Flattened rice idlis
1. Four cups buttermilk (homemade or store bought). Leftover raita or kadhi can also be used.
2. Two cups flattened rice (washed 3-4 times). Leftover poha can be used too.
3. One tbsp rice flour
4. Four tbsp semolina (sooji)
5. Salt as per taste
6. Water if needed
7. Oil to grease idli trays
Mix buttermilk and flattened rice and pulse in a food processor. When they form a smooth paste, add the rest of the ingredients. Add salt if needed and more water if needed. Check consistency. The batter shouldn’t be very runny but not too thick also. Grease idli tray moulds with oil and pour batter into them. If using a pressure cooker don’t apply the whistle and pour 10 oz water in the cooker along with the grid before you put the idli stand in it. Pressure cook on high heat for 10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before taking out the idlis from the trays. If using a microwave, microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Let rest for one minute before taking out idlis. Pressure cooker idli stand or microwaveable idli stand both are fine. Serve with sambhar and garlic chutney. This can also be enjoyed with rasam or with tomato ketchup.
Check link for full recipe of sambhar:-
Check link below for full recipe of garlic chutney:-
Check link for full recipe of instant rasam:-
1. Two cups cooked rice
2. One tbsp tamarind paste
3. Two tsps oil
4. One tsp mustard seeds
5. Pinch of asafoetida
6. 4 tbsp roasted peanuts
7. One tbsp split chana dal
8. One tbsp split urad dal
9. Handful of curry leaves
10. Some split cashews
11. 5-6 whole red chilies or to taste
12. 2 tsp turmeric powder
13. Salt to taste
Soak urad and chana dal in water for about 1 hour. Now heat oil in a wok/pan. Add asafoetida, mustard seeds, whole red chilies, cashews, curry leaves and both dals. Fry till mustard seeds splutter. Now add turmeric powder, rice, salt and mix in tamarind paste. Mix everything properly on medium heat. Sprinkle roasted peanuts and serve hot.
Spinach kale biryani
(A healthy veggie biryani)
1. Two cups long grain basmati rice
2. 4 cups water
3. 16oz bag of pre-washed spinach and kale mix or any other power greens preferably organic
4. Handful of mint leaves washed and chopped
5. One bay leaf
6. 1 inch cinnamon stick
7. 10-12 peppercorns
8. 7-8 cloves
9. 4-5 choti elaichi (small, green cardamoms)
10. 2 badi elaichi (big cardamoms)
11. One tsp ghee (clarified butter)
12. One medium onion sliced or chopped
13. One or two medium tomatoes chopped
14. Biryani masala (any brand) to taste
15. Salt to taste
Blanch spinach and kale mix or any other power greens by boiling in water till tender. Purée and keep aside. In the meantime wash and soak rice in some water for about half an hour. Heat clarified butter (ghee) in a wok. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, cloves and peppercorns. Add onions and fry till they caramelize. Add tomatoes, biryani masala and salt and cook for about two minutes. Add the puréed spinach and kale. Mix and check for salt and seasoning. If needed add more at this point. Cook for about 5 minutes and then go ahead and add the soaked rice. Make sure to discard the water in which rice was soaked. Use it only if you need more water. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat till rice is done. Don’t cover the pan fully. Leave a little space open for air to escape. Once done turn off the heat and cover and keep the rice
for about 10 mins. After that open, add mint leaves and lightly fluff up. Serve hot with plain yogurt or any raita of your choice.
1. For an even healthier version brown rice can be used.
2. My personal favourite with any biryani is the minty cucumber raita. Check recipe here:- https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/minty-cucumber-raita/
3. Biryani masala can be bought at any Indian grocery store.
1. One and a half cup rice washed and soaked in water for half an hour
2. Three cups water
3. One tsp oil
4. Two tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
5. 1/4 tsp clarified butter (ghee)
6. Salt to taste
Heat oil and clarified butter together in a wok or deep pan. Add cumin seeds. When they have crackled add rice and salt. Mix well and toss for about 2-3 minutes. Add water and cook on medium heat till done. Cover the pan but leave a little space open for air to escape. Don’t stir till cooked. Once cooked, let it rest fully covered for around 5-10 minutes and then gently fluff up.
Tip:- Jeera rice is a staple with any North Indian curry. Enjoy it by itself or with any curry of your choice.
Egg fried rice
Two cups cooked rice
One medium onion chopped
One tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Maggi vegetable or chicken masala seasoning one or two cubes
One tbsp Chings green chilli sauce
Scallions chopped to garnish
Heat oil in a non-stick heavy bottomed pan. Add onions and fry till translucent. Break eggs into the same pan. Add salt, pepper and Maggi seasoning. Fry till eggs caramelize a bit. Add green chilli sauce and mix in. Add rice and mix together. Garnish with scallions and serve.
Potato and peas pulao
2 cups rice
4 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
One cup fresh or frozen peas
4 1/2 cups water
1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
5-6 green cardamoms
3-4 big cardamoms
1 bay leaf
1 tsp peppercorns
Wash rice and put in a rice cooker. Add potatoes, peas, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt. Meanwhile in a pan heat ghee and make tadka. Add cardamoms, cloves, bay leaf and peppercorns. Toss for a minute and add to rice. Add water, close and let cook. When cooked enjoy with chutney, pickle, plain yogurt or raita.
If cooking in a pressure cooker, prepare the tadka first and then add the rest of the ingredients to it. Cook upto one whistle.
For chutney or raita recipes check condiments.
If one omits potatoes and turmeric powder the same recipe works for peas pulao.
More veggies like carrots, beans, bell peppers, mushrooms etc can also be added.
Noodles and egg fried rice
2 cups cooked rice
One medium onion chopped
2 tsp oil
1/2 tbsp garlic minced or chopped
Noodles cooked (see tip)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Red chilli powder and paprika powder to taste
Salt to taste
4 cubes Maggi vegetable or chicken seasoning
One cup veggies blanched (see tip). I prefer using beans, carrots and peas
One green bell pepper chopped
2-3 tbsp soya sauce
4 eggs cooked (see tip)
Few springs of cilantro to garnish
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add onions and garlic and cook till onions turn translucent. Add bell pepper and salt. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes. Now add rest of the veggies, rice, noodles, eggs and spices. Mix and add the Maggi seasoning and the balance of salt if needed. Add soya sauce. Toss for about a minute. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Leftover rice is ideal for this dish.
To cook perfect noodles check link:-
To blanch veggies check link:-
To cook eggs check link:-
Those allergic to eggs can omit the eggs and enjoy noodles and veggie fried rice instead.