It has been a nice relaxed day. A holiday on day two of a working week is really nice. Gives you the feeling of an extended weekend. There was a holiday like "mahaul" at work yesterday and I think we all worked quite efficiently knowing that the day would be followed by a holiday. So no Monday morning blues this time.
For lunch we ordered some South Indian food and the kids/me dug into idli, dosa( no not hot samosa though that would have completed the rhyme), medu wada and puliyogaraye( yumm!). I have saved the extra sambhar and chutney for tomorrow morning when I plan to make some sooji upma( thinking aloud but maybe I could use the leftover beans, carrots and alu subzi for the upma, would save me the trouble of chopping and cooking and more importantly save me some time).
Having kind of done nothing through the day except eat, chat on the phone, drink cups of tea( yes, I normally allow myself only one cup of milk tea but have had four cups today) by evening I was feeling all set to cook. Yet I did not really want to slog it out in the kitchen, wanted the holiday feeling to continue( after all a holiday at the beginning of the week is quite a luxury especially if you have had a hectic weekend). So I decided to make some Jeera Pulao( I know this is really basic cooking and an apology for a recipe but maybe there are more Yans like me in this world who could benefit from the same or the more evolved ones who could maybe find a variation from their own).
Rice: 2 cups( should suffice for a family of four), I love Delhi's obsession with Basmati, they are great for Pulaos. Pick up the Rozanna Basmati of any brand( Should cost you anywhere between Rs. 38/ to Rs. 45/ per kilo. You also get some wonderful Basmati at various wholesale markets in Delhi, Govindpur market behind Kalkaji or Possangipur which is close to Janakpuri to name a few). Though you will often find long grained rice being peddled as Basmati, lacks that distinctive aroma of Basmati.
Jeera: 1 tbsp
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Onions: 2, Finely sliced
Whole garam masala: Tej Patta, Cinnamon sticks(2/3), green cardamom(2/3)
Biryani Masala: 1 tsp(optional), I use it when I have it. Today I did not.
- Soak the rice for at least half an hour( don't skip this step).
- Heat ghee/oil in a pressure cooker( suggest you use a pressure cooker as that would save you from transferring from one dish to another), once the ghee starts bubbling add the jeera and whole spices. They will start giving out a nice aroma after two to three minutes, add the sliced onions and stir on high till the onions brown. If using the Biryani masala add it now. Next drain out the water and add the rice. Stir for a few minutes. Add salt to taste. Stir for a few minutes and let the rice mix well with the masala( onion and whole spices).
- Add three and half cups of hot water. Cover the lid of the pressure cook and let it give out one whistle.
- Switch off the gas and let the cooker cool down on its own( don't be in a hurry to open the lid of the cooker though the aroma would make you feel quite hungry).
- Serve hot with a mixed daal( given that the rice is a little basic, needs to be served with a slightly elaborate spicy daal) and a tomato, onion raita.