Archive for the ‘Potluck’ Category

Sprouted Channa Masala Rice ( Sprouted Garbanzo rice)

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Last week I wanted to make some channa masala and soaked the beans overnight. But the next day we were invited for dinner at a friend’s place and I forgot that I had to transfer the beans to the fridge. Though I have made moong sprouts I wanted to check if I can make something out of garbanzo beans too. I let the beans sit for one more day at room temperature(after draining all the water) and it gave off cute sprouts.

Instead of making the usual gravy to go with chapatis, I tried a masala rice.

Ingredients( Serves-2)

Sprouted Channa(Garbanzo beans)- 1 cup
Red onion- Medium size-1
Slit green chili-2
Potato- 1 (optional)
Channa Masala powder- 1 tsp
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste- 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Basmati rice- 1 cup
Bay Leaf-1
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Oil- 1 tbsp

To grind to a smooth paste (Green Paste):
Green Chili- 2
Mint Leaves- a handful
Cilantro- handful


Making Sprouts:

Soak the garbanzo beans overnight in water(12 hours). The next day, drain all the water and tie the beans in a cheese cloth and keep it covered in a bowl. By 1-2 days you can see the sprouts.

Instead of using sprouts, you can use plain garbanzo beans also.

Steam the garbanzo sprouts for 10-15 minutes, as they need to cook slightly before adding it to the rice.

Roughly chop the onions and blend it to a smooth paste. Roughly chop the tomatoes and make a smooth paste. Peel the skin of potato and finely chop it.

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and bay leaf. When the seeds sizzle, add slit green chilies, ginger garlic paste and stir for a minute. When the raw smell of the paste disappears, add the onion paste and potato and stir fry for 3-4 minutes till the paste turns slight brown in color.

Add the tomato paste, salt, red chili powder, chana masala powder,garam masala powder and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the garbanzo beans and a cup of water and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

In the mean time, wash the basmati rice once and drain the water from it. Blend green chilies, mint and cilantro to a smooth paste with just enough water.

Cooking on Stove top:

Once the gravy has thickened, add the rice, the green paste and an additional 1.5 cups of water and let the rice cook. Check for salt. Fluff it with a fork.

Rice cooker: If you are using a rice cooker, after the gravy has thickened, transfer the gravy, rice, green paste and water to a rice cooker and let it cook.

Once the rice is cooked, separate the grains with a fork, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with raitha and lemon wedges.

I am sending this Sprouted Channa Masala Rice to My Legume Love Affair, hosted this month by Mirch Masala and started by Susan.

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Recipe Marathon: Day 5: Veggie Noodle Nests

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

I was banned from making Rice noodles (Idiyappams) at home forever, once we came out of N’s wheat allergy phase. He said he does not want to look at upmas, pongals, idiyappams for centuries. Poor guy, I can’t blame him and he really had years worth of pongals in those 8 months of wheat free diet.


The thing is even if I make rice noodles, I never make plain noodles as the plain lemon noodles or coconut noodles are very common. I serve it with some korma or stir fried vegetables.

But when I came across this post, I could only admire the creative thinking of
Rak’s Kitchen when I saw this stuffed- Idiyappam (stuffed rice noodles).

My mom makes something similar, a stuffed uthappam. But then uthapam batter is something I have to grind and I can refrain from grinding. But how on earth am I going to get rid of all those rice noodles bags sitting in the pantry that we had stocked?

C’mon, don’t look at me like that- we are not responsible for the increase in rice prices last year :) I am not interested in wasting food and I had to think of a way to use them up and that was when I saw this recipe.

Rice noodles are very simple to make, gluten free, easily digested and if there is a korma to go with it, rice noodles can be a fulfilling meal.

Noodle Nests are my suggestion for a light dinner for the day five of this recipe marathon.

Veggie Noodle Nests:

For the rice noodles:
Any rice noodle bag which will be enough for two people.

For the korma:

Vegetables of your choice (I used brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, potatoes)- all together-1 cup
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Masala to grind:
Coconut- 4 tbsp
Red chilies- 4
Poppy seeds- 1/4 tsp
Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic paste- 1/2 tsp
Roasted chana dal (potu kadalai)- 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

To temper:
Oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- few
Coriander Leaves- to garnish


Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions given on the pack. Drain and keep aside.


Cube the vegetables, boil them with a bit of salt, drain and keep aside.


Grind all ingredients given under “to grind” section. Grind them to a powder first and add water in minimum quantity to make it as a paste.

