Spinach kale biryani

 

IMG_1197Spinach kale biryani
(A healthy veggie biryani)
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
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

Method:-
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.

Tip:-
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.

Jeera rice

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Jeera rice
(Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:-
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

Method:-
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

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Egg fried rice
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:-
Two cups cooked rice
One medium onion chopped
One tbsp oil
4 eggs
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

Method:-
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

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Potato and peas pulao
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
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
9-10 cloves
1 tsp peppercorns

Method:-
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.

Tip:-
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

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Noodles and egg fried rice
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
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

Method:-
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.

Tip:-
Leftover rice is ideal for this dish.
To cook perfect noodles check link:-

https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/cooking-noodles/

To blanch veggies check link:-

https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/blanching-veggies/

To cook eggs check link:-

https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/cooking-eggs/

Those allergic to eggs can omit the eggs and enjoy noodles and veggie fried rice instead.

Tadke wale spicy dal chawal

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Tadke wale spicy dal chawal
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
2 cups cooked rice
One cup cooked dal (any kind of cooked dal can be used for this recipe) (see tip for additional info)
Two tsp oil
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
4-5 whole red chillies
5-6 green chillies slit or chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
Salt to taste
Lime juice to taste
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp chopped garlic
One medium onion chopped
Few springs of cilantro chopped to garnish

Method:-
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add mustard seeds and whole red chillies. As mustard seeds crackle proceed onto add green chillies, ginger, garlic and onions. When onions turn translucent add the spices, rice and dal. Add salt. Mix and cook till the whole thing thickens. Fry a little. Add lime juice, mix, garnish with cilantro and serve.

Tip:-
For restaurant style dal fry recipe check link:-
https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/restaurant-style-dal-fry/
For Punjabi style Chana dal recipe check link:-
https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/punjabi-style-chana-dal/
You can make these dals or any other dal for this recipe. Both rice and dal can be prepared much ahead. This dish is a great option to use leftover dal and rice.
If you do not have dal lentil soup can also be used.

Bombay style tawa pulao

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Bombay style tawa pulao
(A spicy treat for rice lovers)
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
About 4 cups cooked rice
One medium onion chopped
Two large tomatoes chopped
Two tsp oil
One tsp cumin seeds
One tsp ginger chopped
One tsp garlic chopped (optional)
Green chillies chopped to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp pav bhaji masala or to taste
Salt to taste
One medium green bell pepper chopped
One cup carrots chopped
One cup fresh or frozen peas
Lime juice to taste
2-3 springs of cilantro chopped to garnish

Method:-
Heat oil in a non-stick heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds. When they crackle add onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Cook till onions turn translucent. Add the bell pepper and some salt and cook covered for about 7-8 mins or till bell peppers turn tender. Meanwhile steam the carrots and peas till tender and drain in a colander. Open pan and add tomatoes. Toss for about 2-3 mins till they are tender. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and pav bhaji masala. Add the steamed carrots and peas. Mix in rice, salt and lime juice. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Tip:-
Bombay style tawa pulao tastes best with plain yogurt or raita.