BADAM LADDU RECIPE| FLAX SEED LADDU RECIPE | RECIPE FOR ALMOND FUDGE BALLS | RECIPE FOR FLAXSEED FUDGE BALLS| INSTANT ENERGY SNACKS RECIPE| GHEE FREE ALMOND LADDU RECIPE| EVERYDAY HEALTHY SNACK RECIPE

 

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Here kicks off another week! Weekdays often remind me of the skipped meals to our infrequent food consumption throughout the day. Either caught up in busy meetings or wrapping up cascade communications over emails and phone calls, eating right takes a back seat! Your mind would let you grab innumerable cups of tea, coffee or sometimes even a shot of alcohol too. But, does that help? I am sure you know the answer. It’s a ‘NO’ !

Amidst the hola-pola of busy schedules, what can we do to keep up our energy levels and take care of our health? Isn’t handy to have something in your bag to endure quick hunger pangs during the busy week days?! No, do not get the idea of chocolates or the touted energy bars. How about some homemade fudge balls aka laddus made out of almonds and flax seeds. The health conscious folk might already have an idea about this powerful nut and seed. For the lesser known people, almonds are the best source of the good fats essential to our body along with Vitamin E, fiber and folic acid. Flaxseeds on the other hand are good sources of omega-3-fatty acids and antioxidants.

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This Diwali I got bored with the Burelu (fried sweet lentil stuffed dumplings) and Bobbatlu (Sweetened lentil stuffed Indian bread) sweet routine at home and decided on making laddus using dry fruits and flax seeds in particular. I experimented with the proportions and it worked out.  Such a relief to get something right at the first attempt! I was contemplating on what kind of binding agent should be used in the flaxseed laddu and this post cleared my confusion in picking up roasted gram dal flour over instant oats. Rolling onto the recipes –  

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Badam Laddu| Almond Fudge Balls:

Ingredients:

½ cup dry roasted Almonds

1 tbsp dry roasted Cashew

¼ cup Jaggery ( Bellam/gud)

1 tbsp Raisins (kismis)

2 pods Cardamom

Procedure:

  1. Roast the almonds and cashew on medium to low heat till they get crunchy.
  2. Grate the jaggery or chop it into smaller chunks to ease the process of grinding.
  3. Remove the husk of the cardamom pod.
  4. Once the roasted nuts cool down, take all the ingredients into the mixer-jar and run it on pulse mode till you get it together.
  5. If you don’t have pulse option in your grinder, run the mixture in intervals lasting only few seconds. Else, the mixture would turn into a nut butter. The oil released from the nuts would be optimum when pulsed at short bursts, helps getting the laddus in shape.
  6. Roll the mixture into balls between your palms. Delicious almond laddus are ready! Roll them in shredded coconut for mix of flavours or fine chopped almonds for the crunch.
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Almond laddus- didn’t need a drop of ghee! Natural almond oil was enough to roll the magic.

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Flaxseed Laddu| Flaxseed and Gram flour Fudge Balls

Ingredients:

½ cup Roasted Chana Dal (veyinchina sengapappu/chutney senagapappu/bengal gram dal)

¼ cup Roasted Flax seeds

¼ cup Jaggery ( Bellam/gud)

2 pods Cardamom Seeds

3tbsp Ghee

Procedure:

  1. Roast chana dal and flax seeds on slow flame till you get the roasted fragrance and slight change in colour.
  2. Grate the jaggery.
  3. Take the roasted chana dal and flax seeds at room temperature and powder them using the grinder.
  4. Add cardamom seeds, jaggery and ghee to the jar and give it a pulse.
  5. Roll the mixture into laddus between your palms. Unlike most of the laddus, you don’t need the extra splash of ghee on your palms to roll them.  Add a bit of ghee only when the mixture doesn’t bind well into a round shape.

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And that’s it! SEE how simple these are to make! Make new batches every Sunday and stash them in the fridge to keep them fresh. It’s a crowd-pleaser – from children to adults. 

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Note: Diabetics and people who are recommended to avoid sugar and jaggery for medical reasons, please avoid this sweet. Plain nuts or powdered almond meal or flaxseed meal can be mixed with your rotis (Indian flat bread) or you could make chutney powder or add them in dips.

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One Month in Pictures + What I am Loving| Food Trails in Bangalore| Bangalore Diaries| What I found in Bangalore

While I was away from blogging in the the month of September, I was busy exploring a new city -Bangalore. I visited this crammed up, extremely busy city previously but, this visit wasn’t from a traveller’s perspective. I was occupied with shadowing dietitians, learning the nuances of dietetic counselling. Most of the days, I kept myself between home and office. The thought of withstanding Bangalore’s traffic after a busy day at office was quite unsettling.  I would like to take you all through a trip of what I found during an erratic and impulsive hopping spree across the city.

