It is not often that you would find recipes with mushroom in the RedChillies household. The reason being that the Chief Chef of the house (a.k.a me) is not a big fan of them. If I had my way then the mushrooms would not have seen the light of the day in our kitchen. J But it is not meant to be as the kiddo loves mushrooms and with all the motherly instincts/love intact I have no option but to cook with them and also get accustomed to the taste.
I have prepared a mushroom curry before and this time decided to try it in a rice dish as quick fried rice. This is such an easy recipe to prepare and gets done in no time. I got the idea for this rice when my colleague had brought mushroom pulao for lunch. She had blended cumin seeds, garlic and pepper for the base and that gave a unique flavor the dish. But I decided to take the easy route and just use garam masala and give the mushrooms some punch.
Mushrooms blend very well with spices like cinnamon and cloves. The flavor a of Garam masala stands out and makes this dish very fragrant. If you do not like mushrooms then you could substitute with other vegetables of choice like brinjal, capsicum, tindora etc.
- 1 cup rice (uncooked) [basmati is preferred]
- 8-10 button mushrooms
- 3-4 green chillies slit
- 1 big onion
- ½ tsp crushed black pepper corns (optional)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 4-5 cloves
- 1″ cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- Clean the mushrooms with damp cloth and chop them. Chop the onion lengthwise. Keep aside.
- Cook the rice separately either on stove top or pressure cooker using enough water. Make sure it cooks well and grains are separate and not mushy.
- Take a big plate and spread out the rice, add little oil, salt and mix.
- Take a big skillet, add oil on medium heat. Add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and mix. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste and fry again.
- Add the chopped onions and stir until it slightly cooks. Now add the chopped mushrooms, green chillies and continue to stir.
- After it is cooked, add the garam masala, crushed pepper powder and mix until it is neatly coated.
- Add the rice and mix thoroughly. Cover the lid and let it cook for a while.
- Serve hot. Tastes delicious as is or with side of raita.
Pongal is a famous tiffin item in South India. It is usually made of rice and moong daal in a pressure cooker with appropriate seasonings. I mostly make it with rice the traditional way, on occasions I make it with rava (Rava Pongal) but this time I made this Spicy Pongal using broken wheat/dalia.
I had a packet of broken wheat lying in the pantry for a long time and was looking for ways of using it. I have tried some kheer with it before, but have not used it much in regular cooking. After looking around on the web, I decided to make this Khichidi/Pongal.
I love the texture of cooked broken wheat in this spicy khichidi. Even though it is soft, you can feel its mild presence while eating it. Also it does not hurt that dalia is better in nutrients compared to rice. Taste wise there is no difference compared to the rice based khichidi/pongal.
This is a comfort in a bowl especially during cold wintery days. I enjoy eating this eating with lemon pickle, pappads and some raita.
- ¾ cup broken wheat/dalia
- ½ cup split moong daal
- 3-4 green chillies (finely chopped)
- 2 red chillies (broken into 3 pieces)
- 5-10 whole black peppercorn [you can add powder if you do not like it whole]
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
- 5-10 curry leaves
- ¼ cup grated coconut (optional)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 Tbsp ghee
- pinch of hing/asafetida
- 1 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- Salt to taste
- Pressure cook the moong daal, along with the broken wheat in 2 cups of water. Keep aside.
- Take a big pan and heat 1 Tbsp of oil/ghee. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let it splutter.
- Add the curry leaves, broken red chillies, hing/asafetida, pepper corns and green chillies and fry for for few seconds.
- Add the cooked daal-dalia to this, salt, ginger and keep stirring.
- Cover it with a lid and it cook for a minute for two. Garnish with chopped coriander, coconut and 1 tsp ghee and switch off the gas.
- Ghee imparts a wonderful aroma to the dish. Serve Hot along with lemon pickle, raita, pappads.
Bhel Puri is a combination of puffed rice along with vegetables and spicy, tangy chutney/auce. This is the most commonly sold chaat/fast food in many places in India. It is a snack with an iconic status in Western India. Bhelpuri is low-fat, delicious and eay to make!
After a long day at work, or on days when I have no mood to cook, we have Bhel Puri for dinner. I store all the dry ingredients in the pantry, the chutney in the fridge and we just combine all these to whip up a delectable “khatta-meetha-theeka” light dinner. On the last road trip we took, I packed all the ingredients required to make bhel puri and we had it many times as snack or even as dinner.
You can get creative and add or remove things you like to make it unique. The ingredients listed below are pretty much the standard. You can add like cooked black chana, cooked kabuli chana garbanzo bean, grated carrots, raw mango, and cucumber to cater to your taste. You can reduce the amount of sev and crushed puri to reduce the amount of fat as they are the only fattening ingredients.
Adjust the amount of chutney depending on your taste. I love the ‘khatta’ and sweet taste of the tamarind chutney while DH loves the spicy coriander chutney.
The key to remember is to assemble the bhel puri few minutes before eating; otherwise if kept for a while it becomes soggy and looses taste.
- 3 cups puffed rice/murmura (available at Indian stores)
- 2 small potatoes (peeled , boiled and mashed)
- ½ cup of sprouted moong
- ½ cup of roasted peanuts
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 large tomato (chopped)
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- A handful of coarsely crushed crispy papdi/puri
- Sev (as required for the topping)
- Chopped coriander for garnish
- Tamarind chutney (per taste)
- Spicy coriander chutney (per taste)
Spicy chutney :
- 1 cup corriander leaves
- 2 to 4 green chilies (based on taste)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tsp roasted cumin seed powder (optional)
- salt per taste
- Blend everything to a smooth paste adding water (1/4 cup). This should be spicy (hot). Do not worry about the taste as this will be compensated by the sweet taste of tamarind chutney.
Bhel Puri Method:
- Take a dry big bowl. Add the puffed rice, moong sprouts, red chilli powder, peanuts, mashed potato, onion, tomato together in a large bowl.
- Add the Tamarind chutney and coriander chutney as per your taste.
- Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves, sev and papdi. Serve immediately.