Djuvec Rice


BM# 103: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Balkan States

While looking for recipes from the Balkan states, I came across this dish that’s similar to ratatouille. A little bit of reading online told me that Djuvec (pronounced as joovetch), can be a vegetarian or meat based stew. It can be made with a variety of vegetables and you can add beans or meat to make it a complete meal. When rice is added, it becomes djuvec rice and a main dish that can be served on its own if preferred. The recipe is common to the Balkan states so you might find it marked as Bosnian/ Croatian/ Serbian depending on the blog you read from.

I made it for lunch recently and loved it. To an Indian, this is similar to tomato rice loaded with vegetables and free from the regular masalas.

Read on for the recipe.


Recipe source: Bosnian Djuvec rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth/water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 small capsicum, diced small
  • 1 small eggplant, diced small
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced small
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, or per taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a big pan and sauté onions, garlic, capsicum, zucchini and eggplants.
  2. Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add the tomatoes and green peas along with chili powder and salt. Mix well and cook until the tomatoes are mushy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Mix in the rice and broth/water. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Let the water come to a boil. Cover and cook until the rice has absorbed all the water, about 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat. Done!

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Coriander Pesto Pulao

BM# 103: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Recreate into a new dish

I had picked up a bunch each of basil, mint and coriander when I did grocery shopping last month. I made pesto with basil leaves and then made another pesto with the coriander and mint leaves with almonds. Since there was so much pesto, I was looking at ways to use it up beyond pesto pasta and sandwiches. Pesto rice came to my mind and it sounded like a good idea.

Since the base for my pesto was already coriander, I decided to make it similar to the coriander pulao I usually prepare. I still have some pesto leftover, I think I will be making this pulao again. This pairs well with plain yogurt and chips.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons rice
  • 1 onion, cut in half and sliced into thin pieces
  • 2 carrots, diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 8-10 beans, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced capsicum
  • Salt

To grind:

  • 1/3 cup mint coriander pesto
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1″ ginger piece

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the rice in 3 cups of water. Set aside.
  2. In a blender jar, blend everything under the “to grind” list to a smooth paste. You might have to add a tablespoon or two of water to help with grinding. Set aside.
  3. In the Instant Pot, turn the Sauté function on. Add ghee or oil and once it’s hot, add the onions and all the other vegetables. Sauté and cook under the vegetables are almost cooked.
  4. Add the ground pesto coconut paste and cook over low heat for about a minute.
  5. Drain the rice and add it to the pot. Sauté for a minute. Add three cups of water and salt as needed. Cancel the Sauté function and change it to Manual function. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
  6. Serve it hot with an onion Raita or plain yogurt on the side.

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Instant Pot Jeera rice

BM# 102: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : One bowl recipes

Jeera rice is one of the oft repeated dish at my place. Most of the times I am making a North Indian curry, I always make some Jeera rice to serve it with. It pairs very well with Rajma, Chana masala, mushroom Chettinad and almost all the Curries. The rice pairs especially well with spicier curries. I serve the meal in a bowl with rice on one half and the curry filling the other half.

Earlier I used to cook rice first and then prepare and add the tadka separately. Now I just add everything to the rice and cook for 1 whistle if using stovetop pressure cooker or 2 minutes if using Instant Pot. So just grab a pot that fits inside the Instant Pot or stovetop cooker, add the cleaned rice, 1.5 times water, peas, salt, Jeera and ghee. It’s a good idea to let the rice rest for 30 minutes before cooking. If I need to go out, I set the timer function for 30 minutes in Instant Pot for this. With the timer on, the cooking starts after the set time has elapsed, so the rice starts cooking after 30 minutes. The peas is optional here, but I like it. Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cups frozen green peas
  • 1 tablespoon butter/ghee
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Wash and drain the rice. In a stainless steel vessel that would fit inside Instant Pot, add the rice and everything else. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Add a cup of water to the inner pot of Instant Pot. Keep the pot inside trivet. Select Manual mode and set the timer for 2 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Serve with any curry of your choice.

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Kanchipuram Idli

BM#102: Week 2, Day 2
Theme :
Restaurant recipes

Me and my husband are both from middle income families where eating out was a rarity. It wasn’t financially feasible for our parents plus there was this firm notion in their minds that outside food is substandard. After we got married and moved out of my in laws place, me and my husband used to eat out a lot. The kitchen was always closed on weekends.

My in laws and my dad still look at eating out as wasting money, but my mother, who was held back by the financial situation while we were growing up but more so by my dad, was quick to change. She always liked eating out, but lacked company to do it. I remember her trying kanchipuram idlis at a South Indian restaurant we had visited once. So when I made kanchipuram idlis recently, I was thinking of her :-).

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the batter:

  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 1/2 cup parboiled rice
  • 3/4 cup urad dal
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Salt as needed

For making the idli:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
  • Handful of cashew nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

Method:

  1. Soak the rice, fenugreek seeds and dal together overnight. Grind next morning using a grinder or mixie. Set aside to ferment. Refrigerate once the batter is fermented and has doubled in quantity. This usually takes about 8-10 hours depending on the weather.
  2. When ready to prepare the idli, crush black pepper and cumin together using a mortar and pestle. Heat ghee and add the cumin pepper mix. Add cashews and sauté until it changes color. Remove from heat, let it cool completely and then add to the batter.
  3. Add the turmeric powder and the dry ginger powder also to the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the idli molds and steam for 10-12 minutes until the idlis are cooked through.
  5. Take off the heat, serve with sambar and idli podi.

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