Monday, February 25, 2008

Jeera Pulao with Aloo Peas Makhani ~ Weekend Cooking!

I never learnt to ride a bicycle. During a summer vacation when I was 6 years old, I remember vividly one morning, seeing a small cycle on our veranda. I ran to the kitchen where I saw Amma busy with the breakfast preparations. I interrupted her to ask, what that cycle was doing in our courtyard. She said I was to spend my summer time, learning to ride a cycle. We then lived in a smaller town, where everything was right around the corner. And so it happened, that a cycle shop was right next to our place and I saw our help going to get those small cycles for us to ride. Sree, of course, got a big boy's cycle. Since I was small, there was no way I could even climb up but I strongly refused to peddle a smaller one. I felt it somehow was demeaning my status or so I thought. So there I was, left to watch my brother enjoy the rides, both the big and the smaller, doing all sorts of tricks while at it. End of the summer, Sree was all set ready to ride one. While I was left to my day dreams of riding one.

It was almost 7 years later, that Dad got us our first and our only cycle. A lady's cycle at that! Since our school was a walking distance away, there wasn't any need to go by cycle. But I insisted, I will go only by one. So Dad thought getting a lady's cycle would suit both of us, but I always knew Sree hated riding in it. But the good boy that he has always been, never uttered a word against it. It was a lovely gray and silver coated BSA SLR, which served me for another 7 years. Amma was scared on me taking a cycle out without even learning to ride. But the only time I have ever fallen down, was banging on our building, being over excited that I was finally on a big cycle. The joys and the escapades I had, riding my cycle will make for many posts. So I will reserve them for another day. These thoughts were triggered from my recent visit to my childhood neighbourhood, when I saw two young girls peddling away on the same roads that I frequented many years ago with my friend. That and the fact that Konda is on her cycle now.

Our friend M, gifted Konda with a cycle some 3 years back. Since then, we have struggled to find place and time for her to peddle it. It comes with that back wheel support that helps it not fall down. Seeing that I was really surprised because our time, we never had such cycles. Every other weekend, hubby dear gets the tyres aired but she uses just occasionally, then again treats it with no attention for weeks together. So, it was a pleasure seeing my twins on it. The moment they see, they climb and sit on the seat and start murmuring something. Hara sits on the front seat and holds the bar, while chinnu will sit on the back seat and holds back rest tightly. When we ask Konda to cycle around, she will say she wants to take it to the school. We ask her to first take it in our compound. So this weekend, it was another of those days. The entire weekend, she spent cycling and now its parked in the bike stand along with our bikes. Father and daughter went out again, late night to check and secure the cycle to our bike with a chain. Through the morning, while I heard her shouting and cheering while cycling, I was busy with our weekend cooking. I finally prepared two of my favorites ones that I had prepared along with Amma in her kitchen, many summers back!

Jeera Pulao with Aloo Peas Makhani and Mutton in Gravy.

Jeera Pulao

Simple and well flavoured with Jeera, it goes very well with both vegetarian and non-veg gravies.

Ingredients Needed

Basmati rice - 2 cups
Ghee - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsbp
Cloves, Cinnamon & Cardamom - 2 of each.
Onion paste - 1/4 cup
Cashew nuts - few
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Ajinomoto (opt)- a pinch

Method to prepare:

Clean and soak basmati rice for 15 mins. I normally soak the rice in that water that I am going to cook with.

Take about 3 medium sized onions and make a paste of it. For the pulao, you will need about 1/4 of a cup, rest for the gravy.

Heat a pan with ghee, roast the cashew nuts, keep aside.

Then add all the spices, followed by the onion paste. Fry for about 2 mins, then add the ginger garlic paste. Sauté till its nice and browned. Drain the rice and fry it for 2 mins, till its well coated. Then add about 3 cups of water along with salt.

Cover and simmer for 15 mins or till its cooked. Garnish with fried cashew nuts

Serve it with Aloo Peas Makhani.

Aloo Peas Makhani

This recipe calls for Paneer, but since I don't normally store Paneer, I replaced it with Aloo. And since I didn't have cream also on hand, I replaced with a quarter glass of milk.That was enough to do for the creaminess of the gravy.

Onion paste - 1 cup
Green peas, boiled - 1/2 cup
Aloo, Boiled - 2 medium
Butter - 2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric a pinch
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Tomato puree - 1 cup
Cream - 2 tbsp
Kasturi methi - 1/2 tsp

Method to prepare

Heat a pan with butter, sauté the onion paste along with ginger garlic paste for 5 mins. Then add milk and let it boil. Add all the spice powders and let it cook for 2 mins.

