Category Archives: Rice

Khichdi: A Versatile Rice Dish

Khichdi
Khichdi is a one skillet meal. It is one of the most popular comfort foods in India and even here in the US, khichadi is an ideal meal any time. After a long trip or a hectic weekend, Khichdi is a great Sunday night dinner.
Plain Khichadi is made with Dals only. To make it a larger meal, I add vegetables or whatever I have on hand in my refrigerator. There are many variations using different kinds of Dal and vegetables. But the most commonly used are potatoes, onions, eggplant, peas, and carrots.
This is the recipe of plain Khichdi. Using Shelled Mung Dal adds more fiber to the dish than regular polished Dal. This is the true authentic recipe for Khichdi, which is passed down from generation to generation and eaten with Potato Shaak or Subji.
Rice and Shelled Mung Dal



Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Recipe Type: Vegan

Ingredients:

 1/2 Cup Rice
 1/2 Cup Split Mung Dal with Shells
 1/2 Tsp Cumin
 1/4 Tsp Turmeric
    1 Small Piece Grated Ginger
    1 Tsp Clear Butter or Ghee
(For Vegans, use Vegetable Oil)
Salt to taste

How to prepare:

  1. Wash rice and Dal. Soak for two hours.
  2. In a heavy sauce pan, add Rice, Dal, and 4 cups of water.
  3. Add salt, turmeric, cumin seeds, butter, and grated ginger.
  4. If desired, vegetables can be added now.
  5. Boil on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  6. Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir occasionally until done.
Note: If you own a pressure cooker, it is very useful for recipes using rice and beans, like this one. I mix all the ingredients, including the vegetables and spices, in the morning so when I am come home from work, I can just turn on the stove for the pressure cooker.  It takes ten minutes and is ready to eat.
Khichdi goes very well with Kadhi and pickles, and it is often eaten with Potato Subji and Kachumber Salad.  I also like Patak’s Pickles, which are not too spicy and add flavor to the meal.  Papad is also very common with any rice dish.  It is a must, especially with Khichdi. Enjoy!

Biryani –The Dish of Kings and Queens — Made in 30 Minutes!

Rice dishes are popular all over the world, especially in Asia where the rice is flavorful and aromatic. In India, Basmati Rice is famous for its long grain kernels. This recipe is made with basmati rice, but any kind will work as well. Pullav (also known as pilaf) is a dish available in all Indian restaurants. Biryani is known for being served to all the kings and queens because it has rich ingredients like nuts and saffron. This is my simple version of Biryani Made Easy.



Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4-6
Recipe Type: Vegan, Gluten free
Difficulty Level: Easy

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Oil or Clear Butter
1 Small Potato, cubed
1 Small Onion, cubed
1 Cup Cut Green Beans, Carrots, Peas, etc
1 Cup Cooked Navy/Black beans
2 Cups Uncooked Rice
Salt
Pepper
Lemon Juice
1 Stick Cinnamon
2 Cloves
To Taste Green Chili
To Taste Ginger
To Taste Garlic
2 pods Cardamom
2 Tbsp Cumin Powder
Garam Masala (optional)
Chopped Cilantro
Cashews (optional)
Raisins (optional)
Saffron (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Wash rice well and soak for one hour.
  2. Heat oil, then add spices and fry them.
  3. Add veggies and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add drained navy beans, rice, and 6 cups of water. Stir and mix well.
  5. Stir frequently, bringing to a boil over high heat.  Then reduce the heat.
  6. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Garnish with cashews, raisins, bell peppers, and/or onion rings.
  8. Enjoy!!!

Tips:  

  • This dish goes well with soup, curry, raita.
  • Bell peppers of different colors, cauliflower, and/or broccoli can be added for more vegetable options.

How To Make Fluffy Steamed White Rice

Basmati Rice With Cilantro 

Everyday cooking at my home includes white rice without faliure.

The perfect rice is adorable at the time of dinner. It is said that expert chef can be recognised by the perfectly cooked rice.

I think i have a  simple technique to How to cook white rice like a pro.

Two Common Methods For Cooking Fluffy Rice

one is absorption method and second one is pasta method. There are different varieties of rice grain and some old grain may take little more water and more cooking time. You will come to know by practice. Trials and errors are acceptable.

Absorption method : 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice or long grain rice
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 cups of water

Wash rice throughly, changing water three or four times till water is clear.  Check for stones and husk before washing.

Soaked White Rice In A Bowl

Let rice soak for 30 minutes.

Usually water to rice 2:1 ratio works well.  A heavy pot with tight lid works better so it does not scorch at bottom.

Transfer water, salt and rice together in a heavy saucepan.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let the water boil uncovered for 5-7 minutes.

Boiling water with rice

Stirring occasionally let it cook for 5-7 minutes.

Asborption of water in boiling rice 

If you are in doubt check with your thumb and index finger by pressing rice kernel. You will get good idea that it will still take more time.

Now cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to very low setting.

Absorption of water in rice cooking

Let the rice steep for 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let it sit undisturbed for 15 minutes.  This is important because it is still cooking inside.

