Sep 29, 2009

Variety Rice Bonanza

This was my lunch menu for Saraswathi Puja day of Navarathri. It fell on a Sunday and this menu was perfect for Sunday Lunch. Eat all the rice you can and hit the bed for a Sunday afternoon siesta!

I made Coconut Rice, Puliyodharai and Ellorai. Click on each of these to look at the full recipes.




Can you see my face here?? LOL!


I fried some vathal to go along with the different types of rice.


 Here's our carb laden feast! Low Carb dieters - please step away or close your eyes for a few mins.

Served as Naivediyam for the puja.


Hope you all had a wonderful Navarathri!

Ellorai - Sesame Seed Rice

This is the third in my variety rice series! Like I said before, I was cooking for a Sunday Lunch menu and it was the Saraswathi Puja day of Navarathri. What other than variety rice? Its perfect for lunch and also for naivediyam. 

This is also another common mixed rice prepared in South India. Its full of flavor - and Ive noticed that somehow you get used to this burst of sesame seeds flavor when you are a little older. I don't see too many kids liking this - I did not like it when I was a kid too. Maybe for a kid, their sensors find this very strong. Oh well...I still loved it!
To prepare this rice, first dry roast about 1 -2 tbsp of white sesame seeds. Roast till they are a golden brown.

Now, dry roast these things below -

1 tbsp channa daal
1 tbsp urad daal
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp methi seeds
2-3 green chillies
2-3 red chillies
about 1 inch ginger chopped
1 tbsp of cashewnuts

Dry roast all of these and then grind to a coarse powder form.


In a wide pan, add 1 tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds to splutter, then add curry leaves and hing.

When done, add the powdered spices above and switch off the stove.


Add cooked rice to this and mix well. Mix gently though so that you don't break all the cooked rice. Add salt to taste.

You are done!


Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve with chips or vathal.


Here are my three variety rice for lunch.


Enjoy. Peace out!

Puliyodharai - Tamarind Rice

Here's my second variety rice recipe.

I have to credit Shanthi of Shanthi Krishnakumar's Cookbook blog for this wonderful recipe. I wanted the authentic Iyengar Puliyodharai recipe and really liked her recipe. Read the original full recipe here.

Thank you Shanti Mami for the wonderful recipe!

In a small pan, dry roast these ingredients -

1 tbsp Channa Daal
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp of Methi Seeds
A few red chillies

After dry roasting, grind this into a fine powder. This will be our Puliyodharai powder.


Meanwhile, in a bowl soak about 2 small lemon sized tamarind balls. To squeeze out all the juice, I just microwave this for a min - that softens the tamarind and you will be able to squeeze out all the juice.


In a pan, add a tbsp of oil. Shanthi recommends Gingely Oil for this - but I did not have that and used regular Olive Oil. So, if you do have gingely oil, please use that. Add mustard seeds to splutter, then add hing, 1 tsp of channa daal, red chilles, curry leaves and fry for a min. Add about 2 tbsp of shelled peanuts and roast well.


When the above is nicely roasted, add the squeezed tamarind juice in here. Add salt and cook well for a few mins. The paste will start to thicken and form a pulikachal.


You can see it starting to thicken here.


Here its all done. You can see that the oil has separated from the paste.

Now, switch off the stove and add the cooked rice to this pulikachal and add the puliyodharai powder on top of the rice. Mix everything well. Add salt to taste if needed.


There's the awesome colored puliyodharai!


Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve with chips or vathal.


Enjoy. Peace Out!

Coconut Rice

This is a first of a four post variety rice party! That's right - I have 4 new posts on variety rice! Crazy..maybe.

Coconut Rice is a very easy dish - but tastes so good. Even people who are not big coconut fans tend to like this dish.

I was making this for lunch on Saraswathi Puja day. I decided to have a lunch with just variety rice and this was my first pick. Maybe just because I love coconuts!

Cook Rice and keep separately to cool down. If you are using Basmati rice, use 1 cup is to 1 1/2 cup water ratio. That cooks the rice well but still keeps the grains separate.

In a pan, add a tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds when the oil is hot. When the mustard seeds splutter, add 1 tsp each of channa daal and urad daal. Add Hing, Green chilli, red chillies, curry leaves and chopped ginger in here too. Add about 1 tbsp of shelled peanuts. Fry everything for a min.

Now, add 1 cup of grated coconuts in here and roast for a min. Do take care and make sure that you don't burn the coconuts.

Switch off the stove and add the cooked rice to this. Stir everything in with the rice gently taking care to not break the rice. Add salt to taste. You are done!


Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve with aviyal or chips or vathal.

Enjoy. Peace out!

Sep 23, 2009

Thiratti Paal - without the 1 hr process

Thiratti Paal is a sweet dish passed on down through generations. This is similar to Kalakkand. This is an absolute comfort food - does not look too fancy - but just the mere taste of it will take you back years - nestled in your favorite chair back home - talking on the phone to your best friend - eating a cup of thiratti paal that mom or grandma just made. The smell of milk and sugar cooked together - with a little bit of ghee...yumm...