Heat oil in a frying pan and add mustard seeds, when they splutter add curry leaves and boiled vegetables. Add salt to taste and turmeric powder. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.


Add the masala paste and coat well. Cover and cook on a low flame till the masala is cooked through. Garnish with coriander leaves.This korma will be a dry gravy.


In a idli plate, spoon some cooked noodles, layer with the korma and cover with noodles. Make them look like a nest (and the veggies the stuffing)


Steam in a idli cooker for 5 minutes(The water in the idli cooker should be boiling, not starting to boil when you keep the rice noodles in). Serve hot.

This version of rice noodles was so yummy that we skipped the steaming part for the second set. Since I had already cooked the noodles unlike the original recipe, we just layered some on a plate, spread the korma on top and heated it in microwave for 2 minutes.



The original recipe calls for making idiyappams, I skipped that part and used ready made noodles. The original post’s masala is also different and this masala I used is the korma masala I make often.

Couple of my noodle nests came out perfectly round and in some of them, the stuffing came out of the nests.

Some of the noodles turned out to be bit soggy as they were not freshly made, but overall a yum way to finish up all the rice noodles bags I have stocked up. And a nice way to get kids eat the veggies too.

Did you notice? There is no onion in this recipe!

See what is cooking at this tasty marathon, hosted by Nupur

Day 1: December 25 : See the recipes here

Day 2: December 26: Check out what’s cooking here

Day 3: December 27: Still going strong, see the delicious recipes here
Day 4: It is all about Spice
This veggie noodle nests are going to Srivalli’s Kids delight

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Paneer Kofta Biryani

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Most often our weekend menu would be a variety rice like tomato rice or biryani or bisi-bela-bath. Since weekends are the majority of the time hubby and I get to spend in the kitchen, we cook these dishes talking, chopping veggies, making raithas etc.,

I should thank my sister here for teaching me how to make a proper biryani. She lives in the middle east and she can give you recipes for 10 different types of biryanis just like without any reference, egg biryani(muttai biryani), nargisi biryani, kofta biryani, dum biryani, plain tomato and onion biryani, biryani with plain spices, nuts and fruits….So the only thing I do when I get to meet her is to eat(or rather stuff myself) and copy down all her new experiments.

I also followed her advice on getting a good clay pot(mann-pathiram) to make biryanis to get that earthy flavor. I searched for the pot here in Houston and got a good clay pot for around $10 in an indian store. Its just amazing that the rice never sticks to the clay pot. Natural non stick??

The only thing I gotta remember is to soak the clay pot and its lid in water atleast an hour before cooking. The first time I cooked with the pot, I soaked it in water overnight.

This weekend I started making koftas and jeera rice but then changed my mind halfway(too lazy to make another gravy) and made kofta biryani instead. Here is the recipe for the biryani, it is kind of time consuming and will take atleast 2 hours from start to finish but the taste is amazing!

Measurements are for 2-3 people:

For the rice:
Basmati rice- 1.25 cups
Jeera- 1 tsp
Bay leaf-1
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Cardamom- 2-3 pods
Clove- 2 sticks
Butter- 1 tbsp

For the marinade:
Finely chopped tomatoes- 1 cup
Well beaten yogurt(without lumps)- 1 cup
Ginger garlic paster- 1 tsp
Red chili powder-1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Finely chopped green chilies- 3 numbers
Finely chopped coriander leaves- 1/4 bunch
Finely chopped mint leaves-1/4 bunch
Cardamom pods-2 numbers
Finely Chopped Onion- 1/4 cup

For the Koftas:(makes 14 koftas)
Grated Paneer- 1/2 cup
Potatoes- 4 numbers
Carrot- 2 numbers
Peas- 1/4 cup
Beans-a few well chopped
Salt- to taste
Garam Masala Powder- 1/2 tsp
Kofta Masala Powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp
Oil- 2 tbsp

To make the rice:
Wash and soak basmati rice in water for 10 minutes. Heat a pan and add butter to it. When the butter melts add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom, clove and the drained rice. Fry well till the sizzling sound of the soaked rice disappears. Transfer to a cooking vessel, add 2 parts water to one part rice(I added 2.5 cups) and cook like normal rice in a pressure cooker. When cool, fluff up the rice with a fork.

Preparing the marinade:
Mix everything under the marinade list except onions and let the marinade sit inside refridgerator for at least 30 mins. The more time it sits, the more it absorbs the flavors. I prepare it ahead of time and let it sit overnight sometimes.