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Linoui’s Dark Chocolate at Phoenix Market City. The best dark chocolate I have ever tasted!

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Banana Cake and Ginger Chai at CHAI POINT. Starbucks for TEA, I would say!

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Pretty sight of flowers on a holiday morning ❤

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Books, spices, a wide range of premium olive oils @Foodhall, One MG Mall.

Take a look at the round spices in the last horizontal column of the above collage. Black Pepper, Pink Pepper and All spice from left to right! Pink pepper, sounds fancy right? From distance, they reminded me of sparkly sugar toppings that are sprinkled on the top of cakes and cupcakes. By the way, interestingly they are not a member of the pepper family. Pink peppercorns are dried berries of Brazilian pepper tree and have a lighter peppery taste and impart fruity fragrance. ‘All spice’ also known as Jamaican pepper has a powerful medley of aromas of cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and cloves.  I tried the tzatzki, harissa mayo, pesto mayo, greek goddess mayo and a couple of cheeses.

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Some kitchen ware to ogle at 😛 @foodhall; One MG Mall.

Apart from these I have come across ginger beers and exotic coffee syrups, tea leaves and many more. Walking in food hall, was an culinary educational experience!

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My eyes went bright as I stumbled on Jamie Oliver’s book – one of my favourite Chef! 😀

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Delicious and mouth watering Gunda berries, a famous Gujarati pickle 😀                                                                                  Never found a store bought pickle this tempting and fresh!

 

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Apollo fish and Smoked Chicken Bao at Kylie’s Bao, Church Street.

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Cheeni Kum, a special line of premium sweets and savoury wing of Anand Sweets. I was floored over the name than anything else. 😀

By the way bought the Pasanda pickle from the Cheeni Kum store. Pasanda pickles are available on Amazon too.

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Amidst the dusty and crowded market at KR Puram , the freshness of the flowers was a respite to the artsy mind.

So that’s about this trip to Bangalore. Let me know of your experiences in this urban jungle! 🙂

 

Arti’s Homemade Products: Review

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I can hardly remember what’s happened few hours earlier. Wait! Its not that I have a short term memory loss.:D  Recalling things bit by bit has always been tough, especially when it comes to tasting a wide range of foods. More the experiences, more the tendency to loose out one or the other detail. Most of the times, Instagram comes to my rescue. But, at moments when I am pressed for time, I just simply capture the shots and ruminate on them later. I wonder how food critics and fellow bloggers manage to pull off very well. I should try asking them for tips 😀

Today’s post is about my review on Artis Homemade Jams & Sauces which is based out of Bangalore. Though, my foodie heart still yearns for more expeditions in Bangalore, I am contempt with what all I could taste during the last month. With an increasing fan base for her sauces and jams among friends and family, Arti Vineesh Kumar stepped up with a mission to share the joy of homemade goodies free of preservatives to a wider audience. I stumbled upon her facebook page few months ago. Back then delivery wasn’t extended to Hyderabad, pushing the idea of trying them to a backseat. Finally, during my visit to Bangalore, I seized a chance!

Personally, I believe and endorse consuming food that is seasonal. Lesser the food miles, fresher and nutritious the food is. Arti shares a similar philosophy too. And when I find food and sustainability intertwined into one idea, my respect doubles up for it. It was good to meet her in person. There is no experience like meeting people who share similar interests, right? 😀

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While gooseberry, mixed fruit were also available, I chose pineapple jam. Arti gave me samples of others too and I have reviewed all the three jams and ketchup today.

Pineapple Jam:

a) Texture: Smooth and runny.

b) Spread: Perfect, ran across the bread slice at one go!

c) Flavour Quotient: Though it wasn’t overpoweringly sweet, the flavour of pineapple wasn’t strong enough for me. Would have loved if it had a strong pineapple punch.

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Gooseberry Jam: (flavoured with cardamom)

a) Texture: Smooth but rubble like.

b) Spread: Didn’t slide across the bread slice easily.

c) Flavour  Quotient: Optimum and well balanced. Cardamom infused very well into amla.

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Mixed Fruit:

a) Texture: Smooth and runny.

b) Spread: Prefect, ran across the bread slice at one go!

c) Flavour Quotient: Optimum and well balanced.

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Tomato Ketchup:

a) Consistency: Smooth and thick.

b) Spread: Prefect. Ran across the bread slice at one go!

c) Flavour Quotient: Freshness of tomatoes reflected well and the sourness of tomatoes is balanced with right amount of sweetness.

