Monday, 19 May 2014

Peg N Pig Kitchen - Basmati Rice Vegetable Pulao

For dinner, I prepared a simple pulao with basmati rice. What's more fragrant than the aroma of cooked basmati rice? :-)

Here is the recipe.

1 cup basmati rice
1 and 1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped vegetables of your choice (I used carrots, potatoes, and ivy gourd/thondekai.)
1 large onion (use 1/4 for grinding)
2 garlic cloves
1 inch fresh ginger
handful of coriander
3-4 green chillies
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 cloves
1-2 inch cinnamon
2 cardamom
4-5 pepper corns
juice of one lime
salt for taste

Wash basmati rice and soak in water for 20-30 mins. Meanwhile, chop vegetables and onion. In a mixer, grind onion, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, and green chillies. Heat a thick-bottomed pan or cooker; add cooking oil. To the heated oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, coarsely ground peppercorns. Add chopped onions and vegetables, and ground paste; saute well. Add salt and juice of lime; mix well. Drain water from rice and add to the cooker. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups water. Mix all ingredients well. Close the lid, and let the rice cook in low heat. Keep turning the rice from time to time. When the rice seems cooked, switch off heat, and let the pulao rest for a while. Serve the pulao with cucumber-tomato-onion curd salad (raitha).

Vegetable pulao made from basmati rice

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Peg N Pig Kitchen - White Pumpkin and Curd Curry

Weekends are good to try and follow a diet. This weekend I tried to be on protein diet, included vegetables and fruits. I cheated by eating two slices of masala bread; but stuck to the diet otherwise! This morning I had lost about 800 gms. Waiting to check my weight tomorrow morning; fingers crossed!

One of the dishes that I prepared for dinner is a curry made from White Pumpkin/Ash Gourd. It's a super simple and quick to make recipe. White Pumpkin being almost zero calories would be appropriate for dinner; curd would do wonders too. See Health Benefits of White Pumpkin.

Here is my recipe.

200 gms White Pumpkin chopped length-wise
1/2 cup curd (slightly sour)
1 medium or large tomato chopped
1 small onion
1 green chilli
handful of chopped coriander leaves
1-2 tsps cumin powder
salt as per taste
2-3 tsps cooking oil
1 tsp each mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal, and cumin seeds
a pinch of hing

In a pan, heat oil, and add mustard seeds, dals, and cumin seeds. Fry till the seeds splutter. Add chilli, onion, and tomatoes, and cook. You can see tomato soften; add pumpkin and mix well. Sprinkle salt and cumin powder to the curry, mixing the ingredients well. Cover a lid, and let the curry cook till pumpkin pieces become soft. If required, add little water sufficient enough to cook the pumpkin. Remove from heat. After the curry cools, add curds and mix well. Eat as is or serve with dish of your choice, such as rice, Indian breads, and so on.

White pumpkin and curd curry

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Peg & Pig Kitchen - Wild Mangoes Curry

We trekked at Kogadu (Karnataka), recently. On our trek route was a huge wild mango tree, and the fruits kept falling. We collected the fallen fruits and got them home to prepare a peppery curry from the fruits. While we were collecting the fruits, we happened to see a Malabar Hornbill on the tree checking out the fruits. Was a beautiful moment!

I asked a local cook to share recipe of a dish made from these mangoes. He suggested a curry - cumin seeds, pepper corns, salt, jaggery, chilli powder, wild mangoes - were the ingredients. I twisted the recipe to suit our need and tickle our taste buds.

Here is my version of wild mangoes curry:

6-7 wild mangoes (ripe/semi-ripe)
1-2 tsps each pepper corns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds (adjust as per need; I used 2 tsps pepper corns)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 Red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp powdered jaggery (or size of one wild mango; adjust as per need)
1 tbsp cooking oil
salt as per taste

Dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, and red chillies; coarsely powder them in a mixer. In a pressure cooker (or in a thick pan) cook the wild mangoes along with the skin. When the mangoes are cooked, add the coarse powder, salt, turmeric, jaggery, and cook on low flame. You'll know when the curry is done; the aroma is divine. Time to add seasoning; heat cooking oil and add mustard seeds to it. Add the seasoning to the curry. Mix, and serve hot with roti, rice, dosas, or any other dish of your choice.

Note: The wild mangoes have an intoxicating aroma; however, they are super sour. Idea is to balance the sourness with sweet, salt, and spicy. Feel free to experiment as per your need.

Wild mangoes
Wild mango curry served with rice