May 28, 2015

Tomato Rice | Quick Cooking

One of the easiest go to dishes when one is short on time is Tomato rice. From making it with leftover rice to preparing it in a pressure cooker as a one pot meal,  We all have our own versions don't we?  I myself make many variations depending on the time. ingredients & the mood :)

When I am in an indulgent mood, I add a bit of coconut milk to add richness to the dish along with some bell peppers for that extra bite. When there is leftover rice, it is usually converted into a quick Tawa Tomato Pulao. This Pressure cooker method is the quickest in my opinion. Dump everything in the cooker & Tada its done !! No wonder it makes a great lunchbox option & a quick saviour when guests arrive or when you have bare minimum veggies in the fridge 

Tomato Rice 

You Will Need:

  • 1 cup Rice - Preferably Basmati
  • 1 big onion - thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2-3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kitchen King Masala
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp Saunf
  • 2 green chillies - slit lengthwise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp desi ghee
  • 2 tsp cooking oil

How To:

Clean Basmati Rice in several changes of water. Drain & set aside for 15 minutes. Roughly chop tomatoes & blend them into a puree

In a pressure cooker, Heat Ghee & Oil. Once its hot enough, splutter cumin, saunf & coriander seeds. Add Bay leaf, green chilies & ginger garlic paste. saute for about 20 seconds. Add in the onions & cook till it is slightly pink. 

Now add the tomato puree, Red chilli powder, Garam Masala, kitchen king masala & turmeric powder. Give it a good mix. Add green peas & 1 1/4 cups of water. check for salt & give it a good stir. when it comes to a boil, Close the lid & allow it to pressure cook for 1 whistle

Once the pressure releases, allow it to cool down a bit, Fluff with a fork & transfer into a serving bowl. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander. Serve warm with a raita of your choice. 


If you plan to use store bought tomato puree, you will onlu need about 100 ml of puree as store bought purees are very thick & tart. 

You can also add 1/4th cup of thick coconut milk for a rich tasting Tomato Rice 

May 21, 2015

Ragi Ambli | Finger Millet Malt

Ragi also known as Nachni or Finger Millet is one of the most staple & common grains in Karnataka  It is a nutrition powerhouse. Besides being Gluten Free, it is a very rich source of calcium.

Now that half the world is going crazy over Millets, This humble grain is back in spotlight. One of the most common ways of consuming Ragi is in the form of  a cooked dumpling called Ragi Mudde and is eaten with a lentil based gravy


Another favorite way of consuming Ragi is a buttermilk based drink called Ambli. It has a thin porridge like consistency & is flavored using a hint of green chilli (opional ) and onion. It makes a very filling drink & can be had for breakfast if you are short on time & yes, It is very Healthy

Ragi Ambli Ingredients

How To:

Mix 1 tbsp of Ragi Flour in about 1/4 cup of water. Whisk well to form a smooth paste without any lumps. Roughly chop the onion & blend it into a paste & add it to the ragi flour mixture In a saucepan, cook this paste on low flame for about 2 mins till it gets cooked. keep stirring at regular intervals.

Once done, turn of the heat & allow it to cool. In a blender, blend together the cooked Ragi mixture & Buttermilk together along with some salt.

In a small pan, heat Ghee, splutter mustard & cumin seeds along with curry leaves. Add it to the drink Pour the drink into tall glasses and Garnish with finely chopped coriander


You can also add half a green chili while grinding the onion but I usually give it a skip. 1 glass of this in the morning, I am good to go. You can also have this as a post workout drink. I even have this for dinner sometimes when I feel too lazy to cook a meal for myself

There is also a sweeter version of this usually made with milk which I will be posting in sometime. Meanwhile, enjoy this one !!

May 13, 2015

Indian Spiced Popcorn

Who doesn't love Popcorn? As kids, movie outings meant a huge bucket of butter popcorn as flavored ones were not such a big thing back then. Though, I am a huge fan of the good old plain butter popcorn, I have also begun to love the flavored ones

I love making flavored popcorn at home. There are so many variations one could try. They are such a hit with kids & adults alike.

I recently tried this Indian Flavored popcorn for a get together & it was such a big hit ,, Guess what the flavor was?? I used Pav Bhaji Masala & it was just amazing 

Indian Spiced Popcorn

How To:
  • 1/2 cup Pop Corn
  • 2 tbsp neutral cooking Oil - I used Sunflower oil  
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Pav Bhaji Masala 
  • 1 tsp Nigella seeds/Kallonji
  • A sprig of Curry Leaves
  • Salt as per taste

How To:

In a Heavy bottomed Pan or a Pressure cooker, Add 2 tbsp cooking oil. Once hot, Add the corn kernels & cover with a lid.When the corn starts popping, give the pan a shake and continue to cook until all the kernels have popped. Once you don't hear the popping sound anymore, remove from the heat & pour popcorn into a large bowl

In the same pan, heat Butter. Splutter nigella seeds & add curry leaves. On very low flame, add turmeric powder, red chilli powder & pav bhaji masala. Give it a gentle stir & cook for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat. Add the popcorn & some salt & toss well until the popcorn is coated well with the spice mixture.

Pour spiced popcorn into a huge bowl & enjoy with your family/friends

The variations you can make with this is just endless. If you are keen on using Indian flavours, keep it subtle & do not use too many spices at once.

May 6, 2015

Chickpea & Raw Mango Salad

Building a Salad is a lot of fun. There is no recipe involved .. Its all about what you love & you can play with so many combinations that you will go crazy. Making a salad doesn't actually take that much time but you will need to do a bit of prepping.

Sometimes, I'd love to eat a Big bowl of colorful, hearty Salad for a meal.. But my laziness gets the better of me on some days & I end up eating a carb-heavy meal. I was determined to eat a healthy lunch yesterday so I soaked some chickpeas in the morning & made this easy peasy Chickpea & Raw Mango Salad for lunch.

Chickpea & Raw Mango Salad

I haven't really cooked anything much with raw mangoes this summer. I had a couple of raw mangoes sitting in the fridge since long so I decided to use it up in this nice tangy salad with a good dose of chickpeas

I love using Indian flavors in salad dressings. They not only add a lovely flavor but also makes me feel as though I am eating a big bowl of Chaat. The ingredients used here are nothing fancy & are usually pantry staples.

Chickpea & Raw Mango Salad Ingredients

How To:

Soak Chickpeas overnight or for 5-6 hours, Pressure cook with a bit of salt. Drain & set aside for use. Finely chop the onions & Tomatoes & set aside.

For the dressing, In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients mentioned in the list & set aside. I used store bought Tamarind & dates chutney.

To assemble the salad, In a large wide bowl, add Chickpeas, chopped onions & tomatoes & the dressing & mix well. Add chopped coriander & mint & check for salt. Allow the salad to sit atleast for 20 mins before serving, Sprinkle a generous amount of Sev before serving

If you are a health freak, This salad makes a great lunch box option. It also works as a healthy starter for parties. You could also add crushed Papdi ( Deep Fried Indian Crackers made with All Purpose Flour ) for a bit of crunch.