Archive for the ‘Rice Dishes’ Category

Fried rice- as good as take out!

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Recently N, lil R and I went out for a drive and at one of the coffee shops we stopped I had some time to browse through a magazine from which I got this fried rice recipe(slightly altered I should say, as it was chicken fried rice).I do cook chinese at home quite often, like chili paneer and noodles and fried rice and this one sounded so simple but looked as good as the ones we get in a restaurant so I wanted to try it at home as soon as I could.

Instead of going out on a Friday night,I made this fried rice last night. It was a big hit and all I had was the empty pan to stare at the end with friends asking for seconds!

Ingredients: (Serves 2 to 3)

Cooked and cooled rice- 1 cup(I used basmati rice)
Grated carrot and cabbage- 1/4 cup together
Finely chopped red onion- 1/4 cup
Green and red peppers- 1 slice each, cut lengthwise
Broccoli- 8 florets
Salt- 1 tsp
Vegetable oil- 2 tbsp
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder- 3/4 tsp
Sriracha chili sauce- 1/4 tsp

Chopped Green onions(scallions) to garnish


First question you are wondering about is the garam masala powder? Yes, the recipe called for madras curry powder and I thought of using our usual garam masala powder.

For the rice, I soaked one cup of basmati rice in water for 10 minutes, then fried the rice in a tsp of oil, added 1.5 cups of water and cooked like normal rice, fluffed it when the rice was cold to single out the grains.

Take broccoli in a bowl and add about 2tbsp of water and microwave for a minute so that it is partially cooked and crunchy.

Heat one tbsp of oil in a Wok or a frying pan, stir fry onions and peppers till onions turns pink.Add the grated carrot and cabbage and continue to stir fry.Add the broccoli and then add salt, mix well.Transfer the stir fried vegetables to a plate.

Now add the remaining one tbsp of oil to the wok,add the chili powder,garam masala powder and sriracha sauce, let them sizzle for a minute.Slowly add the rice and mix it with the sauce, now this is the part where you get the color for the fried rice. Once the rice is well coated with the powders and sauce, add the stir fried vegetables to the rice and toss well.Stir fry for another minute, garnish with scallions. Check if salt is enough and serve hot!! Goes very well on its own!

I did not add eggs but if you want you can add scrambled eggs.Make sure that you scramble the eggs separately and add it after you add the cooked vegetables to the rice.

The trick in making this fried rice taste as good as take out is to cook everything separately and mix it to the rice instead of doing it all in one go.Do not add water to the vegetables at any stage.That is reason I grated the carrot and cabbage as they will cook faster without the need for water.

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Mint-Channa Rice

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

This is one of my favorite dishes to pack for lunch which has been in my drafts for a long time.

The mint taste in rice is fresh even 3-4 hours after making this recipe and this rice tastes good either warm or at room temperature. Best part is that you can make it for a pot luck and serve it at room temperature with some raithas and it would be a hit! The preparation is easy too, you can easily make it one pot dish by making this in a rice cooker. You can easily add peas or paneer and try this rice in many different combinations. You can also stuff this rice inside peppers like peas rice stuffed in peppers. Or you can make this with methi(fenugreek leaves) too!

Ingredients: (Serves-2)

Basmati rice- 1.25 cups
Canned Chickpeas- 1 can
Mint leaves- 1 bunch
Cilantro- 1/2 bunch
Curry Leaves(optional)- 2 sprigs
Ginger- Garlic Paste- 1 tsp
Green Chilies- 2
Salt- 1 tsp
Canola Oil/Butter- 2 tsp
Bay leaf- 2
Cardamom – 2
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Lemon Juice- 2 Tbsp
Nuts like cashews or almonds (optional)- to Garnish
Fried Paneer(cottage cheese)- Optional- to garnish
Water- 2.5 cups


Wash and soak Basmati rice in water for 10 minutes.

In a blender add mint leaves(roughly chopped), cilantro, curry leaves, Ginger garlic paste, Green chilies and salt and make it into a fine paste(without adding water).

Pour one tsp of canola oil/butter in a frying pan and add cumin seeds. When they turn golden brown, add cardamom sticks and bay leaves. Drain the water from the rice and add it to the pan. Keep frying for 3-4 minutes or till all the water from the rice has evaporated. Keep aside.