Then add the tomato puree and the boiled peas and aloo. Add about 1 cup of water to get a thick gravy. Simmer and cover with lid and cook for 10 mins. Finally add the Kasturi methi and cook for 1 min and remove.

Serve with Jeera Rice.

This post is too long for the Mutton in Gravy recipe, will be back tomorrow with it. Meanwhile enjoy Jeera Pulao with Aloo Peas Makhani!

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Nags said...

wow! The curries look so professional and colorful. I too tried jeera rice once and loved it. Strangely, haven't made it after that :)

Rachel said...

Can I drop in for lunch on a we/end???

sunita said...

First let me drool over that lovely array of food.

Coming back to cycling, will you beleive it, I learnt to cycle just a couple of years ago...the children were on their bikes, and as keeping up with them was becoming a real challenge, especially when they had grown out of their stabilisers, I got one and taught the three of us take our bikes to and fro from their school...the bike has become my constant companion and I can't believe that it has been so for only the last couple of years :-)

satya said...

That spicy curry really goes well with that mildly flavoured rice.Thank you Srivalli.

Shella said...

I tried n I tried, n people tried n they tried, but I couldnt ride a cycle for the love of my life. I would fall, break my leg, bruise myself bad....but noo, I just couldnt ride it.....the feast looks lovely

Lavanya Raj said...

each and every dish is perfectly made..i wonder how you get time to write the write up's and cook all the above stuffs.

sra said...

I second Nags. I would love to cycle for exercise but don't find one low enough for me!

Asha said...

I remember biking the whole day in Summer renting the bike for 50paisa per hr!!:D

Lunch looks yummy. Veg and non-veg with ghee rice, slurp!:)

Happy cook said...

Love the potato makhani.
I learned cycling when i was 12 and all our neighbours used to say to my mom why should you allow a girl to ried bycycle.I am talking about year and years back. Ofcourse now everything has changed , girls don't have that much restrictions like when i was at that age. Born a bit early

Dhivya said...

both curries and pulao looks awesome...i like to try jeera rice...pic loooks yummy and delicious

Sig said...

The whole spread looks delicious, but you know my eyes are on that mutton curry... :) Can't wait for the recipe... :)

Kalai said...

Your story reminds me a bit of myself, Srivalli! I love your writing style. :) The curry and rice look delicious and I'm eagerly awaiting the mutton recipe!! :)

Vanamala said...


Perfect weekend menu :) ... just loved all your dishes.

Lisa said...

Delicious. Your Aloo Peas Makhani sounds wonderful. I would like to try it with the paneer!

vimmi said...

What a nice thali. Great weekend food.

Namratha said...

This is another wonderful combo Valli, I love it! :)

And cycling, I have never learned it either. I have ridden it a couple of times, and hence my balance is good. But the funny part is I dunno how to get on or off a cycle, if I'm helped onto one I can ride...hehehe :D

Pooja V said...

The food looks super delicious. Jeera rice never ditches u, a very tasty way to eat rice.

Kamini said...

What a lovely meal to come back to after a morning of cycling!

Uma said...

wow, mouth-watering recipes. I feel hungry just looking at the pictures.

Jayashree said...

That thali looks wonderful....i like the aloo makhani.

Srivalli said...

Nags, thank you...yeah that happens but its such a simple one we can do in a jiffy!

Rachel, sure most welcome!

sunita, ah..thanks...thats very nice to know...I am looking forward too when my kids will start..:D

satya, yes it was a good combi..thank you!

Shella, oh thats really so bad...why do you think it was so?..thanks for liking the food..

Lavanya, glad you feel so..I just try to squeeze in everything..becomes hard at times..thanks

sra, glad you know how much I value that..:)...hhah..knowing you I can understand that statement

Asha, glad you went thr the same..its so much fun right...thanks..glad you liked them

Happy cook, thanks..yeah those were the days...glad girls now don't have to go thr that...

Dhivya, thank try you will surely love it

Sig, thank you...yeah I know...posted it just for you!

Kalai, thanks..glad to know that you are somewhat same

Vanamala, thank you...glad you like them

Lisa, yes it was very delicious..yeah with paneer no question about it

vimmi, thank you

Namratha, thank you...hhaah..thats funny...really imagine going in a traffic and you can't get down..the policewala will help you...hahahah...

Pooja, yes its always there to help in sunny days...thank you

Kamini, yes indeed...thanks

Uma, my pleasure!

Laavanya said...

That presentation is awesome Srivalli with such mouthwatering dishes... loved your cycle learning story too.

Srivalli said...

Laavanya, thank you...glad you liked them

Amrita said...

hmmm ur blog is mouth watering sree.. keep up the good work

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