Doing this the traditional way will take about an hour or so to get a cup of thiratti paal! But, thanks to today's technology and microwaves, this takes about 12 mins or a little more. I cannot single out the differences in both - they both taste divine.

To start with, add one can or two cans of sweetened condensed milk to a microwave safe bowl. I strongly recommend you to go with a glass bowl and not a plastic bowl - you don't want to heat up anything in plastic for a long time.

For each can of condensed milk, add 2 tbsp of milk and 2 tbsp of fresh curds in the bowl.

Mix well until all the curds and milk are combined with the condensed milk.

Move the bowl to the microwave and heat on high for about 4 mins. Take it out and stir well. Add a tbsp of ghee at this point.


Move back to the microwave and keep heating in intervals of 2 mins. After every 2 mins, take it out and stir it up well.

I have added pictures in each stage. Initially, you will notice all the water separating from the milk. As  you keep heating, this will evaporate a little bit and get pulled back in a little bit.

The ghee will also separate initially but by the end, it will all be combined well.

When it starts combining together, add a pinch of cardamom powder for flavor.

This is done here below. I kind of lost track of the exact number of minutes I microwaved this - but I think its about 14-16 mins. This might vary depending upon your microwave power levels.


Serve hot or cold - either way its not going to last for a long time! Enjoy!

Peace out!


Pari from Foodelicious has passed me on a few blog awards.

Thank you Pari for all the kind words and support. I truly appreciate it. It's friends like you that keep me going. Thanks!



Sep 22, 2009

Dahi Vada - Garnish

I've already blogged about Dahi Vada once and here is the complete post.

Last weekend, my friend did a baby shower for our her cousin and our friend and it was a potluck party. We had Golgappas, Vada Pav, Dahi Vada and Kadi Chawal! Perfect menu!

I had made Dahi vadas but this time wanted to just garnish it pretty. So, here's my outcome!

I used grated carrots and chopped up cilantro to make this. You can also try something similar with maybe cucumber or pomegranate seeds that will go good with Dahi Vada and will also look beautiful!

I'm sending this across to the "Garnish the Dish" event held by Nithya and Pavithra of Innovative In Laws. 

Thanks Nithya and Pavithra for hosting!
Enjoy. Peace Out!

Sep 16, 2009

Veggie Hakka Noodles and Gobi Manchurian!


One other Indian Chinese original - never to be found in China or anywhere else! People in the Hakka province in China can eat a plate of this and wonder why they never knew about it!

Most of you who are reading this and who like Indian chinese food probably has by default ordered this everytime you went to eat in the great Indian chinese restaurants in India. Its my staple when I go to Golden Dragon in Salem or Cascade or Rangis in Chennai. Its usually an order of Hakka Noodle and one fried Rice and a couple of curries and soup and spring rolls for appetizers! And we ordered all of these even if we were only a couple of friends eating out! Oh my...I was totally calorie ignorant when I was in college!

I had got the Chings Hakka Noodles packet here in my local grocery store. They have also now come out with the 5 mins quick spice mix in different flavors like Manchurian, Schezwan and Chilli Panneer and yes, I bought one of each! So, this post is not from scratch but a quick dinner option using the convenient instant foods available in the market. To its defense, it does have fresh veggies and a little bit of cooking involved. 

Today was my day to try the Hakka Noodles and Gobi Manchurian!

So - here it goes -

Chop all the veggies required lengthwise. I chopped up 2 green chillies, cabbage, onions, carrots, green beans. You can also add bell pepper if you like.

For the Hakka Noodles, first boil about 4 -5  cups of water in a wide pan. When the water is boiling, add the packet noodles and cook for a couple of mins. When the noodles are done, pour it in a colander immediately and wash with cold water. This stops the cooking process and also make sure that the noodles don't stick to each other. You can add a tsp of oil to the noodles and mix well.

Add a couple of tsp of oil to the pan. When hot, add the green chillies and onions. Fry for a couple of mins.

Add all the veggies together and fry for a couple of mins. Do not overcook the veggies - they should still be crispy when done.

Add the cooked noodles now and mix well with the veggies. The chings packet came with a seasoning that had black pepper, white pepper and salt in there. I added that. If you don't have the seasoning, just add some freshly grounded black pepper and salt.


You are done - serve hot!

Now, for the side kick - Gobi Manchurian.

I cut up some big florets of Cauliflower. In a mixing bowl, take about 2 tsp of maida, 1 tsp of corn flour. Add some salt and red chilli powder. Add water to make a paste. Dunk the cauliflowers in here and fry it hot oil.


For the sauce, I cup up some onions, bell pepper and carrots into big pieces. Chop up a couple of green chillies and ginger finely. In a wide pan, add a tsp of oil. When hot, add the chopped green chillies and ginger. Fry for a min. Then, add the onions  - fry for a min. Then add the cut bell peppers and carrots. Fry it all for a min and add the Chings manchurian spice mix. Add water if needed, but as this cooks, the sauce will thicken up. Cook for about 5 mins and you are done! Just before serving, add the fried Gobi pieces in here and mix well.


Enjoy the hot Hakka Noodles with Gobi Manchurian!


Peace Out!