustard - here it pop add the cumin , cloves, pepper crushed, green chili, curry leaves and asafoetida in the order. Add it to the crock pot and turn it on to high - 4 hrs !!  If you like your pongal more on the dry side reduce the water and the cooking time, I prefer mine, a porridge consistency. Serve how with a dollop of ghee and tomato chutney.

Finally spring seems like it is almost around the corner or is it ? Am yearning to get to the yard and get my hands dirty - literally. But for now I look at the frozen tomatoes from last season, this is the last batch I have, tucked away in my freezer. Frozen or fresh whatever you prefer.
2 large tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tbsp rasam powder
1 tbsp crushed jaggery or  brown sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp tamarind juice
salt to taste

In a sauce pan add the oil followed by mustard - here it pop, add cumin, green chili and curry leaves add the chopped fresh tomatoes or frozen along with salt and jaggery and bring to a boil. Close the lid and simmer for 10-15 min . Add the tamarind, stir and serve with pongal.

Submitting for the event - walk through memory lane  hosted by Gayathri. Thank you !!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bisibele Bhat and Curd rice

Bisibele (bbb) is a traditional dish that I grew up on....lazy weekend afternoons with bisibele and curd rice along with crunchy papadums and fried chillies, followed by a nap and a movie. Sunday nites were movie nites .....those days we had only doordarshan and Sunday nite movies was a grand finale' to the weekend!! It is amazing that not much has changed, we have a variety of entertainment to choose from but Sunday afternoons are special when bbb is on the menu .....& extra special when shared with loved ones - be it family or friends and food is a big part of it, atleast in my home.

I have many variations of bbb. This is one of my favorites : a recipe given to me by my mother-in-law who is a fabulous cook!!

You will need :

1 cup : rice
3/4 cup : toor daal


 1-1/2 cup ash guard cut in cubes
1 cup beans cut - an inch long
3/4 cup   green peas

2-3 tbsp tamarind pulp

lemon size jaggery
pinch turmeric
salt to taste

For the masala
1 tbsp cumin
little  black pepper
4 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp chana daal
4-5 small pieces of cinnamon
3/4 tbsp fenugreek  seeds
6-7 whole dried red chillies
handful dry coconut

roast the masala in a few drops of oil and make a dry powder or a wet paste. Make sure you do not over roast the red chilly or the dry coconut, so add it only after the other ingredients are roasted.

Mix the daal and rice, wash and add 2 cups of water and cook in the conventional pressure cooker till the rice is done. To the cooked rice and daal add cooked vegetables, tamarind, turmeric, jaggery, salt and bbb powder/paste, bring to a boil, add water if required.

 Tempering: heat 1tsp ghee, add mustard, let it splatter now add cashew nuts, asafoetida(hing)and curry leaves pour over bbb and serve hot with papadums.

Curd rice

You will need

2 cups cooked rice
2-3 cups thick yogurt

finely chopped cucumber
green grapes halved or pomegranate
finely chopped cilantro
finely chopped ginger
fresh red/green chilli split
salt to taste

Mix all the above ingredients. For tempering in 1/2 tsp oil add mustard, let it splatter add 1 tsp chana daal and 1 tsp urad daal...asafoetida(hing), ginger and split red/green chilli, garnish with cilantro. Served chill with hot bisibele bhat .

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa is like rice....well almost, can be substituted for rice in a lot of recipes! But unlike rice  it has all the good stuff. We all know about the health benefits - it supplies the complete protein i.e  all nine essential amino acids and so on. Even after I knew everything about this magic grain or seed, I was not sure if I was going to like the way it tasted...well I was in for a surprise....I LOVED IT!! Even thou I have not been able to substitute it for rice on a regular basis...It is a perfect meal for any weeknight. It is not like I have developed the taste for it over the years, I loved it the first time I made it and still do.

I have tried quinoa in a couple of recipes and this is one of them, hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :)


1 cup quinoa
1 cup chopped vegetables  of your choice
1/2 onion finely chopped
2-3 stems of green onions/spring onions- chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/2 Cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp  black pepper
1-2 cloves
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
juice of half a lime
cilantro finely chopped for garnish
1 and 3/4 cup water

Heat oil in a saucepan, add cumin followed by all the other spices, add onions saute till onions are golden brown in color add the finely chopped vegetables, and the washed quinoa. Add salt, saute, add water bring to boil, cover it and lower the flame and cook for 10-12 min or more till the quinoa is cooked. Add juice of half a life for a nice tangy flavor....garnish with cilantro ! enjoy!!!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010


 Whenever I use Dehradun heart warms up as I have lived some part of my childhood in Dehradun.  I remember my mother would buy basmati and it would never be used the same year, it would be kept away to age and bring out the rice would always be dismissed by her as mushy, starchy and lacking in character. Good rice is like wine ...has to be aged to reduce the moisture content. We would always have the rice in tin jars with the year on it, some of it would be used for special occasions as it would not only be old but also be exceptionally aromatic. Now when I rub the grains of basmati with my thumb on my palm and smell the takes be back to my the basmati paddy fields...of picnics...and sunny all part of sweet memories.

Ingredients: serves 4

Basmati rice: 1 cup
Water: 1 and 1/2 cup
Saffron: few strings
Cashew: halved, about a handful
Raisins: handful

Oil or ghee: 4 tbsp

Carrots: cubed
Beans: stringed and cut
Potatoes: cubed
Cauliflower: small florets
Paneer: diced
Green Bell peppers: diced
Onion: 1 big - finely chopped
Green Chilies: 2-3
Ginger: 1/2 inch- grated
Garlic: 2-3 cloves (optional

Biryani masala: 1 tbsp
Cinnamon sticks: 1/2 cut
Jeera/Cumin: 1 tsp
Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper: 1 tsp freshly ground
Cloves: 2-3
Bay Leaf: 1

Yogurt: 1/4 cup
Salt: to taste.

In a bowl add yogurt, biryani masala, saffron and rice and let it marinate for 30 min.

I remember tasting biryani made in an earthenware was the perfect biryani I have ever had...perfectly cooked rice.....with all the flavors and mouthwatering aroma.  I would love to cook my biryani in an earthenware pot.... till I get one, it will be my non-stick pot.  Heat oil or ghee in a non-stick pot, add cumin, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, black pepper and cardamom powder. Add the cashews and raisin and roast. Now add slit green chilies, ginger, garlic and onion and let the onions roast till golden brown, add green bell peppers, followed by other vegis and paneer. Add the marinated rice and roast for a bit, now add water, salt to taste and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and let it simmer till the rice is done. Don't stir the rice when it is hot, it will break the rice grains...wait till it is warm and not hot...before you dish it out.

Serve with papad and pineapple raita.

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