Melkottai Puliyodarai

 

The simple mention of puliyodarai is enough start salivating and the Iyengar puliyodarai sends one spinning to the world of koil  prasadam. Melkotai in Karnataka is very famous for puliyodarai and the pulikachal (concentrate ) has a very long shelf life and stays good and aromatic for many weeks.Every street in that place sells the rice and pulikachal in pushcarts all over the place and is a sight to be seen. The mix is like a thick paste soaked in oil and the secret is I guess in the dry ingredients that go into the mix. The instant mix I have posted is based on this principle and the rice is certainly worth the expectation.

Ingredients

Puliyodarai mix  3 tbsp

Cooking oil 2 to 3 tbsp

Raw rice 1 cup

Asafotida ½ tsp

Salt  ¼ tsp

Skinned peanuts 2 tbsp

Curry leaves from 3 sprigs

Method

  • Wash the rice with enough water and after draining water add two cups of water, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of oil. Cook the rice for three whistles. After the rice cools down fluff it up with a fork to get grainy texture. Transfer the rice to a platter.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds to the hot oil. AS it starts spluttering, add the peanuts and let it remain on low flame for a couple of minutes . Add asafotida and curry leaves and a minute later add the powder mix and switch off the flame.

  • Mix well to get a thick paste and  transfer  the paste to the rice in the platter. Mix gently making sure that rice does not break the rice grains.

 

Serve with appalam or vadam.

Chef’s note

  • In case you have added the tempering to the mix already,  add the mix in hot oil and mix with rice.

Chana Pulao

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Often we look for wholesome, simple dishes that can be done quickly when in a hurry or as a takeaway lunch to work.  Chana pulao is one such dish that is so packed with flavors that it does need not even need a raitha or any other side dish as it stays quite moist too. All one has to remember is to soak the chickpea overnight or keep a bowl of boiled chickpeas in the refrigerator for ready use.

      I prefer to use Basmati rice as it adds to flavor but this time  I used ponni rice to if it can work in case one were to use leftover rice from earlier cooking  and the flavor was no less.

Ingredients  (gives 4 servings)

Basmati rice  1 cup

Cooked chickpeas 1 cup (from a handful of dry legume)

Cinnamon 1″ piece

Cloves 3

Onion 1 (big) quartered and sliced to thin julienne

Tamarind  2 or 3 scales (soaked to soften)

Tomato 1 big pureed with tamarind

Grated ginger 1 tsp

Garlic paste  ½ tsp

Turmeric powder ¼ tsp

Chana masala 1 tsp (heaped)

Red chilli powder ½ tsp

Salt 1 tsp or to taste

Oil  1 tbsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Water  1 cup (2 cups if using ponni or sona masuri rice)

Coriander leaves for garnishing  2 tbsp

 

Method

  • Add the cinnamon and cloves to the overnight- soaked chickpeas and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
  • While the chickpea is getting cooked wash the rice in water, drain off the excess water and leave it for 10 minutes.
  • Dice the onions, puree the tomato and tamarind and keep them ready.
  • As soon as the chickpeas are done, open the cooker, take out the bowl of cooked chickpea. Place the dry cooker on high flame and heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds to the oil and as it starts spluttering, lower the flame and add garlic paste and saute. When the color starts changing add the onion and saute on low flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice, chilli powder, and saute well for another  2 minutes.
  • Add the puree, chana masala, turmeric powder, salt, and stir well. Transfer the cooked chickpeas to the mix. Add water, mix well, and cover the cooker with the lid; add weight and cook on medium flame for two whistles.
  • Switch off the flame and leave the rice to cook in its steam for another 15  minutes. Open the cooker 15 to 20 minutes  and fluff it with a fork before transferring to a bowl.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves before serving.

IMG_1958

 

Chef’s Note

  • For those who prefer the tanginess of lemon juice to tamarind, skip tamarind and add the lemon juice before fluffing up the rice.
  • Those who love the strong flavor of mint to coriander can substitute coriander by mint leaves.
  • In case you were to be using leftover rice, make sure the rice is grainy.  Add a spoon of oil to rice, micro or warm it a bit and fluff it up. Make the gravy as instructed (skipping rice) as a thick mix. Transfer the rice to a plate, add the gravy and mix gently but well.