Preparing the koftas:

Boil and mash potatoes and peas. Grate carrots. In a pan, add oil and saute mashed potatoes, peas, grated carrots,beans and grated paneer with garam masala powder, salt , kofta masala powder. Cook till there is no raw smell(7-8 mins). Add coriander leaves and let it slightly cool.

When cool enough to handle, make lemon sized balls out of the mixture. I do not deep fry koftas, but I fry them in my appam pan. When both sides of the kofta turns brown remove and keep aside.

Putting it all together:

Heat oil in a pan(again) and add the chopped onions that we didnt use for the marinade. When onion turns brown, pour the marinade to the pan and let all the water from the yogurt evaporate. Do not add additional water to cook. Just let the water from the yogurt sizzle away, and reduce, wait till the oil separates(12- 15 minutes). Keep aside.

Now is the time for our clay pot. Pour out all the water we used to soak the pot in. Slightly smear the inside of the pot with ghee. Always fill the bottom layer with jeera rice. Pour a ladleful of cooked marinade on top and add a couple of cooked koftas then start another layer of rice,cooked marinade and finish the top layer as rice later. Pour some lemon juice on top if desired. Garnish with cilantro,mint leaves. Wrap the top completely with a foil. Keep the pot inside oven and then start the oven to pre heat. Never preheat the oven for clay pots as it may break. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. A similar procedure can also be followed for baking any biryani in a baking tray. Remove the foil and serve hot with raithas. Enjoy!!

I would like to send this entry to the event Jihva for Ingredients originally started by Indira of Mahanandi.

This JFI event is hosted in November as Jhiva for Ingredients-Paneer.

This Paneer Kofta Biryani also goes to WYF speciality food event.

This paneer kofta biryani also goes to SriLehkas EFM Variety rice series.

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Mint Peas Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Recently hubby and I were invited to a pot luck dinner party with friends. I was thinking about sticking to dishes I know how to prepare that would taste light and flavorful. I wanted to make some Indian rice items to take along but I didnt want to spend two hours making biriyani which could be heavy, or making gravies and transporting it or turn up with a salad. Instead I thought of putting together two well-known dishes. Potato stuffed capsicum(bell peppers) is my hubby’s favorite side dish. A flavorful mint and cilantro rice is my favorite rice dish to make on the go. So I made mint rice and stuffed it inside the peppers. I must say it looked colorful and fresh, tasted light and filling and it was something so simple and something so new!! Since most of hubby’s friends are bachelors and into fitness and gymming, they liked the taste and ease of preparation.

Ingredients (for stuffing 6 peppers)
Basmati rice- 1.5 cups
Water- 3 cups
Mint Leaves- 1 bunch
Cilantro Leaves- 1/2 bunch
Peas -1/4 cup (Frozen, thawed peas)
Black Pepper Powder- 1/2 tsp
White Pepper Powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Lemon Juice- 1 tsp
Bay Leaf- 2
Butter- 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds- 1 tsp
Red/Yellow Peppers- 6

Wash Basmati rice once and soak rice in water(with water on top for 10-15 minutes).

In the mean time, clean and wash cilantro and mint bunches. Remove woody parts and chop the leaves finely.

In a frying pan add butter and let it melt. Add cumin seeds and when they splutter add bayleaf.

Drain the water from the rice completely and add it to the frying pan and fry well till the sizzling sound disappears(rice gives off water) or about 2-3 minutes.

Remove from stove, transfer the contents to a vessel, add 3 cups water, salt, pepper powders,Peas, mint and cilantro leaves and pressure cook like normal rice.

Wash and pat dry the peppers. With a spoon scoop out the insides,making sure that leave the bottom part of the pepper is untouched. Remove all seeds. Wash the insides again and line them on their bases on a tray.

Once cooled, fluff up the rice with a fork, add lemon juice to the rice and stuff it inside peppers.

I completed till this part at home and then transported the peppers in a baking tray(wrapped them completely in foil) to our friend’s house and lightly baked it at 350 F for a few minutes(10 minutes) till peppers were slightly soft. When baking is done,serve the cups hot with raitha or salads. If you dont want to bake, you can also serve it as rice in fancy cups to kids and hide some finely chopped veggies in it too!!. No clean ups!!
I choose red and yellow peppers as they are slightly sweet and not so peppery like the green capsicum.

I am sending this mint peas rice stuffed bell peppers to the EFM Variety rice series running from November 15 2009 to December 15 2009, hosted by Srilekha.

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