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Freshness oozed out of all these products. I tried all of these on the top of a toasted bread slice.(Of course, on four separate days. Couldn’t stomach all in one day! :D)  Winner for me would be mixed fruit jam and tomato ketchup. Priced at Rs.218 for 300 gms and Rs.320 for 500 gms (pineapple here), I found it to be a bit heavy on the pocket if one consumes jam on daily basis. But, for someone like me, whose jam consumption  is quite limited, it could be a good buy for those rare cravings for all things fresh and subtle. If you are have a picky eater at home or would like to alter a spice, customisation is available too.

Got bored or vexed of the dull, thick jelly like jams and sauces that lack vigour? Try Arti’s products, to relish the natural goodness of seasonal produce! Would love to hear about the jams and preserves that left a remarkable impression on you.

Disclaimer: This review is purely based on my personal taste preferences. Everything written here is entirely out genuine love for natural products and is not part of any promotion campaign. Prices of the product could probably vary as per the flavour and type of product.You could contact Arti directly for updated prices and catalogue.

PS: I would want you to hear this track ,a rhyme which is so fun to sing along! Stumbled upon it in the morning and played it in loop for quite sometime. Rhymes aren’t only for kids, right? ;P

 

Vankaya Pachi Pulusu Recipe| Fasting recipe |Indian Style Eggplant Salsa| Instant Roasted Eggplant recipe| 15min recipe| Andhra Style Festive Recipe

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Some days, we devour for the most simplest recipes with almost no cooking involved. This is such one absolute beaut. Roasted brinjals are quite famous for making Bhartha. Today’s recipe uses roasted eggplants in the simplest way. A sweet and sour dip style curry with a hint of chillies, this makes the best companion for the lazy days!

Ingredients:

200 gm White Brinjals (5-6 no.  medium sized)

1/4cup Tamarind Extract (from lemon sized tamarind pulp)

2 nos. Green Chillies

2 tbsp Grated Jaggery

2 tbsp Chopped Onions

1tbsp Chopped Fresh Coriander Leaves

Salt to taste

Ghee (just enough to coat the brinjals)

Water (1/2 cup to 1 cup)

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Method:

  1. Wash and dry the brinjals. You could as well pat them dry with a cloth.
  2. Prick it with a fork on couple of places.
  3. Grease the brinjal with ghee and roast over low heat using the mesh pan or you can place them directly over the stove. Flip them to all sides, to make sure it gets cooked evenly. This might take 5- 10mins. (depends on the size of brinjals and the size of mesh pan).
  4. As they cool down, peel of the skin and mash the pulp with your hand or a fork.
  5. Take a bowl and add mashed brinjal pulp, grated jaggery, tamarind extract, green chillies, salt.Add half a cup to one cup of water and adjust the consistency of the salsa.
  6. Adjust the salt and top it up with fresh coriander leaves.
  7. Serve it with hot rice or steamed mung dal rice.

Ghee is often used in festive recipes. This is optional and you could avoid ghee while roasting eggplants. This recipe tastes well with white brinjals. It is usually paired up with steamed mung dal rice, called ‘Athesira Annam’ in Andhra region. This rice item is usually paired up with Vankaya Pachi Pulsu or eaten plain with a huge dollop of ghee. Simple and comforting food, all together!

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Notes:

  1. Charring green chillies is optional. Poke a hole and smear oil before roasting them. If you don’t poke a hole or make a small slit, the chilli would pop on the stove. Freshly chopped chillies could also be added.
  2. You can add tempering to the dip. Heat oil/ghee in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the cumin seeds and urad dal and let the dal turn red. Add the red chillis, hing and curry leaves, fry for a few more seconds. Pour the tempering into the mashed up dip.
  3. You could add some roasted sesame seed powder for enhanced taste.

Easy Capsicum Curry with Yoghurt| Crunchy Capsicum and Curd Dip Recipe| Simple and Healthy Capsicum Curry in 5 minutes| Capsicum Raita with Tadka

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Light on the stomach, with almost no preparation time, I loved this dish when my friend’s mother introduced it to me a year back. Since then it has become my go to salad style dip along with rotis. Sautéing capsicums while making a curry changes its vibrant colour. Though this process gives a curry the delicious touch, I sometimes used to miss on the crunchiness of a capsicum and this recipe exactly works on retaining the crispy texture of this vegetable. With no masalas or grinding involved it can be done by anyone and finishes off in a jiffy.

