Flavoured Basmati Rice

The following recipes are for 6-8 people. Add salt as per your requirement. For the curries, 1 tbsp is probably sufficient.

Wash 2 cups of basmati rice in hot/warm water three or four times (until the water is clear and no longer milky/cloudy), then allow to soak in warm water for half-an-hour. Meanwhile, bring six cups of water to boil. Add a tablespoon (tbsp) of salt to the water and a teaspoon (tsp) of oil.

When the rice has soaked, add it to the boiling water. Add 1 tbsp turmeric, for colour. Boil for about 5 minutes. Test to see how soft it is. Boil for another five minutes or so. You will know it is ready when it is soft, but not too soft ie. you can still feel a little hardness in the rice.

Decant rice into colander. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Chaunce (braise/masala):

Add 1 tbsp mustard seed to 2 tbsp oil/1 1/2 tbsp ghee.. Add 2 cinnamon sticks when mustard seeds splutter. Add 1tsp hing. Garnish with a handful of finely chopped dhanya leaves.

Jaipur Style Split Yellow Mung Dal

Clean 3 cups of dal in warm water by soaking three or four times. Meanwhile bring six cups (a litre and a half) water to boil. Add dal to water. Place a few whole pepper corns, two or three cloves, 3 cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and 1 tbsp turmeric powder in water. Bring to boil.

After 15 minutes add a handful (100g) chopped spinach and on fresh, diced tomato. Add 2tbsp’s salt.

Boil for about another 10 minutes (that is 25 minutes in all). When the dal is nice and thick, it is ready.

Chaunce:

2 tbsp oil/ghee, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 2 tbsp fresh ginger root (grated/finely chopped), 1tsp hing, 1tsp curry powder or fresh chillis, a pinch of nutmeg and 1 tsp crushed dhanya/coriander.

Add chaunce to boiled dal (ie. add the ghee and spices to the standing dal). Garnish with fresh dhanya.

Butternut Marwari (Vegetarian Curry or Sabji)

This is a north Indian butternut or pumpin curry, getting its characteristic flavour from kalonji (also known as nigella or black onion, although it has nothing to do with the onion family) seeds.

Peel 3 medium-sized butternuts. Cut into cubes. Place in a pot and add 3 cups of water. Bring water to a boil. Cook with lid closed.

When the butternut is fully cooked – some will be mushy and some cooked whole – then allow to rest. Flavour with chaunce.

Chaunce:

4 tbsp oil/ghee. Heat. Add 1 and half tbsp mustard seeds. When they sputter add three cinnamon sticks, three bay leaves, 3 curry leaves and 1tbsp kalonji seeds. Then add 2 tsp hing, 1 tbsp crushed black pepper, 2 tsp curry powder and 1 tsp cardamom. Add chaunce to butternut. Cook for about five minutes to allow flavour to be absorbed in butternut. Garnish with dhanya. Add 1 tbsp salt.

North Indian Smoked Cauliflower and Potato Curry

Clean 2 medium cauliflowers. Cut into flowerets. Smoke/dry cook the cauliflower in wok or big pot. Set aside when they are lightly scorched and fairly tender.

Peel four/five potatoes. Cube. Cook in wok or big pot on high heat. Set aside when sufficiently scorched.

Meanwhile, steam five or six tomatoes in shallow water in a pot. Peel off skins when soft. Puree the tomatoes.

Prepare Chaunce:

1 tbsp mustard seeds, when sputter add 3 curry leaves. Then add half tsp paprika, half tbsp hing, 1 tsp crushed fenugreek, 1 tbsp crushed black pepper.

Add cauliflowers, potatoes and tomatoes to the chaunce. Add 1 tbsp salt and 3/4 cup of sugar when it has been cooking for about ten minutes. It should take 25 to 30 min for the vegetables to cook soft.

Add 2 tbsp fresh dhanya and 3 cups fresh yoghurt or amasi at the end. Stir everything together.

Chickpea Fudge or Laddhu

Ingredients: Unsalted butter, fine chickpea/channa flour and icing sugar (or alternative sweetener eg. agarve, xylitol etc.).

Method: Melt butter on medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add chickpea flour. Constantly stir the mix for about 10 to 15 minutes until colour darkens. When you can smell a nutty flavour coming from the mix or the mix goes reddish-brown, take off the heat. Add icing sugar and mix until icing sugar has dissolved.

Place wax wrap or cling wrap in a tray and place mix therein. Allow to set. Cool separately. If you want it to be ready quicker, set in fridge.

Offer completed offerings to Krishna with love and devotion…

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