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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Lauki dal

Ingredients
1. One Lauki medium, peeled and cut into cubes.
2. 1 onion roughly sliced
3. 2 green chillies slit
4. 3 garlic cloves chopped
5. Moong dal/toor dal 1 cup (soaked
for 30 mins)
6. Ginger 1 inch piece, peeled and roughly chopped.
7. Salt to taste
8. Turmeric powder 1 tsp
9. Water 3 to 4 cups
10. Red chilli powder 1 tsp
11. 1 medium tomato chopped

For garnish
1. 1 tbsp ghee
2. 2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
3. 4_5 Curry leaves and 2 tsp chopped coriander leaves.

Method
1. Wash the dal and keep aside. You
may choose the dal of your choice.

2. Take a pressure cooker, add the dal, chopped lauki, sliced onions, slit chillies, garlic, chopped ginger, turmeric powder, salt and 3 cups Water.

3. Cook till 5 whistles and then simmer the gas and cook for 5 more minutes. Turn off the gas.

4. Open the cooker and cook on low flame. Check salt and add more if required. Add the red chilli powder.

5. Take another pan, add ghee. Add
jeera and let it crackle. Now add 1 tsp chopped garlic and a pinch of salt and let it saute till it turns brown. Add the choppee tomatoes and saute till it is cooked.

6. Take the dal in a serving bowl and garnish it with the jeera and tomatoes. Add curry leaves and coriander leaves.

7. Lemon juice can be added if required.

Enjoy with hot steamed rice!! This dal was so yummy.. my kids loved it. And is a meal in itself. I also make palak dal in the same way.
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Lauki dal

Ingredients
Serves 4

4 medium tomatoes blanched

1 carrot ( peeled and chopped into fine pieces)

Black pepper powder 1 to 2 tsp..to taste

Salt to taste

Chopped Garlic 1tbsp

Oil ( I used olive oil) 1tsp for sauté

1. Take a pan, add 4 cups water, a pinch of salt and the tomatoes and cover. Cook untill the skin of the tomatoes come off.

2. peel the skin and put the tomatoes in a blender and blend well.

3. Take a pan, add oil and once the oil is hot add the chopped garlic, a pinch of salt and sauté til they are pink in color. Now, add the chopped carrots and cook for 2 mins on low flame.

3. Take a pan add the pureed tomatoes and 2 cups of water or depending upon the consistency you like. Add salt, sautéed garlic and carrot. Let it boil and the soup is ready. Turn off the gas, and add the pepper powder. Garnish with mint leaves.

Enjoy the soup!!!

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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 is the recipe of rasam to be made with the rasam powder made of jeera, pepper and coriander (recipe in the given link)… This rasam is a good medicine for cold, cough and fever.

Ingredients

1. Tomato –  2 medium, cut into small pieces

2. Coriander leaves – one bunch cleaned and chopped along with stems

3. Curry leaves – one stick

4. Tamarind – one small lemon sized ball, soaked in warm water.

5. Rasam powder – 3 tsp ( can be adjusted according to the level of spice required.)

6. Turmeric powder. – 1/2 tsp

7. Garlic – 2 pods (optional)

8. Ghee – 1 tsp for tempering

9. Jeera – 2 tsp for tempering

10. Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp, not to be added with the tempering

Method

1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for around 30 mins. Squeeze out the tamarind juice and keep in another pot. repeat till you get all the juice from the tamarind.

soak tamarind in water

2. Take a pot, add the tamarind juice, tomatoes, turmeric powder, salt, curry leaves and the chopped coriander leaves. Let the tomatoes cook.

3. Add the rasam powder.

4. Let it boil for 7 to 10 mins on low flame.

5. You can add 2-3 cups of water to get the required rasam consistency. Rasam is supposed to be very watery. It should not be thick like sambar. Let it boil and after 5 mins, turn off the gas.

6. Take a tempering pan and add ghee and jeera, once it crackles add it to the rasam and add asafoetida directly to the pot.

7. Garnish with some coriander leaves.

Notes

You can add garlic in the ghee after the jeera crackles. Garlic is optional, as the rasam has good flavours and I personally felt, it is better without garlic.

You can also add toor dal if you like.

If you forget to soak the tamarind, you may directly add it to the pot of water along with other ingredients.

Add the coriander leaves along with its stems. You can add half to three fourth bunch, depending upon the size of bunch. Here we get small bundles.

Potato is always an essential in my kitchen, when I want to experiment, when I’m in a mood to eat something spicy, potato is all I can think about.

I got this recipe from a friend. I tried this and everyone liked it. My son, who hates potatoes, said to me, ” these wedges are just like the ones we get from Mc Donalds.” He wants me to make it again. I am really happy.

Ingredients

  1.  Potatoes                         3 large
  2. Onion                               2 medium
  3. Garlic                              3-4 pods crushed     
  4. Tomatoes                         2 medium
  5. Capsicum                          1 large
  6. Soy sauce                           1 and a half tsp
  7. Brown sugar                       1tsp
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Oil for deep frying

Method

  •  Peel the potatoes and cut them into wedges. Cook the potatoes with a pinch of salt till they are half done. I cooked them in a microwave for 5 mins.
  • Chop the onions, capsicum, and tomatoes. Crush the garlic and set aside.
  • Take a pan, add a little oil and fry the garlic and onion till they are done. Now add tomatoes, and capsicum, let them cook in high flame. After 2-3 minutes, add soy sauce and brown sugar and let it cook in low flame for a minute or two. Now turn off the gas.
  • Take another pan, add oil for deep frying. Add the wedges and deep fry till they are golden brown.

You can add salt to the oil alternatively, if you did not add while cooking. I added while frying, as it gives a nice taste.

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Once the wedges are ready, place them on a dish and add the capsicum-tomato sauce on top of the wedges. Garnish with chopped corriander leaves. your dish is ready to be served.

Potato wedges with capsicum and tomato sauce

Enjoy!

Adapted from Flavours