After 15 minutes uncover the pan, fluff rice with a fork , let the steam escape so it won’t over cook.

Fluff your rice with fork

You can add dash of butter or ghee to enhance the flavor.

Pasta Method:

Wash the rice throughly changing water three or four times till water runs clearly. Let it soak for 30 minutes or less is okay too.

In a heavy sauce pan fill water half way and bring to a boil. Add salt.

Add the rice to the boiling water for 5-7 minutes stirring once or twice. Let it boil till the kernels are tender. If you are in doubt check it by pressing rice kernels with your index finger and thumb. If it is not tender or cooked let it cook for couple more minutes.

Brown rice and old rice do take little more time to cook.

Drain cooked rice in colander

Immediately drain the rice into a colander just like pasta and run a cold water through it.

This way it will not over cook it.

Transfer the rice into serving plate and garnish with cilantro and ghee for nice refreshing flavor.

White rice with roasted cumin and cilantro

Tips:

How did your rice turn out? is it sticky?

While rice is boiling and it is almost done by adding few drops of lemon juice your rice will never be sticky.

Rice will look very white and fluffy.

Enjoy with Dals and healthy fresh vegetable curry!

Next I will be happy to share with you How  To Transform Your Left Over Rice In A Culinary cuisine In A ZIp!

Spinach Rice

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

2 Cups Rice, uncooked
2 Cups Spinach, frozen
1 Small Ginger
2 Cloves
2 Sticks Cinnamon
4 TBsp Coriander & Cumin Powder
1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 Tsp Chili or Cayenne Pepper
Salt to Taste

Directions: 

  1. Wash rice finely and soak for an hour.
  2. Heat oil in a sauce pan and add cinnamon, cloves, onions, grated ginger, and chili and fry them.
  3. Add spinach and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Add rice and 6 cups of water.
  5. Add all of the spices and stir and mix them well.
  6. Stir frequently. Bring to a boil over a high heat. Then reduce the heat.
  7. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  8. Serve it warm with chilled ratio.

   Nutrition Facts are for 1/2 Serving.

Health Benefits of Spinach

Diet 
One cup of spinach has nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.

Cancer 
Flavonoids — a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties abundant in spinach — have been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Furthermore, spinach has shown significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory
Neoxanthin and violaxanthin are two anti-inflammatory epoxyxanthophylls that play an important role in regulation of inflammation and are present in unusual amounts in spinach.

Antioxidants
The vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all serve as powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.


Blood Pressure 
By inhibiting the angiotensin I-converting enzyme, peptides within spinach have been shown to effectively lower blood pressure.

Vision
Both antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in spinach and protect the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Immunity 
One cup of spinach contains over 337% of the RDA of vitamin A that not only protects and strengthens “entry points” into the human body, such as mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts, but is also a key component of lymphocytes (or white blood cells) that fight infection.

Skin
The high amount of vitamin A in spinach also promotes healthy skin by allowing for proper moisture retention in the epidermis, thus fighting psoriasis, keratinization, acne and even wrinkles.

Bones 
One cup of boiled spinach provides over 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K that can prevent excess activation of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bones), as well as promote the synthesis of osteocalcin, the protein that is essential for maintaining the strength and density of our bones.

Calcification
Vitamin K is a crucial component of the process called carboxylation, which produces the matrix Gla protein that directly prevents calcium from forming in tissue. Eating one cup of spinach contributes to this process that fights atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Brain and Nervous Function
The abundance of vitamin K in spinach contributes greatly to a healthy nervous system and brain function by providing an essential part for the synthesis of sphingolipids, the crucial fat that makes up the Myelin sheath around our nerves.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! I love to hear from my readers!


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Masur Pullav – Lentil Biryani

One of my friends makes this dish in a very special way with an authentic flair. I have adopted the simple version.  The recipe uses lentils which are full of valuable nutrition like protein, iron, and B Vitamins.  They also help with lowering your risk of heart disease, stabilizing blood sugar and lowering cholesterol.  Detailed Health Benefits follow the recipe.



Preparation Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

1    Cup Lentils
1 & 1/2 Cups Rice
2    Medium Tomatoes, cubed
1    Medium Onion
2    Cloves Garlic, minced
Small Ginger, grated
2    Tsp Coriander & Cumin Powder
 1/4 Tsp Turmeric
Salt to Taste
1    Tsp Chili Powder
Few Saffron Strands
2    TBsp Oil

Directions: 

  1. Wash lentils thoroughly. 
  2. Soak lentils for a couple of hours. 
  3. Soak rice for half an hour.
  4. In a frying pan, heat the oil and sauté onion, garlic and tomatoes. 
  5. Add in the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Add lentils and let them cook for 10 minutes. Do not over cook lentils. Set them aside.
  7. Prepare rice with a little salt.  Set rice aside.
  8. Now in a flat glass pan, layer lentils at the bottom and add layer of cooked rice on top.
  9. Repeat by adding another layer and then another.
  10. I usually top it with saffron. You can add butter, clear butter of ghee but this will add more calories, also. Bake for 20 minutes at about 200º. 

