We give a lot of importance to spices in our Indian cuisine. Each Spice has medicinal and beneficial values. Let’s talk about Ajwain. In our Indian cuisine, Ajwain/Vaamu/carrom seeds are prized for their ability to improve digestion, relieve constipation and treat flatulence. Even infants are given Ajwain induced water to help with colic issues. Today I am sharing the recipe for Ajwain rice. This can be easily made when there is left-over rice at home. If someone you know is suffering from indigestion, this recipe will definitely help with natural and quick recovery.
Oil and ghee
Senagapappu/Bengal Gram Dal – ½ tsp
Minappappu/Black Gram Dal – ½ tsp
Aavaalu/Mustard Seeds – ¼ tsp
Jeelakarra/Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Inguva/hing – a pinch
Dried red chillies – 1 broken
Ajwain seeds- 1 tsp
Green chillies – 2 to 3 – or as per taste -chopped
Karivepaku/Curry leaves – few
Kothimeera/Corinader leaves – finely chopped
Salt to taste
In a pan, heat oil and ghee. Add the tempering dals and fry till slightly brown. Now add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, ajwain seeds, continue frying. Then, add dried red chillies and hing. Add green chillies, curry leaves, coriander leaves and let all flavours meld together. Now add rice, enough salt and mix well. Serve hot. Ajwain rice can be a good breakfast dish too. Enjoy with a pickle of your choice and curd.
Summer means mangoes. Mangoes means yumminess. I am not really a fan of the fruit. But give me a raw mango anytime and I can weave magic around it. My most favourite is the mango pulihara. It is a mildly spiced mango rice preperation. You can have it for breakfast or as a meal in itself. For me its on-top-of-list comfort food. There is really no rocket science in making this. You just need to understand how much sourness from the mango gives the right balance of flavour to the rice. Another secret lies in the tempering. If you can get these two things right, you have nailed the recipe. It requires a couple of trial-and errors, but once you get it, it is gonna become a family favourite.
Few simple steps involved in this recipe:
Use regular plain rice. No flavoured or basmati rice. You don’t want the taste of the rice to overpower the sourness of the mango.
As with all rice dishes, left over rice works much better than freshly cooked, as it retains the texture.
Getting the tempering right gives the maximum flavour.
The key step is to get the right balance between the sourness of the mango and the starchiness of the rice. The best way to achieve this is to keep tasting while adding the mango to the rice.
Here’s the detailed recipe:
Cooked and cooled rice : 2 cups
Mango : 1 peeled and grated (depending on taste)
Cashewnuts and/or groundnuts- few
Oil : 2 to 3 tbsop
Bengal gram dal/senaga pappu/chana dal :1 tsp
Urad dal/minappa pappu : 1 tsp
Mustard seeds/ avalu : 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera : 3/4 tsp
Dry red chillies : 2-3 (broken)
Hing/asafoetida : a pinch
Green chillies : 2-3(or as per taste) sliced
Turmeric : a pinch
Curry leaves/karivepaku: few leaves
Salt: as per taste
Heat oil in a kadhai or a pan for tempering. When the oil is sufficiently warm, add the groundnuts and allow them to brown slightly. Add the bengal gram dal and urad dal. Allow them to change colour too.
Add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop and splutter. Now add the cumin seeds and red chillies. Allow all the ingredients to fry properly while making sure they don’t burn. Add the dry red chillies and asafoetida. Add the cashewnuts,if using, at this stage and fry them slightly.
Add the green chillies and turmeric. Once the green chillies start blistering, add the curry leaves and turn off the heat. Let the tempering cool down a bit while in the pan. Once the tempering is cooled slightly, add the grated mango. Add half the salt and mix well. This will ensure that the mango cooks very slightly and the enhance the sourness and at the same time not overcook and lose its flavour completely. Add the rest of the salt to the rice and mix quickly. Now add the tempered mango grate to the rice and mix everything together gently. Take care not to mix too much and mash the rice. You could use forks to mix everything. Like every mango recipe, mango pulihara too gets delicious if it stays overnight, though freshly made and eaten tastes qually good. Enjoy as a simple meal. Good for lunch boxes too.
This was my first attempt at making a milk based dessert and it came out good. I normally prefer having desserts at sweet shops and restaurants since it is a time consuming process and I am low on patience. But the reducing quality and increasing costs finally pushed me to make it at home. It took a couple of hours to get the final product but not difficult if you have good quality milk. I used regular milk, but whole milk will give you much better results.
Milk – 1 litre Sugar – 1 cup (adjust according to taste)
So I had a cup of pre-soaked black chole in the fridge and I needed to feed two hungry stomachs (me and the husband), and I knew that the chole would not be enough, and I needed a filler. So what was the logical choice?? Potato obviously. This was a last minute thrown together innovation that was fuelled by a desire to eat something filling in the cold rainy weather and an empty fridge on a Saturday night. I improvised as I went and the end result was not half as bad. So what is the next thing I do? Take pictures and write a recipe obviously.
So here is how I made this curry.
Black channa (or kabuli channa whichever is available) – soaked overnight and then cooked for a couple of whistles in the cooker or boiling water to soften it slightly.
Chukkakura, also known as red sorrel or Khatta palak in hindi is a very unique, sour-tasting green leafy vegetable. You could say it is slightly similar to gongura in flavour. The sourness of this green tastes good with a combinations of lentils (chukkakura pappu) or as a stew(pulusu). It can also be made into a chutney. If you are tasting this green for the first time, dal will be a good option to introduce yourself to its flavour.
The combination of dal and chukkakura is not only healthy and wholesome, but also delicious, balancing out all flavours.
Here is a simple recipe for chukkakura pappu:
Chukkakura/red sorrel leaves/khatta palak – 2 small bunches
Remove the thick stems, wash well, chop finely and keep aside.
Microwaves have become an integral part of every kitchen. Depending on how much you have spent on your microwave, it is useful for a range of functions right from reheating to roasting to baking.
I turn on the microwave almost everyday for some reason or the other and often wonder how I survived without one for years.
Here are some of everyday uses for microwave, some I leant through personal experience, others through various sources.
1. Boiling potatoes: Just microwave the whole potato (along with the skin) for 3 minutes. The skin prevents the moisture from going out and the potato cooks with the internal moisture. If after 3 mins, you feel that the potato hasn’t cooked enough, just cook it for few more seconds.