Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Airline Pulao

There was a time, when the kids were very young, that occasional meals were built around a rice dish (a pulao or a khichadi). Along with a yogurt-based salad, roasted papad, some steamed carrots & broccoli we had ourselves a meal.
It was one such evening and I was winging a pulao, literally throwing in things that caught my fancy. One of the things I added was a hefty pinch of cardamom and liberal amounts of kasoori methi.

My son had a spoonful of the pulao and exclaimed loudly 'Aai, this is just like the S- Airlines pulao.' He was too young to know that this was not exactly an compliment.

Since then this pulao has been made many times. Somewhere along the line I added in some paneer cubes and, thankfully, the name changed to paneer pulao. Sometimes my nieces refer to this as that pulao.
We don't eat much rice nowadays; a couple of times a week. And when we do have some, the quantities have gone down as has the size of the paneer cubes. A bit of paneer does go a long way. I've made this pulao with white, red, and brown rice. When using brown or red rice the quantity of spices and the onion and garlic definitely need to be increased to stand up to the robustness of the rice.

The quantities are mere guidelines.
1 cup rice, wash and set aside
½ medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ tsp jeera
1 tsp kasuri methi
½ tsp powdered cardamom
7-8 cashews, roughly chopped
1 cup paneer cubes
salt, to taste
1 tbsp oil
2 cups warm water

Method Over medium heat, warm the oil.
Add the onions and let then brown.
Add the garlic and cook a bit but don't let the garlic brown.
Add the kasoori methi, jeera, cardamom, and the chili powder cook for another ½ minute.
Add the rice and saute for a bit (less than a minute) before adding two cups warm water.
When the rice is half cooked, add the salt and the paneer cubes. Give it a good stir.
Cover and cook thru.
Once cooked, fluff the pulao slightly using a fork before serving.
(Do not overcook the rice.)

If you have any questions or comments, please write to me for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Methi Times Three

I wish there was a clever or an amusing story to go with this recipe. But there isn't. No preamble. This is quite simply my favourite way of making methi-cha-varan/ methi-daal.
It has methi in three forms: slightly soaked methi seeds, methi seeds in the phodni (tadka, tempering) and finally glorious methi greens.

Methi-cha Varan

1 cup toor (arhar) daal, washed
1 - 1½ cup methi leaves, chopped
1 tbsp methi (fenugreek) seeds, soaked for a couple of hours in warm water
4-5 kadhilimba (curry leaves)
phodni kit (1 tbsp oil, ½ tsp cumin seeds, pinch of asafoetida, and ¼ tsp turmeric)
1 tsp methi seeds
1 tsp (or more) red chili powder
a couple stalks of cilantro leaves, chopped
a pinch of sugar
salt, to taste
lemon juice, to taste
warm water

Pressure cook the toor daal and the soaked methi seeds.
Heat the oil, when hot add the cumin seeds, the asafoetida, and the methi seeds.
Don't let the methi seeds brown.
Add the turmeric and then the methi leaves.
Give it a quick stir and cook uncovered for a couple of minutes.
Add the cooked daal-methi mixture, the curry leaves, the red chili powder, salt, and sugar.
Add a cup of warm water and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
Add more warm water if you want a thinner varan.
Add the lemon juice.
Adjust the salt and spice levels.
Serve with steamed rice.


If you have any questions or comments, please write to me or Tweet me @Cooker_Baker. Thanks for stopping by.
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