What a weekend it was! I met my wonderful friend back from college Kamakshi and she made the most delicious soft aappams for me. And I also took picutres of a dish she made for a future post - a Tapioca delicacy from Kerala.
And then, I finally got to meet a lot of new friends who I got to know through the blog. We got interacting on the blog's FB page and one thing led to another and slowly we all became good friends. I visited the bay area and got to meet all of them during the weekend. We had some wonderful conversations and great food! I'll post a few pictures later. Thank you to all 10 of you for a memorable weekend.
I ended my trip with watching Eat Pray Love with my sister. We should have maybe just gone out to eat and pray and chat with sisterly love! The movie was ok - but I felt it was a drag. Finally back to work and routine.
Now moving on to this post. This was an impromptu fried rice that was created in a jiffy. And it was all gone in a jiffy too!
There was left over paneer in my fridge. There was a whole bunch of mint leaves in my backyard that was just begging to be be eaten up! And there was this little kid in my house who wanted corn in some form in her next meal. And that is how people, this dish was born!
Before you start cooking this, keep about 2 cups basmati rice with 3 cups of water in a rice cooker or pressure cooker. Once the rice is done, cool it down. You can also add a tsp of oil to the rice and let it just sit - helps in separating the grains while cooling down.
Here's my favorite fresh backyard mint....I love the smell of my fingers when I pluck them out of the plant. Forget aromatherapy hand lotions - nothing to beat this!
Cut Paneer into small cubes and set aside so its ready to be sauteed.
In a wide pan, add about 1 tsp of ghee and fry some cashewnuts till they turn golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
Then, add the cut paneer pieces to the pan and turn the heat on medium and start sauteeing. You can add a tsp of oil or ghee also to fry the paneer pieces.
Add a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste just for the paneer. And yes..the paneer will stick when you fry it in a steel dish - but if you do it in medium, they just come off easy too. Once the paneer is done, remove it from the pan and set aside.
Now, add another tsp of oil and fry some whole jeera.
Then, add in chopped onions and some finely chopped green chillies and fry till translucent.
Then, add a spoon of ginger garlic paste to the onions and fry for a minute.
Now add about 1 cup of fresh or frozen corn to the onions and cook for a few mins. Add salt to taste and also a pinch of turmeric powder.
Then add the masalas - I added 1 tsp of pulav masala, some red chilli powder. You can also add fresh green chillies at the beginning for a spicier tasting pulav.
Now, add the freshly chopped mint to the corn and mix well. All of it will wilt in a min but your house will smell and feel like a pretty magaize cover page house!
Now add the cooked paneer to the rest of the ingredients. Cook together for a min.
Then, add the cooked rice to the veggies and paneer.
Mix gently without smashing up the rice too much. This is no place to take out all your energy! Cook like a ballet dancer. You could also dance alongside for some self-entertainment if you need to. I do it too as soon as I make sure no one's watching!
When all the rice is mixed up, add the roasted cashews on top and mix gently one more time.
Serve hot. Serve yourself. Sit back, relax and enjoy your plate of deliciousness!
Of course I had to give you all a close up shot! Coz my cashew loves the spotlight!