There are days when trying to get some inspiration can be as elusive and exasperating an exercise as trying to grab a handful of water. The harder you try to grab it, the less there is in hand. Since my previous post, I seem to have developed the written equivalent of speechlessness. A blank page reflects a blank mind... or is it the other way around? Whatever, I decided that I would write at least one paragraph before posting a recipe (and yes, there are recipes waiting to see the light of publication, as it were) - and never mind if it has nothing to do with food or food writing.
So that was the paragraph.
And here's the recipe.
Recipe for: Tomato-vegetable rice
2 cups vegetables of choice, chopped (I used cauliflower, spinach and carrots)
1 large onion + 5 shallots, sliced thin (or use two onions)
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
3 tomatoes + 1 tomato, chopped
½ cup frozen peas
1 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
4-5 green chillies, slit (or as per taste)
1-1/4 cups uncooked basmati rice, soaked for 20 minutes
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp cumin powder
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
A few fresh curry leaves
Water as required
1. Grind 3 tomatoes and the coriander leaves to a smooth paste. Reserve.
2. Heat the oil in a wide pan and add the green chillies, coriander and cumin powder and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds or so on high heat.
3. Add the sliced onions and stir, frying till the onions begin to turn translucent and pale brown.
Then add the remaining chopped tomato and let it cook till it starts to mush down.
4. Add the remaining vegetables and mix well, letting them cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes, until the spinach wilts.
5. Then add the rice (after draining all the water) to the pan
and stir on high heat till it is well mixed in.
6. Add the frozen peas now and stir them in.
7. Now measure out the ground tomato-coriander paste in a cup and pour it in. Add as much water as required to make a total of 2-1/4 cups liquid. Add salt to taste and stir it all in.
8. Let the water-tomato paste mixture come to a bubbling boil, then turn down the heat, smoothen the top and cover tightly with a lid.
9. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat. Let the pan stay covered for another 10 minutes. Then uncover, gently stir the rice mixture, and serve hot with poppadoms and raita.