Tips:

  • To use Saffron in a proper way, I warm it up for 10 seconds in a glass container in the microwave so that the moisture is dried out. Make a powder with a pestle. You can also add a few drops of milk.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! I love to hear from my readers!


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Health Benefits of Lentils

Lentils are low in calories and high in nutrition. Eating them at least once a week is a great way to add the health benefits of these tasty legumes to your diet.

Heart Health
Studies have found that people who eat high fiber legumes like lentils have a much reduced risk of heart disease. The high levels of folate and magnesium in lentils also go a long way in protecting the heart.

Stabilize Blood Sugar
Due to their high fiber content, lentils help in regulating blood sugar by providing steady, slow-burning energy and balancing blood sugar levels.

High in Iron
Lentils are loaded with iron and are a great way to replenish the body’s iron stores, especially for people who don’t eat red meat like vegans and vegetarians.

B Vitamins
Lentils are a great source of B vitamins, most notably folate and niacin (B3). B vitamins are important for the healthy functioning of the nervous, digestive, and immune systems.

Lower Cholesterol
Lentils are a great cholesterol lowering food due to their high levels of fiber.

Protein Packed
Protein makes up 26% of the calories in lentils and they have the third highest level of protein than any other plant food. It’s no wonder that they’re a staple in many parts of the world.

Wild Rice & Tofu Stir Fry

By Guest Blogger: Rishi Shah
My mom told me that my go-to Stir Fry & Tofu dinner was worthy of her Veg Fusion blog. I was pretty thrilled and honored when I heard this. If you are looking for something quick, easy, and somewhat healthy that produces a lot of left-overs (for lunch and dinner the next day), then read on!
Here is my recipe.
Cooking Difficulty Level: Medium
Cooking Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 4-6 (or serves you 4 to 6 times!)
Ingredients: 

2    Packages Baked Tofu (already seasoned)
2-3 Packages Frozen Veggies 
1/4 Bottle Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce
Some Olive Oil
4    Cups Brown Rice
How to Prepare: 
  1. Make the brown rice on its own (I hope you know how to make rice).
  2. Cut the baked tofu in small slices (or however you like them) – I like the Wild Wood brand.
  3. Add a little Olive Oil in a wok put on medium to high heat. 
  4. After about 20 seconds throw in your frozen veggies. 
  5. Stir until the veggies look amazing to eat. (I usually eat while I cook) Usually 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add the tofu into the veggies. Keep stirring for 30 seconds.
  7. Add in some Soyaki sauce. I like a good amount so throw in 1/4 the bottle. Mix it all in for about 30 seconds.
  8. You’re done! To serve, put some brown rice and veggie stir fry on everyone’s plate. I usually don’t like to mix the brown rice and veggie stir fry because it stays better for leftovers when you eat it the next day for lunch 😉
Bonus:  Add Sriracha sauce on top for a tasty fire in your mouth.
Please let me know what you thought about this recipe in the comments. I will be monitoring them and will reply back to each one.

This is a guest blog post by Rishi Shah. He is my son and is Getting More Awesome at business. If you want to learn how to get more paying customers sign up for his newsletter here.






For 4 Servings, multiply Nutrition Data by 5 for Single Serving. 
For 6 Servings, multiply Nutrition Data by 3 for Single Serving.




[Video] Bataka Poha – Pressed Rice with Potatoes

Watch my three video step by step guide How to make Bataka poha at the bottom of this recipe.
This is a typical Gujju item or recipe that Gujarati people love.  It is almost staple in my family for weekend lunch. It is delicious and easy to make. For beginners, on the second or third try it will come out perfect.
Cooking Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients:

2 Cups Thick Poha (semi-cooked pressed rice, thick and thin are both availble)
2 Small Potatoes peeled and cut into small pieces
1 Tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
1 Small Jalapeño Pepper seeded and chopped
Few Curry Leaves (optional)
 1/4 Tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste
2 Tsp Sugar
2 Tsp Lemon Juice
2 TBsp Oil
Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves
Few Cashews and Raisins or Spanish Peanuts
(your choice)
How To Prepare:
  1. Wash poha in a colander couple of times with luke warm water.
  2. Drain and set aside so they are ready.
  3. Add salt sugar and lemon juice.
  4. Mix well with spatula.
  5. Add oil to a skillet on medium heat.
  6. To the Skillet, add potatoes, curry leaves, jalapeño peppers, turmeric and ginger.
  7. Cover and let it cook.
  8. You can add pinch of astofedia if you want (optional).
  9. Add poha to the sauteed potatoes.
  10. Mix well for a couple of minutes.
  11. Cover and let it cook for 4-5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  12. You can add cashews raisin or peanuts.
  13. Mix it well.
  14. Garnish with cilantro and grated coconut flakes.

 

TIPS:
You can substitute with peas, frozen corn, and/or add red and yellow bell pepper which gives bataka poha a gourmet look.
Here are videos of how to make this dish: