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.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

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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.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#100

Aloo paratha

 

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 BM# 102 : Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Restaurant recreations

When we were growing up, the culture of eating outside wasn’t there. In fact, eating outside was considered as a last option when there is absolutely no other way out. There were two main reasons for this -1) there weren’t main clean and neat hotels then. 2) affordability. It was only after we got jobs and moved out of our home, that we started eating out.

My brother moved out when he got a job in Bangalore. The couple of times that I visited him, he had taken me to home style Punjabi dhabas near his place. The fare would be simple – couple varieties of parathas and maybe some curries. We have never looked at the Curries there. We would order aloo parathas most of the time and relish it with thick delicious yogurt and the pickle.

My husband wants a curry for parathas, where as I feel that the curry takes the limelight off the paratha. Aloo parathas are easy to make and there is no one single recipe to make this. Every household has its own variations but the end product is always delicious. If you are making parathas for the first time, it’s a good idea to watch some videos first. And also remember that rolling out rotis gets better with practice. So don’t be disheartened if the first few parathas tend to be a little difficult to make.

Read on for the recipe while.

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Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon oil, optional
  • Salt as needed
  • Water for kneading the dough

For the filling:

  • 4 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 2 teaspoons of oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon aamchur
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  • In a big bowl, add the flour. Add oil and slowly kneed together, adding water in steps to make a dough. Stop adding water when the dough comes together and kneed until it’s smooth.Set aside and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Peel and mash the boiled potatoes. There shouldn’t be any big lumps. Keep aside.
  • You can add all the masalas and the chopped onions to the potato mix directly, but I like to sauté the onions before that. It’s an optional step. Sauté the onions and ginger garlic paste in oil and once the onions turn pink, add the masalas. Turn off the heat and mix it in.
  • Add the mashed potatoes and mix everything well.
  • Take a lemon sized ball of the dough and roll it using a rolling pin into a 4″ size roti. You might have to use some flour to the rolling surface so that the dough doesn’t stick to it. Now Take a lemon sized ball of the filling and keep it in the middle.
  • Bring the edges together so that the filling gets enclosed inside the dough.
  • Seal the edges by pinching together so that the filling doesn’t come outside.

    Roll this again using some flour to a big paratha.

    Cook the paratha in heated pan and brush it with some ghee. While the paratha is cooking on the stove, you can start rolling and filling the next paratha.

    Once the bottom is cooked, flip it and cook the other side too. Brush with more ghee if you prefer. Take off the heat once it’s cooked and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

  • Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

    Podi Kathirikkai

    BM# 101: Week 4, Day 3
    Theme : 
    1 ingredient, 3 side dishes

    I was introduced to podi kathirikkai (eggplants prepared with a spice powder) by my mother in law. It took me a little time to warm up to this dish but soon it was a favorite. I make this when I want a change from my usual method, which is a simple eggplant sauté with salt and sambar powder. Earlier I used to add homemade idli podi to brinjal instead of preparing the spice powder from scratch. That works decent, especially if the idli podi is coarse and not finely ground, but it’s not the same as the original.

    The recipe for the ingredients to grind varies from home to home. My mother in law uses Chana dal, coriander seeds and dried red chilies, but I have seen recipes that have coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts, black pepper etc. I have added urad dal also to the mix. The base recipe is the same, sauté brinjal until it’s mostly done and then add the prepared podi (powder) to coat evenly. It’s important that you take care not to overlook the vegetable. If it turns mushy, it won’t be good. So keep a close watch when cooking this curry.

    Read on for the recipe.

    Serves : 3-4

    Ingredients:

    To roast and grind

    • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon Chana dal
    • 1 teaspoon urad dal
    • 3-4 dried red chilies

    For curry

    • 1 tablespoon oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 10-12 small Indian eggplants, sliced into thin long pieces
    • Salt as needed

    Method:

    1. Heat a pan and add all the ingredients under toast and grind. Keep stirring and once the dals turn slightly brown, remove to a blender jar. Once it’s cool, grind into a powder, don’t add any water for grinding. Set aside.
    2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the sliced eggplant. Let it cook in medium heat, stirring in between.
    3. Once it’s 3/4th cooked, add the prepared spice powder and salt. Mix gently until the vegetables are coated with the powder. Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes and turn the heat off. Serve with rice and sambar of your choice.

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.