Drain water from the canned chick peas and wash and drain again.

In a rice cooker, add drained chickpeas, rice, mint paste and 2.5 cups water. Mix well. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Once the rice is done, fluff it up with a fork. Add lemon juice to taste and garnish with nuts/paneer if needed. If you like, you can also use fried baby potatoes instead of panner cubes. Or you can add peas instead of chickpeas.

Serve with cucumber raitha and chips. We love this rice with Jeera Aloo or Achari Aloo.

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30 Minute Biryani?

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Like everybody else, N and I love to eat this delicious, aromatic rice dish, made at home or at a restaurant. Though I make variations like Paneer Kofta Biryani and Nargisi Biryani, since I make them in a clay pot, it takes me time to put each and every layer if I am making it for a party. Most of the times, I take the responsibility of bringing a main dish to a potluck dinner and I look for dishes that taste good but takes little time to make.

This Cooker Biryani is one such recipe I came across at Srikar’s Kitchen and the method was so easy that off I went to the kitchen to try this biryani. Believe it or not, it takes only about 30 mins or so to put this dish together, so even if you are looking for a change in your Sunday Lunch, this could be it!


Rice- 1.25 cups (I used ordinary ponni rice, did not use basmati)
Tomatoes -2
Ginger- 1″ piece
Garlic -1″ piece
Potato,Carrot,Peas,Beans,Cauliflower- all together 1 cup
Green chilies- 2
Red chili powder- 3/4 tsp
Biryani masala- 3/4 tsp (or use garam masala powder)
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt 1 tsp(approx)
Water- 3 to 3.5 cups
Ghee- 1 tbsp
Canola oil- 1 tbsp
Fennel Seeds- 1 tsp
Clove and Cardamom- 2 each
Bay Leaf- 1
Coriander leaves- to garnish
Lemon juice- 1 tsp


You can make this biryani directly in a cooker, or you can stir fry in a pan and then cook it like normal rice in the rice vessel of the cooker.

Soak rice in water for 10-15 minutes. Since this was a trial, I wanted to make it with plain rice, you can use basmati rice like we normally do for biryani’s.

In the mean time, finely chop the onions.

Blend tomatoes, ginger and garlic into a thick paste. No need to blanch the tomatoes.

Chop all other veggies into desired shape. Slit the green chilies in to two lengthwise.

Heat ghee and oil together in the frying pan, add fennel seeds,bay leaf, cardamom and clove, saute for a minute, then add the sliced onions, salt and fry really well till onions are golden brown in color.

Now add the tomato paste,green chilies and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, biryani masala and stir fry well. Add the chopped veggies and coat the tomato-masala powder well on to them.

Keep stir frying for 5 minutes so that veggies will get cooked. But at any point, do not add water to these veggies.

Now drain the water from the rice, add it to the tava and fry the rice for 2 minutes. The trick is to stir fry the veggies well before adding the rice so that they all cook evenly. Transfer the contents to a cooker pan, add 3.5 cups of water and cook for 2 whistles in the cooker.

Garnish with cilantro and lemon juice and serve hot with any raitha! You can also add fried paneer or nuts to the biryani.

This delicious plate of Biryani goes to BB#6 Pot Luck hosted by Nupur.

This 30 minute Biryani is also my entry for Priya’s CWS-Cooking with Fennel Seeds event.

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Slow cooker BiseBela Bhath

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Bisebela bhath is a wholesome rice dish(bhath=rice dish) and it is a good one to hide the vegetables too as it will be a well mashed rice and it has lentils, rice and vegetables and makes a good one pot meal. I often make it in a slow cooker on a weekend and our brunch is ready without standing next to the stove for hours the next day.

I often wonder how to place Bisebela Bhath as a regional dish. It is famous in Karnataka as well as Kerala(Palakkad). Almost all the Palakkad men I have met know how to make BB-Bhath. N, makes excellent Bise Bela Bhath too, and often he takes over the task of making it. Point to note: His BB-Bhath will be served with dozens of dollop of ghee on top, mine will be without the ghee, hence the offer 😉

It is a very common dish served in weddings as well, and one of the combinations for a typical south Indian dinner for guests will be Bise Bela Bath and stir fried potatoes(aloo curry) with onion raitha.

