Indian Gooseberry (Amla) Rice (Nellikai Chitranna)

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I got this recipe from my mother who had seen this on a Kannada TV program in Bangalore. Gooseberry are called as Nellikayi in Kannada.

Indian Gooseberry is known to be a robust source of Vitamin C. Due to its strong, cooling and laxative properties it has been widely used in hemorrhage, diarrhea and dysentery. It also prevents infection due to the antibacterial and astringent attributes present in it. It has been widely used for treatment of leucorrhea and atherosclerosis. In India, consuming gooseberry is considered the best antidote against aging-related disorders. (Source)

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I found these gooseberries in the frozen section of the Indian grocery here in the US. Even though these are light green in color, the frozen ones that I bought had pale white color. Maybe because of the way they were frozen (freeze-burn), they lost their color and turned into that pale color.

It takes a bit time to get used to the taste of the gooseberry. It has an intense sour and tangy in the beginning and gradually toward the end turns sweetish in taste. So if you are using this for the first time, please use caution and start with small quantity. Also do not forget to remove the pit from the gooseberry before grinding.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice 
  •  ¼ cup shredded coconut (frozen/fresh)
  •  3-4 gooseberries (pitted)
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  •   ½ cup raw peanuts (optional)
  • 2 tsp Urad daal
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Turmeric a pinch
  • ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • Asafetida a pinch
  • Salt
  • oil

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Method:

  • Cook the rice separately in the pressure cooker and keep aside.
  • Grind the coconut, gooseberry (remove the pits), green chillies and salt by adding very little water.
  • Meanwhile, take a heavy bottom pan, heat it and add 3 tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds, asafetida, and peanuts (if using), urad daal and mix until the peanuts turn crisp. ( Do this on low flame else the peanuts will burn fast)
  • Add the chopped onion and mix until it turns transparent. Now add the ground paste and stir for about a minute until the mixture turns light brown.
  • Add turmeric powder, rice, salt and mix well. Check taste and adjust seasonings as required.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

       

 

Also Madhuram and Sushma have given me these awards. Than you very much for thinking of me and presenting me these awards:

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Bell Pepper Rice / Capsicum Rice

 

Growing up in India, the only color of Bell Pepper that I had seen was green and was amazed by the plethora of colors available here in the US, red, orange, yellow all bright and vibrant colors. Even though it is very hard to choose, my personal favorite is the red color.

Whenever cook with these, I make sure that they don’t loose their color. For this rice dish, I follow the same steps as “Chitranna” but also add Bell Pepper along with onion. . They not only add vibrant color, but they also add a good amount of crunch to the dish.

Capscium Rice

Ingredients:  

1 cup rice
2 medium colored bell peppers (green/red/yellow/orange)
1 medium onion
3-4 green chillies
Turmeric/haldi
Jeera, mustard, oil, salt
Cashews (optional)
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Lemon
 

Preparation:

  • Wash the rice thoroughly and pressure cook the rice, making sure that it is not over cooked and the grains remain separate.

  • Meanwhile dice the bell pepper and onions.

  • Also chop green chillies and coriander leaves and keep aside.

Procedure:

  • In a pan, heat some oil add the mustard, jeera and when they begin to splutter, add onion, green chillies and sauté until transparent. 

  • Next add the diced colored bell pepper and fry until it turns tender, but the crunch is still there.

  • Add the cooked rice, turmeric, salt and mix well.

  • Squeeze the juice of one lemon and stir well.

  • Finally garnish with roasted cashews (if using) for some crunch and also coriander leaves.

  • This can be eaten as is or served with cucumber raita.

    

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)
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Vegetable Pulao/Pulav with Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 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

Procedure:
 

 

 

 

  • 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