Today I was in no mood to cook. It was getting closer to lunch time… so I decided to make a quick tomato rice… But? After I started the process it got me interested… there are days when I realky don’t feel like cooking.. but the moment I look into the fridge or see my favorite pans I feel like making something.

Cooking is truly a stress buster for me, specialy, with my favourite songs on…I like to make varieties daily than repeating the same old menu…. getting on with the recipe. .. its a simple and very easy to make rice dish. The tomatoes and kasuri methi give a nice flavour to the rice.

Ingredients

1. Surti kolam/basmati rice       1 and a half cups, washed.

2. Tomatoes   4 large, washed and chopped

3. Kasuri methi  2 tbsp

4. Red chilli powder 1tsp

5. Salt to taste

6. Water approx 4 cups. ..depending upon the rice you choose.

For tempering

Oil 2 tsp
2 cloves
2 cardamoms
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp shah jeera
1/2tsp jeera
5 peppercorns
1 inch piece cinnamon stick

Method

1. Take a cooker/pan, add oil and add all the items mentioned under tempering.  Let the aroma release and jeera crackle.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cover and let it cook.

3. Once tomatoes are cooked mash it with the spatula. Now, add the washed rice and water. Add salt to taste and red chilli powder, mix well and cover with a lid. Cook on medium flame. Once the water starts boiling,  add the kasuri methi. Mix well.

Approximately it will take 15 to 20 mins. Once all the water is absorbed by the rice and it’s still uncooked add more hot water.

Once the rice is cooked turn off the gas and leave the pan covered.

Enjoy the rice with curd and pickle!!

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Today being an off day, I decided to make something quick, tasty and different. I checked my fridge and found that my veggie stock was running out… all I had was a bunch of spinach and 3 potatoes and a few tomatoes.. So, I decided to put them in use.

Ingredients
1 cup rice (I used surti kolam, u can even use basmati for pulav)

2 onions, sliced

1 piece ginger, chopped

2 green chillies slit into two

1 tomato chopped

3 medium potatoes, cut into cubes

half bunch spinach, cleaned and chopped

1/4th tsp turmeric powder

1/2 to 1 tsp red chilli powder

salt to taste

For garnish

Oil 2 tbsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
saunf 1/2 tsp
badi elaichi 2
cardamom 3
bay leaf 1
cloves 3
cinnamon stick 1 piece

Method

1. wash the rice and keep aside.

2. take a pan, and oil and all the ingredients mentioned under garnish.. Once it crackles add onions and a pinch of salt and let it brown.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes and when the tomatoes are done add the spinach, turmeric powder and red chilli powder and cook for two minutes.

4. Add the rice and add 2-3 cups of water( amount of water depends on the method of cooking as well as type of rice. If you are using a cooker use little less water.)

5. Add salt and mix and cover the pan. On a medium heat let it cook and in between check for water.

6. Once the rice is almost done, turn off the gas and leave it covered for 5-7 mins.

7. In the meantime, take another pan and add 2tsp oil and add the cubed potatoes, salt and 1tsp garam masala and roast it well.. toss the potatoes well. Onces the potatoes are well roasted, Garnish your spinach pulav with it and serve hot with curd and pickle.

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This curry takes me to my childhood days. Amma would make it with madras ulli sambar….heavenly combination.

Ingredients

Potato                          5 (big)
Grated Coconut           1 cup
Green chillies               5 or 6
Cumin seeds                1 tea spoon
Curry leaves a few
Oil                                  2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds             1 teaspoon
Urid dal (mash dal)      1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Method

Pressure cook the potatoes. Turn off the cooker after 5 to 6 whistles.

Once the cooker is ready to be opened, take the potatoes out and cool them.

Peel the skin of the potatoes, mash them well.and set aside.

Take a pan, add oil and mustard seeds. Once it crackles add urid dal and after one second add curry leaves and mashed potatoes.

Add salt to the potatoes and mix and let it
cook on a low flame for 5 mins.

Take a mixer pot, add grated coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies. Grind without adding any water.

Add the ground coconut mixture to the potatoes. Mix well and check salt.

Can be garnished with coriander leaves. This curry tastes great with rice and sambar.

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Paal Payasam is one of the basic sweet most South Indian families make during festivals or on other occasions. Its simple and easy to make. One can make this in a thick bottom vessel, I remember my mom used to make it in Urli. I make it in a cooker.

Ingredients

  1. Milk                                                                                                            1 litre
  2. Sugar                                                                                                           250 grams (if you prefer more sweet, you may add 3-4 tablespoons of sugar more.)
  3. raw rice (Preferably, Basmati)                                                                      1 handful

How to proceed

  • Firstly, clean the cooker well. Pick and clean the rice well and soak it for half and hour. Now add the milk and rice in the cooker or in another vessel that can be kept inside the cooker. close the cooker and when the steam comes, place the weight. Turn the gas off when one whistle comes.
  • Now, once you open the cooker, add the sugar and keep the gas on low flame. For those who are not making the payasam in the cooker, please use a thick bottom pan. Leave the payasam on the gas for 10-15 minutes, till the color changes to light pink. You can stir it occasionally to avoid the payasam getting burned and sticky at the bottom.
  • Turn of the gas. Enjoy your delicious pudding!!

Notes

  • A lemon size piece of homemade butter (Venai) washed well can be added to the payasam, so that there wont be any creamy layer in the payasam. This tip was given to me by my mother.
  • Before you use your cooker, clean it properly, if you add lemon in your cooker, while cooking dal or vegetables, its advisable you keep your milk in another small container within your cooker.