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Recipes for the rainy season
Meena Khanduri, Pradnya Kaushik
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July 02, 2007

It's that time of year again, when the mischievous rain gods create havoc with downpours and thunder showers.

More or less everyone is at the receiving end of these outbursts at some point in the season.

Then again, the monsoons afford us some of life's simplest pleasures -- walking in the rain hand-in-hand with a loved one, snuggling down into a warm bed while it's stormy and wet outdoors, and cosily munching away on hot and tasty treats indoors while it's pouring outside.

So, for all you foodies to whom that last point is particularly appealing, here are two 'rain recipes', contributed by Get Ahead readers.

The first, presented below, has been sent in by Meera Khanduri, a senior HR manager at a Mumbai-based BPO:

Urad pakodi ka saag

~ Ingredients

For the pakodas:

250 grams urad dal (soaked overnight)
1/2 tsp turmeric or haldi powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp cumin or jeera powder
1/2 tsp cream (optional)

Salt to taste
Cooking oil in which to fry the pakodas

For the saag:

1/2 tsp cumin or jeera seeds
2 large onions (peeled and sliced)
1 large tomato (diced)
4 green chillies (diced)
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsps cooking oil
1 cup water


~ Method

In a bowl, mash the soaked urad dal into a fine paste, and add the salt, turmeric, garam masala, jeera powder, red chilly powder and cream to it, mixing well.

Pour an adequate amount of cooking oil into a kadhai, and allow it to heat on a medium flame.

In the meantime, roll the urad dal mixture into small balls using your hands -- one spoonful of the mixture should be enough for one ball. When the oil is hot enough, deep-fry these balls in the saucepan till they are golden-brown, then drain out the oil. Your pakodas are now ready.

In another kadhai heat the two teaspoons of cooking oil. Add the jeera seeds, and then the chopped onion. Fry the onion till golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry a little longer. Then add the chopped tomato.

Add in the green chillies and the fried pakodas. Stir very well, mashing the pakodas a bit, so the mixture has an even consistency. Add about one cup of water to the gravy; if you want the gravy to have a thinner consistency, add some more.

Bring the mixture to a boil, allowing it to simmer for 10 minutes. Then serve piping hot, along with rice or chapattis.

Pradnya Kaushik, a 27-year-old, UK-based housewife sent in the following delicious recipe that is ideal for a rainy day:

Coconut rice

~ Ingredients

2 cups Basmati rice
5 cups coconut milk
2 tbsps cooking oil
4 green chillies
1/2 tbsp each of cumin and mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp urad dal
1/2 tbsp curry leaves
A few cashew nuts
Fresh coriander and pudina leaves to garnish
Some cashew nuts

Salt to taste

~ Method

Using a large pot, cook the Basmati rice in coconut milk for about 20 to 25 minutes, instead of in water, adding some salt to taste. Then set
aside.
Heat the cooking oil in a pan, and add the cumin and mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal, cashew nuts, and green chillies.
Add the cooked rice to the pan, mixing well with the oil, cumin and other ingredients.
Garnish with the fresh coriander and pudina leaves, and serve hot, along with pudina chutney if desired.

Share your favourite recipes with other Get Ahead readers. Send them to getahead@rediff.co.in, along with your name, age, contact details, a picture of the dish (if possible) and a little bit about yourself.


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