Methi Pulao (4 Servings)

methipulaoIngredients Basmati rice 1½ cups

Water 2½ cups

Cleaned fenugreek leaves  2 cups

Tomato puree  1 cup (3 medium-sized tomatoes)

Onion  2 (medium-sized)

Turmeric powder ½ tsp

Pepper powder ½ tsp

Red chilli powder (cayenne)  ¾ tsp

Ginger-green chilli paste  1 tsp Oil 1 tbsp cumin seeds 1 tsp

Ghee 1 tsp

Method

  • Dice onion to thin slices and keep aside. Rinse the cleaned methi leaves in running water, drain and cut them fine.
  • Soak basmati in water for 15 minutes and  drain excess water. Heat ghee in a wok and saute till aroma wafts out.
  • Add oil to pressure pan and when the oil heats up add jeera and let it splutter.  Add onion and saute till it turns translucent. Add ginger-chilli paste and saute for a minute before transferring the methi leaves to the mix. Saute methi leaves for a few minutes (3 to 4 min) and add tomato puree.
  • Stir in the masala (turmeric powder, pepper, chilli powder) and salt. When mixed well add the sauteed rice and add water.
  • Pressure cook for two whistles and wait for rice to cool and the grains to separate before serving.

Chef’s Note You can a cup of shelled peas to the mix while cooking and make it a methi-mattar pulao 🙂

Sakkarai Pongal

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Sakkarai pongal is made normally made with jaggery or some prefer it with sugar too. What is made on Sankaranthi is cooked in milk and has a different taste and thus sankaranathi pongal   is a little different in taste from traditional pongal. At home following Sankaranthi on Maattu Pongal day also it is traditional to make pongal and hence the variation without milk 🙂

Ingredients

Raw rice 1 cup

Moong dal ¼ cup

Jaggery 1½ cups

Ghee ¼ cup or less

Cardamom 4 (powdered)

Mace 2 petals (crushed)

Nutmeg powder  1 pinch

Cashew pieces 1 tbsp (10pieces sliced)

Raisin 1 tbsp

Saffron 1 pinch

Method

Quite similar to Sakaranthi pongal with variation in water added . More water added in place of milk.

  • Roast the dal and rice on slow fire until aroma is wafted.
  • Wash the dal-rice mix in water, add 3 cups water and pressure cook till done (4 to 5 whistles should do … 2 whistles in high flame and the rest in reduced flame)
  • While the rice is getting cooked melt the jaggery in a wok in ½ cup water and as it starts boiling strain it through a tea strainer to remove dirt and keep it ready.
  • Add a spoon of ghee in a wok and roast cashew and raisin and keep them ready. Soak the saffron a spoon of milk and keep ready
  • In the same wok transfer the mashed rice and keeping a low flame stir in  the  molten jaggery syrup and stir till evenly done. Add the remaining ghee and mix well. Add cashew-raisin, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder, mace and mix well.Add the saffron filaments in milk and mix well.
  • Serve hot

Sankaranthi Pongal ( 4 servings)

Harvest festival ,,, Sankaranthi is celebrated nationwide in different forms and among the South Indians too there are some differences although pongal is the basic dish for the day. Even today there are households that follow the tradition in cooking pongal on firewood and in earthen pots bought for the occasion .

At home we use bronze pots coated with lime and rice flour (basic idea to prevent the vessel from soot when cooked on firewood) as per the tradition and cook on gas flame.

 

Sankaranthi 2014
Sankaranthi

On festival day the rice is cooked in milk but can be done with less milk or no milk otherwise and the taste of course is distinct either way.

