Monday, December 22, 2008

Vegetable Fried Rice

If I were to list out my top ten favourite foods, fried rice would definitely figure quite high on that list. Special favourites like this and ulli sambar were usually made by my mother on Sundays so that we could all sit together and enjoy the food. I usually end up making it when I am stumped for ideas on what to make or low on time and high on hunger.

What you need:
Basmati rice - 1 cup (washed and soaked in water for 30 minutes)
Cardamom - 4 pods
Clove - 5
Cinnamon - a small piece
Star anise - 2
Pepper corns - 1/4 tsp
Chopped vegetables - 3/4 cup (use a mix of beans, carrot, cauliflower, peas, potato and beets)
Green chilli - 3 or 4 (adjust to taste), minced
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Ghee - 6 tsp

Heat a tsp of ghee and fry all the spices in it until fragrant. Let it cool and then grind to a fine powder.
Drain water from the rice and then fry it in a tsp of ghee until it loses all the moisture and turns creamish in colour.
Heat the rest of the ghee, add the powdered spices, green chillies,chopped veggies, and turmeric powder. Stir fry for a few minutes. Transfer all the ingredients to a pressure cooker, add 1.5 cups of water, required amount of salt and cook until one whistle.
Enjoy with raita and papad.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Karthigai pori

What you need:
Pori (puffed rice flakes) - 4 cups
Jaggery - 1 cup
Water - 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Thin slivers of fresh coconut - 1/3 cup

Remove the husk, if any, from the pori. Take jaggery in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add water and heat over a medium flame until completely melted and then stir intermittently until it reaches a soft ball consistency. To check if it has reached this consistency, drop a little bit of the jaggery into a bowl of water. You should be able to gather it between your fingers and form a soft ball.
Switch off the heat. Quickly stir in all the ingredients and whisk briskly for a few minutes until it is well mixed together. Store in an airtight container once it is completely cooled.