Vegetable Pulao/Pulav with Cheese

Growing up, every Mom I knew had her own version of making vegetable pulav. Strangely enough, even though majority of the ingredients remained the same, each creation had a unique taste so different from the others. And even after sharing recipes, one could not produce the exact same taste as the other.

Each ingredient in the mix gives this a unique taste, so full of flavor. One different ingredient that I use in this Pulao/Pilaf is cream cheese. We happened to discover this accidentally. When MIL was here, she had suggested adding cream to mellow out strong flavors of chillies, ginger, garlic etc. However, we accidentally got cream cheese instead of cream, but yet boldly proceeded to use cream cheese and the final result was really delicious. Ever since, I have continued using cream cheese in making this Rice dish.

This is a neat dish as it is a one-pot dish and cleanup is a breeze. Just throw any vegetable from the fridge and that gives a unique flavor to the dish (done in the right way, of course)
Vegetable Pulao/Pulav with Cheese


  • 1 1/ cup regular sona masuri rice
  • 1 cup of frozen vegetables like peas, corn, beans, carrot
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 big tomato
  • ½ capsicum
  • 1 ½ tbsp cream cheese (Use cream if this is not available)
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 3-4 pulav leaves
  • oil

Grind to paste:

  • ¼ cup coconut shredded
  • 4 garlic pods
  • Ginger
  • 4 cloves
  • cinnamon
  • 3-4 green chillies





  • Heat oil in the cooker; add jeera seeds and the pulav leaves.
  • Next add onion and sauté for a little while. Continue adding vegetables diced capsicum and frozen vegetables.
  • Once they are cooked a little bit, add tomatoes and continue to stir.
  • Next add the ground paste and continue to sauté until the raw smell of garlic goes away. Add little more oil if necessary.
  • Next add the STAR ingredient, cream cheese and mix until it dissolves.
  • Next add the rice, salt to taste, water and close the pressure cooker
  • Cook until rice is done.

 This is my entry for JFI-Rice






Cucumber Dosa/Taushe Polo

Cucumber Dosa

After getting married, I was introduced to many new, delicious and interesting dishes hitherto unknown to me. Even though both of us are Konkanis, vegetarians, share the same background and culture yet each of our families have different style and combination of cooking. My MIL has over the years graciously taught me their style of cooking.

One such new, easy and tasty dish is the Cucumber dosa (savory Indian pancake)  . This has only 2 ingredients cucumber, idli rava and can be made in a jiffy. The end product is truly amazing, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with golden hue to it. Unlike a regular urad dosa tears easily and simply melts in the mouth. And this does not need any fermentation!

Please note that even though this is caleld Dosa, the prepared batter is patted on the stove directly like a Thalipeeth.



  • 2 medium size cucmbers
  • 1.5 cups of idli rava
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • oil, salt
  • coriander leaves chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut(optional)


  • Peel the cucumbers and grate them. Retain the seeds of the cucumber but drain the cucumber water as much as possible.
  • Chop up the green chilies very finely.
  • Add the idli rava, green chilies, shredded coconut, coriander leaves to grated cucumber and mix well. Add salt as required
  • Let this whole thing rest for about 30 minutes. Note that the mixture in this case will be coarse and not “gooey” or watery like a dosa batter.
  • Note: Even if it becomes watery, do not discard the water but retain it and mix it well.


  • Heat a tava and grease it a little bit. When the tava is hot, take a handful of the cucumber mixture and place at the center.
  •  Pat the mixture using finger tips and spread it around starting from the center to form a circle.
  •  Use little water to spread this out if it becomes hot to handle.

  •  This spreading should not be either too thick or thin, make it as even as possible.
  •  Make about 4-5 small holes around the periphery and center of the circle using a spatula.
  •  Put about 1 tsp of oil around the dosa and also 1 tsp into the small holes.
  •  Cover this with a lid and let it stay for a minute or so on high heat.
  • After a minute take a peek and check to see if the backside of the dosa has a brown color.
  •  If it has not, then let it stay for a while or the dosa will break when trying to turn it around.
  •  If it has browned then, turn the dosa around, put some more oil around it and let it cook for a while.

 This can be eaten as is or with little ghee or coconut oil. 

Microwave Carrot Halwa/ ( Gajar Halwa, Carrot Pudding)

Going down the memory lane Carrot Halwa usually for me conjures up images of Moms toiling and moiling in the kitchen for hours, grating, stirring etc. Nevertheless the end product was a sinfully decadent; finger licking and scrumptious dessert good to the last spoon.

Years later after the cooking mantle was handed to me, I would feel the Halwa beckon me all the time. Yet I resisted the temptation and stayed clear of venturing into making such a tedious and loaded dessert proclaiming lack of time. However one fine sunny morning, about 4 years ago, I found this recipe on the internet that for ever changed the way I thought about Carrot Halwa. I initially passed it off as too good to be true. But one fine day, the adventurous part got the better of me and decided to try it, after all what have I to loose? But boy oh boy was I so impressed and stumped that I have been preparing this ever since.There is no compromise on taste and even friends, family cannot make out the difference in taste. It is easy, fast, guilt-free and still has the decadent taste, so what else can one ask for?




Grated carrots 2 cups
Butter 1 tablespoon
Milk powder 6 tablespoons ( I buy the Deep variety from Indian grocery)
1% Milk 3/4 cup
Sugar 6 tablespoons
Cardamom powder1/2 teaspoon
Almonds sliced 1 tablespoon



  • Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Add the grated carrots mix well and microwave for 2 minutes, until the raw smell of carrot goes away.
  • Meanwhile in a separate bowl mix together the milk, milk powder, sugar to form a thick paste.
  • Add this to the cooked carrots in the microwave bowl mix well and microwave for 7 to 8 minutes stirring the mixture after every 2 minutes.
  • If the mixture appears too dry, add little milk and microwave for a minute. If it appears too wet, then microwave for couple of minutes more.
  • Add the cardamom powder, sliced nuts and mix well.

Yummy, delicious Carrot Halwa is ready to be served!


This is my first ever entry and this is for Microwave Easy Cooking.