 

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Ingredients

Raw rice  1 cup

Moong dal  ¼ cup

Jaggery (powdered)  1½ cups

Milk 1 cup

Ghee ¼ cup or less

Cardamom 4 (powdered)

Mace 2 petals (crushed)

Nutmeg powder  1 pinch

Cashew pieces 1 tbsp (10pieces sliced)

Raisin 1 tbsp

Saffron 1 pinch

Method

  • Roast the dal and rice on slow fire until aroma is wafted.
  • Wash the dal-rice mix in water, add milk and 2 cups water and pressure cook till done (4 to 5 whistles should do ..2 whistles in high flame and the rest in reduced flame)
  • While the rice is getting cooked melt the jaggery in a wok in ½ cup water and as it starts boiling strain it through a tea strainer to remove dirt and keep it ready.
  • Add a spoon of ghee in a wok and roast cashew and raisin and keep them ready. Soak the saffron a spoon of milk and keep ready
  • In the same wok transfer the mashed rice and keeping a low flame stir in  the  molten jaggery syrup and stir till evenly done. Add the remaining ghee and mix well. Add cashew-raisin, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder, mace and mix well.Add the saffron filaments in milk and mix well.
  • Serve hot

Bell Pepper Bhath (2 Servings)

Bell pepper bhath

 

Ingredients

Green bell pepper  2 (medium-sized)

Rice   1 cup

Salt 1 tsp

Oil   1 tbsp

Ghee  1 tsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Lemon juice 1 tbsp

Peanuts   2 tbsp

For Masala

Coriander seeds  1tbsp

Dry Red chilies   3

Peppercorn   ¼ tsp (about 10)

Cumin seeds ½ tsp

Chana dal 1 tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

Coconut   2 tbsp

Cinnamon 1″ piece

Method

  • Wash the rice well in water, add ½ tsp oil, half the salt and cook in 2 cups of water in pressure cooker.
  • Spread the cooked rice on a plate and let it cool so that the grains separate.
  • While the rice is getting cooked, roast the peanuts and powder it coarsely and keep aside.
  • On a low flame roast all the masala ingredients in the following order: Cinnamon, red chillies, pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dals and finally coconut.  when the mix cools blitz it to a fine powder in a blender.
  • Dice the bell pepper into julienne. Heat the remaining oil in a wok and let the mustard seeds splutter. Add capsicum and saute on a low flame till cooked. Add salt, mix and transfer the rice, powdered masala, powdered peanuts and mix gently . Add hot ghee and mix to get a grainy texture.
  • Remove from flame and add lemon juice and mix well.

Chef’s Note: It is optional to add onions in case you like onion-capsicum combo. Saute the onions and the add bell pepper.

If u prefer tamarind to lemon juice (I prefer lemon in this dish) Add tamarind scales to masala mix and powder

Capsicum Pulao (4 servings)

Most often G prefers non-spicy and easily digestible food. I try to come up with something that he can relish and also  easy for Ad and Ar to cook. Ad loves bell pepper flavor but does not really like to chew them. This version of capsicum rice should meet with everyone’s requirements!

Capsicum-Rice Bhath

 Basmati rice 2 cups

Medium-sized onions 2 (thinly sliced)

Green capsicum  250 g ( 2 cups of julienne)

Salt 1 tsp

Oil 2 tsp

Ghee 1 tbsp

Water 2 cups

Sugar ½ tsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Grind to a paste:

Grated coconut 3 tbsp

Green chillies 2

Ginger 2″ piece

Cloves 4

Cinnamon 2″ piece

Cardamom 4

Method

  • Soak the rice in water for a minute and after draining the excess water leave the rice moist.
  • Heat ghee in a cooking pan and fry the rice till it tarts changing color. Transfer to a plate and set aside for cooking a little later.
  • Heat oil in the pan and let the cumin seeds splutter. Add capsicum juliennes and saute on a low flame till they are partially cooked and aroma starts wafting.
  • Add the ground masala paste, salt and sugar and saute for 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Add the fried rice and 2 cups of water. Cover with a lid and cook on high flame till water starts boiling.
  • Reduce the flame and cook till all the water is absorbed and the rice grains start separating.
  • Cool for 5 minute and stir with a wide spatula before serving.