 

Ingredients:

1 Cup Curd (Yoghurt)

¼ cup Chopped Capsicum

1 tbsp Chopped Chillies

1/2tbsp – 1 tbsp Oil (as per choice)

Salt – to taste

To temper:

1/8 tsp Mustard Seeds

¼ tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)

1/8 tsp Turmeric

Method:

  1. Whisk the curd and salt in a bowl with a fork. Whisking gives a smooth texture to the curd.
  2. Heat a small pan; add the oil and ingredients listed under tempering.
  3. As the seeds crackle, add the chopped chillies and capsicum and give it a good stir.
  4. Sautee capsicum bits for less than a minute and remove them from heat.
  5. Add it directly to the bowl of curd. Taste and adjust salt accordingly.

 

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I generally have it with rotis. But it goes well hot pulav or parathas too. At times, I relish it off as it is. All the raitas at home are made without any tempering added to them. So not sure if it can be called so. But, found this recipe under raitas by few bloggers. Whatever be the name, taste is what we all look for, right? 😀 By the way, one of them added an interesting additional paste made of coconut and sesame seeds into the curd. Try making it and let me know how you liked it. Also, share if you prepare it in a different style.

Note:

  • If you prefer, you could mix a pinch or two of dried gooseberry (amla) or mango powder (amchur) in the curd.
  • Fresher curd gives the best taste

Sweet Lime and Honey Stove Top Cake Recipe| How to make cake with Sweet Limes recipe| Interesting honey cake recipe

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Oh my, it has been more than a month since I have posted last recipe. Another break. With the festive hustle-bustle around brother’s wedding, time just flew. Colorful backdrops, kids dashing around with their antics, elders busy with the preparations, endless banters with bhai jaan, all near and dear – Wedding times are the best! Amidst all of this, couldn’t keep myself away from the kitchen at all. In fact, I have tried my hands in preparing food for a little over fifteen people. I am generally not good with seasoning when cooking for more than four or six members. So, it was a satisfying experience as the dishes turned so well.

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Splashes of colours during wedding ❤

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Guthi Vankaya Curry in the making

Sweet Limes are in season and I am a big fan of citrus fruits. The citrusy zing never fails to please my senses in an esoteric way.

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Packed with Vitamin C, they are good to eat at any point of the day. Especially, if you are having a busy day at the office or too tired after shopping, pick a citrus fruit. It hydrates and reenergizes the body instantly. Oranges and lemons are so famous as fruit based acidic agents and natural flavour enhancers used in baking. I was curious if I could use sweet limes instead of lemons or oranges. It resulted in this tasty and beautiful cake. I have adapted Honey Cake recipe from Epicurious and worked my way experimenting with the ingredients. Used the Wonder Pot I have used to bake earlier as well as pressure cooker to bake the cake. It tasted perfect both ways.

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

1 ⅓ cup + 4 tbsp All Purpose Flour/ Maida

½ tbsp Baking Powder

½ tsp Baking Soda

¼ tsp Salt

2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

¼ tsp Ground Cloves

¼ tsp Ground Cardamom

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup Oil + 3 tbsp White Butter (room temp)

½ cup Honey

¾ cup Granulated Sugar

¼ cup Brown Sugar

1 Egg

½ tsp Vanilla Essence

½ cup Coffee/ Tea Decoction

¼ cup Fresh Sweet Lime Juice

Method:

  1. Coat the mould with butter on the inside and dust it with all purpose flour. Hold it upside down and tap it gently to remove any excess flour.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together.
  3. Add in the wet ingredients into the same bowl and gently mix it using a strong wire whisk or an electric whisk on low speed.
  4. Pour the batter into the mould and bake it for about 25 minutes on the low flame.
  5. Check for doneness using a clean knife. Switch off the flame if it comes off clean. Otherwise, bake for some more time.
  6. I have used the pressure cooker and wonder pot with this batter. If you are using an oven for this recipe, try baking it at 180 degrees for 20 minutes and check for doneness and allow it to bake for more time if required.

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Somehow I have never developed liking for frosting or glazes on cakes. Most of the times, I prefer to eat them as it as. You could try putting on some chocolate ganache or a jam based glaze to give it more oomph. Else, for a simple spruced up finish,top the batter with sliced almonds. Original recipe has some whiskey in the ingredients. I skipped it altogether and didn’t even add the equivalent amount of citrus juice as mentioned there. The cake turned out extremely delicious and airy with a nice crumb.

