This used to be a staple when my sister and I were kids at home. My mom and paati would make Masala Dosa, Chutney and kutty onion sambar. We would stuff ourselves with that and in a couple of hours, it would be lunch time. It was always Cauliflower Kurma and Pulav - but the pulav was never with lots of masala - it was more of a simple but awesome Ghee rice.
Today - I wanted to make that for lunch - missing mom and paati and Dad- wish they were here with me!!
But here's my quick fix.
Before you start anything - soak about a tbsp of raw cashewnuts with white poppy seeds (about a tsp) in water.
Cut Onions, Tomatoes (large pieces), green chillies, ginger, garlic and coconut (frozen is fine). I had fresh coconut and hence decided to use that. Cut Cauliflower into medium sized florets.
Grind together coconut, green chillies, ginger, a bit of jeera and coriander seeds and the soaked cashews and poppy seeds.
Heat up a pan, add about a tbsp of oil, add the cut garlic (my mom never used garlic btw) and fry till brown. Add the onions and fry for a min. Add tomatoes and fry for a couple of mins. Add the cauliflower and mix together well. At this point, add tumeric and salt and a little bit of red chilli powder. Fry this well till just for a couple of mins. Don't cook this too much or else the cauliflower will become too soft and soggy.
Add the ground paste to this and add maybe a cup of water to the pan. Let it cook on simmer for like 5 mins till the raw smell of the paste goes away.
You are almost done. Just add fresh cut cilantro leaves to this and you are done! This kurma is full of flavor because of the poppy seeds. Even though this is a gravy, the cauliflower is still crisp because we fried it before we added the water. Enjoy this hot!
Now, for the rice - this is a super easy quick recipe. I cooked the whole thing in the rice cooker.
Add a couple of tsp's of ghee to the rice cooker and switch on the cook button. Add about 3 bay leaves, 3 cloves, and a piece of cinnamon. Add the onions and fry it in the rice cooker till translucent. Add the washed rice - 2 cups of basmati rice. Add about a cup of mixed veggies - carrots, beans and green peas to this rice. Fry all of this together without adding water for a min. Add salt to the rice at this point. Now, add the water - I added about 3 cups of water for 2 cups of rice.
Close the rice cooker and let it cook. You are done. When you take out the rice, make sure you don't mix it up hard. That will break the rice and mash it up. Just take it out gently and serve in another bowl. Remember, this rice has no masala and is not spicy at all. All the flavor comes from the ghee and the bay leaves, cloves up that we added upfront. This is a perfect rice for kids.
Now, sit back and enjoy this simple meal. I savored every bite of this ...we would watch Ramayanam and He-Man, the master of the Universe while eating this meal at home. Today, we watched my daughter's favorite cartoon while eating lunch!