Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cooking Under 10 minutes

The title of this post is inspired by a book written by the renowned celebrity chef Tarla Dalal. As she says " Cooking under 10 minutes is not an impossible feat if you follow certain guidelines like planning and using simpler methods of cooking". I have always loved making those no fuss recipes hence the one dish meals, cooking with leftovers to make them look and sound exotic etc. With leftovers half your job is already done so just add a dash of this and a dash of that and voila an entirely new dish is ready to be " set before the king".

Mushroom gets cooked really fast and is a workaholics delight. Ideal for those weekday evenings when you would like something different but are unwilling to slog it out in the kitchen.

Mushroom Quickie


Mushroom: 200 grams, quartered
Onion: 2/3 quartered, could also use shallots if you have the time and patience to peel them
Capsicum: Deseeded and cut into squares( ideally same size as the mushrooms and onions)
Oil: 1/2 tsp
Herbs: I have used Parsley but Oregano or Rosemary would work as well
Lime juice: About 1 tbsp
Maida: 1 tsp


Heat the oil in a non-stick pan(try and use olive oil). Saute the onions till translucent/glassy, add the mushrooms and stir on high flame for a few minutes. Next add the capsicum, lime juice and the herbs. Add salt to taste. The vegetables will give out some water. Add 1tsp of Maida or corn flour to gently coat the veggies. The lime juice gives the dish a nice fresh flavor.

This dish would go well with a pulao and raita. Would go equally well as a side dish with continental chicken preparations.

Vegetable Pulao


Mixed vegetables: Use finely chopped carrots/beans, shelled green peas, American sweet corn
Onions: Finely chopped
Jeera: 1 tsp
Basmati Rice: 2 cups( soak the rice for at least an hour before you start cooking for them to be really " khila khila" and long grained
Ghee: 1tsp. Could substitute with oil but I personally feel pulao tastes best with ghee


In an open pressure cooker heat the ghee, add jeera and saute for a few minutes till jeera gives out a nice distinctive aroma. Next drain out the water from the rice and add. Mix well and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the veggies, salt and 3.5 cups of hot water( hot water prevents the rice from sticking and also reduces the cooking time). Put the lid on the cooker and let it give outone whistle. Allow the pressure cooker to cool down. Serve the pulao hot accompanied by either dahi boondi( since the rice already has a lot of vegetables) or plain curd. This pulao also makes a good lunch box option. It is tasty and wholesome.

We are having the pulao with some fish curry and mushroom quickie. Watch this space for fish curry recipes.

P.S.: Tarla Dalal books are a must have for all vegetarian foodies. She tweaks global cuisine to create her own fusion food more suitable for the Indian palate, Oriental bhel to name one such recipe.

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