 

Note:

  1. Depending upon the size of pan used and mode of cooking method followed, cooking time might vary.

Raju Gari Kodi Pulav Recipe| Recipe of Indian Chicken Pulav | Simple Recipe for Chicken Pulav| Andhra Special Pulav| Delicious Pulav Recipe

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Sundays used to be so synonymous with biryanis and pulavs during childhood. Growing up, living in hostels and working away from home, this synonymy took a back seat. It has become haphazard and started depending on whatever the whimsical palate fancies upon. Either way, there is always a wave of excitement around food. Especially around biryanis and pulavs. Any menu on a festive occasion or a party falls incomplete without them. Bading goodbye to the scorching summer, now is the time to pick up the spices and cook some warm pots of pulav and biryani. After tasting the delicious Maharaja Biryani Platter at Yuktha, couldn’t wait to make some spicy rice item at home.

Raju gari Kodi Pulav is a dish you would be suggested to try when someone asks for a delicious biryani-pulav in Hyderabad. It’s a signature dish of Ulavacharu and Kitchen of Kuchipudi. I haven’t visited this place yet but have heard so much about it and when I found a cookery show video with its owner-chef, Mr. Kuchipudi Venkat, I couldn’t wait to give it a try. The measurements mentioned are approximate in the video. So, I worked up on rough calculations and the dish came out so well. Couldn’t believe myself going for a second serving of this pulav! I usually prefer those pristine white shaded fried rice items (Not a fan of the mashed up Indo-Chinese versions) to biryani/pulav.

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Ingredients:

Basmati rice – 2 cups

300-350 gms Boneless Chicken

2tbsp Ghee

2tbsp cooking oil

3 tbsp green chilli paste

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

2 medium sized onions, sliced

2tbsp brown onion paste

½ cup Curd

1 cup milk

1 cup – chopped mint leaves (tightly packed)

½ tbsp – home made garam masala powder

1 tsp – coriander powder

3 – 4 cups of Water

Salt – as per taste

Cashews – as required

Chopped coriander – 1 cup ( I haven’t added here)

Whole Garam Masala:

1 tbsp Shajeera

3 Bay Leaves

2 inch Cinnamon

10 Green cardamoms

20 Cloves

1 Black Cardamom

1 Marathi Mogga/ Indian Capers

Brown Onion Paste:

1 large size onion

¼ cup oil

Method:

  1. a) Brown Onion Paste:

Slice onion and sautee it in oil. Cool down and grind it into smooth paste. This gave me  2tbsp of paste.

b)

  1. Wash and soak the rice in two cups of water.
  2. Wash and keep the chicken aside. I personally rest chicken chunks in turmeric water for 5 min and rinse them finally.
  3. If the pieces you have are large, cut into small pieces. Since we are not marinating chicken, smaller sized pieces ensure that meat is cooked uniformly.
  4. Take a pressure cooker and add ghee, oil to it. ( I used a 5 litre pressure cooker pan)
  5. Once the oil-ghee heats up, add the whole garam masala.
  6. Scoop in the ginger garlic paste and after a minute add in the green chilli paste. Sautee till on medium heat till the raw flavour is out. This takes around 2 -3 minutes at the maximum.
  7. Add in sliced onions and saute them till translucent.
  8. Mix the curd and brown onion paste and add it to the pan.
  9. As it picks up heat, add the chicken pieces on high flame. Ensure you switch to high flame when the chicken is added.
  10. Pop in the chopped mint. This is the time to add in the chopped coriander. I didn’t have it today. Hence omitted.
  11. Put in the salt. Taste and adjust accordingly.
  12. Add the milk.
  13. As it heats up, sprinkle the garam masala and mix well.
  14. Add water and let it come to boil ( I added 1 ½ cups of water as the basmati rice completely absorbed the water it is soaked in)
  15. Now, add the rice and any extra ghee if you want. Stir it well and add salt and spice powders if required.
  16. Close the cooker and cook for 2-3 whistles.
  17. Serve it hot with raita/boiled egg/salan.

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I was too lazy to make salan or decorate it. So savoured it with slightly roasted boiled egg. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a small pan and roast the boiled egg uniformly on all sides. Sprinkled a pinch of salt, red chilli powder and few curry leaves on the egg. And remove it from the heat. Gotta see how this method would work for a vegetarian version.

Try and and let me know how you liked it.

Happy Cooking!

 

Note:

  • Be careful with rice water ratio. Adjust the water ratio according to your experience with rice variety you use. This pulav has a sticky texture when compared to others. I think the rich fats from ghee, milk, curd contribute to this.
  • Yes, the recipe doesn’t use red chilli powder or turmeric.
  • The amount of green chilli paste and garam masala powder depends upon how hot your chillies or masala is. So, adjust accordingly.
  • I have used homemade garam masala which has relatively less amounts of coriander. Hence, added it separately.