Celery rice

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When two ladies talk on phone, a lot of information exchange happens. This recipe is a result of one such phone call. A casual phone call around lunch time with my neighbor led to the “what’s cooking?” question and when she said celery rice, I jumped out to get my pen and a piece of paper to note down the recipe.

I tried it out soon and I have to say that its a good way to use up the HUGE batch of celery we buy from Costco, the wholesale store. The recipe develops flavor as it sits and I thought it tasted a lot better the next day. I served it with plain curd and chana masala (recipe in drafts, hopefully will see the sunlight some day soon!).

The recipe goes to the second week of CCChallenge. Please check out this page for more details about the event. 

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Pictorial

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Wash and soak one cup basmati rice. Set aside.

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Grind one head celery after removing the base and the fibrous parts with one inch piece ginger and couple of green chillies.

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Keep the paste aside.

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In a pan, heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil and add one medium sliced onion. Saute till pink. Add one teaspoon of ginger garlic paste and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

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Follow this up with the masalas : 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder and salt as needed. The masalas can be adjusted according to one’s preferences.

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Saute everything well, add a teaspoon of water if it sticks to the bottom of the pan.

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Add the ground celery paste now. Mix it in. Let it cook for sometime till the raw flavor goes off. Check seasonings and adjust accordingly.

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Time to add the soaked cup of rice and 1.5 cups of water.

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Cover and let it cook until the rice is done, about 7-10 minutes mostly. Serve with raita.

Recipe source: My neighbor Devi

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 head celery
  • 1″ ginger piece, peeled
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 2 teaspoons oil/ghee
  • one medium onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • salt

Method:

  1. Wash and soak one cup basmati rice. Set aside.
  2. Grind one head celery after removing the base and the fibrous parts with one inch piece ginger and couple of green chillies. Keep the paste aside.
  3. In a pan, heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil and add one medium sliced onion. Saute till pink. Add one teaspoon of ginger garlic paste and let it cook for a couple of minutes.Follow this up with the masalas : 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder and salt as needed. The masalas can be adjusted according to one’s preferences.
  4. Saute everything well, add a teaspoon of water if it sticks to the bottom of the pan. Add the ground celery paste. Mix it in. Let it cook for sometime till the raw flavor goes off.
  5. Check seasonings and adjust accordingly.Time to add the soaked cup of rice and 1.5 cups of water. Cover and let it cook until the rice is done, about 7-10 minutes mostly. Serve with raita.

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Spinach Pulao

Harry’s friends from work had come over for dinner one day, long time back. All of them youngsters, staying away from home. Sick and tired of the eating the same food at office everyday, they were looking forward to some good home cooked meal. After eating the first bite, they told me that its no wonder Harry has his lunch at office canteen ;-). All of us laughed at the joke and braved our way through the rest of the dinner. They were honest kids, trying very hard to say something complimentary. And, finally when we came to the curd rice, they were happy – they could honestly complement me on that one :-)). They left home, happily looking forward to their boring, repetitive canteen food.

I am a not bad cook, but I am an inconsistent one. I mess up with quantities too. I know how to cook for four people at the most. One more addition and I am gone! Like today, I was cooking for some guests and I was making this spinach rice recipe, I messed up with the quantity. I was sweating over the stove, making chapatis at the last minute to make up the mistake. I didn’t get any huge compliments for the lunch today, but hey, I am not complaining. No one was running away and there were requests for second helping.

For me, that’s more than enough!

Ingredients:

Rice : 2 cups
Green gram: 1 cup
Spinach : 1 bunch
Onion : 1 large, chopped
Oil : 1-2 tsp

Grind together:
Coriander leaves : 1 small bunch ( 1 cup)
Mint leaves : 1 small bunch (1 cup)
Ginger garlic paste : 2tsp
Green Chilies : 2-3, per taste
Cumin/Jeera : 1/2 tsp
Onion : 1 (optional)
Tamarind : 1 tsp (optional)
Coconut : 2 tbsp, scraped (optional)
Cinnamon stick : 1″ piece (optional)
Cloves : 1-2  (optional)

Method: 

  1. Soak rice and dal separately for 30 min at least. Cook the dal for one whistle in a pressure cooker and keep aside.
  2. Grind the coriander, mint and other items under the list together, without adding any additional water.
  3. Clean and chop the spinach fine. Heat oil and add the chopped onions. Saute for a minute, then add the spinach and the ground paste. Cook for 3-4 minutes or till a nice aroma is released.
  4. Add rice and mix nicely. Add green gram, salt, 4 cups of water and cook till the rice is done. I usually transfer this to a rice cooker at this stage. If you are using a pressure cooker, it should be cooked for about 4-5 whistles. Serve with raita or curd.

Note:

My sister in law uses the same coriander – mint paste for making vegetable rice. The base recipe is same, the spinach and green gram are replaced with mixed vegetables. The vegetables are sauteed for a minute with the ground paste, then rice is added and cooked in a rice cooker till done.

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