Now this is real incident that happened with Bisebela bhath to me. Much before our wedding, when N was in the East Coast,one of N’s uncles visited him. And N made his ghee dripping version of authentic Bise Bela bhath (made with MTR powder, if I can say so). After enjoying all the glorious varieties of food made by N for Uncle K for a week, uncle K decided to email me to say how lucky I should be to marry someone who can cook!

He addressed the email to N, copying me on the same and after praising N for a couple of paragraphs, he ended it exactly with this line, forgetting in the enthusiasm that I was also on the mailing list 😀

” Dude, don’t cook like this when S asks you to, make something miserable and she will never ask you to cook again”.

Now by the time uncle K realized that he wrote that, it was already on our email group and poor N was caught and so he makes BBB the same way he made it for everyone else 😉

Ingredients for Bise Bela Bhath:

The list for the spice powder is quite a long one, you can either use MTR Bise Bela Bhath powder or you can use some arachu vitta sambar powder to sprinkle on top, after flavoring the rice with usual sambar powder.

Ingredients: (serves-2)

List 1:

Vegetables and Rice:

Pearl onions- about a dozen
Mixed vegetables( Carrot, Beans, peas, Potato, Drumstick, Suran, Taro root, Cauliflower, White Pumpkin, Gourds, Long beans)- any combination- 1 cup
Rice- 1 cup
Cooked toor dal- 1/2 cup

List 2:
Sesame oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- few springs
Salt to taste
Asafoetida- 1/4 tsp
Tamarind – one Lemon size ball or paste 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder- 1 tsp

List 3:
Special Spice Powder for BBB:

Chana Dal- 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp
Cinnamon stick- 1″ piece
Cloves-2 each
Fenugreek seeds- less then 1/4 tsp
Dried red Chilies-6
Dried coconut- 3 tbsp


Toast the ingredients given under List 3 to a golden brown color (toast them one by one). Let them cool and grind it to a fine powder.

Finely chop the pearl onions. Chop other vegetables into any desired shape. Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water and extract the juice, discarding the pulp. Add another one cup of plain water to the tamarind juice. Keep aside.

Wash the rice under running water once.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add asafoetida and curry leaves. Once that sizzles, add chopped onions and stir fry well. Add salt and turmeric powder and when onions turn transparent, add all other vegetables, sambar powder and stir fry well.

Using a slow cooker:

In the slowest setting, slow cooker takes 8 hours to cook and on the fast setting, rice will be cooked in 3 hours.

In the slow cooker pan, add the cooked vegetables, cooked toor dal, rice, tamarind water and the spice powder. Slow cooker also needs more water than regular pressure cookers, and so if you use 1:3 ratio for rice: water, add almost double the quantity of water (here, I added about 6 cups including the water used for tamarind extract).

Cover the slow cooker with some kitchen paper towels,make sure that the paper towels will not fall in, but it extends to the rim of the cooker. Place the glass lid on top of this kitchen towel (so that the extra water- the steam from the cooking will not make the rice soggy). Switch on the slow cooker according to your desired time level.

If needed, you can mix them once while cooking. Do remember that every time you open the lid of the slow cooker, it adds 20 minutes more to the set cooking time.

Once the rice is cooked, turn the setting to keep warm. Lightly mash and mix the rice with vegetables. At this stage, just before serving, you can also saute some whole pearl onions in ghee and add it to the rice.

If you are planning to add onions at the end, skip the step where vegetables are stir fried in a pan, add all veggies, tamarind water, powders,rice and dal to the slow cooker directly and cook. Then, do the tempering with mustard seeds, onions(list 2) and pour it over the bhath before serving.

Serve the rice with a dollop of ghee on top, with potato chips, onion or cucumber raitha.

If you are using a pressure cooker, you can simply stir fry the vegetables in the cooker pan, add rice to it and cook like normal rice for 3 whistles.

Adding roasted peanuts and cashew nuts as a garnish is also another way to serve BBB.

This wholesome rice with lentils is my entry for My Legume Love Affair edition 22, guest hosted here this month, brain child of Susan.

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