Recipes for Easy Jeera Rice and Palak Paneer

K and I have overdosed….on food and movies this weekend….it has been blissful no doubt, but I’d like to put an end to this gluttony…..I attempted some north indian fare for lunch on Saturday…jeera rice, raitha, palak paneer and dal tadka…..having skipped breakfast, ravenous hunger made sure I didn’t have time for pictures….so I am going to post the recipes here minus any pictures….. we then went bookshelf shopping before K’s book collection toppled over from the current one they overflowing from, watched Shootout at Lokhandwala…..its one of the better made gangster movies, racy and never a dull moment, but blood and gore isn’t my cup of tea…..we tried out a small Rajasthani place for dinner and had a traditional thali that was replete with rotis doused in ‘desi ghee’, curries of brinjal and onions, potatoes, and a mixed vegetable fare, dal, dahi, achar, papad and rice….. if food is supposed to bring you comfort which I am sure it does…then this was it…..back home I tried to walk off some of the guilt….then we decided to watch an old Tamil Classic…”veerapandiya kattabomman” starring the melodramatic Sivaji Ganesan, some sports and half of Jerry Maguire later we realized it was almost 4 a.m and we were hungry….coffee and some quick microwave cooked pasta with store bought pasta sauce later, we finally hit the sack at 4.30 a.m……if ‘unhealthy’ needed personification, then it couldn’t get better than this

Jeera rice

2 cups sona masuri rice (you can use basmati too) 1 medium onion sliced finely 3 green chillies slit lengthwise 2 teaspoons jeera (cumin seeds) 1 sprig curry leaves 2 table spoons ghee 4 cups water Salt to taste

Method:In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee, splutter the jeera and stir for a few seconds. Add the onions and sauté till light golden brown.Add the curry leaves and stir for a few seconds.Add the washed rice and fry till it is well coated with the ghee. Add water and salt and stir.Cover with the lid and pressure cook for 7-8 minutes or for about 3 whistles.Serve hot with a curry of choice and raita

Palak paneer

200 gms paneer (cut into 1 inch cubes) 2 bunches palak / spinach (cut and blanched in hot water for a few minutes) 1 small onion finely chopped 2 green chillies slit lengthwise ½ tspn jeera / cumin seeds A pinch of turmeric ½ tspn red chilli powder ½ inch piece fresh ginger grated or chopped finely 2 tablespoons oil Salt to taste ½ cup buttermilk

Method:In a pan heat the oil and fry the paneer cubes till light golden brown. Transfer to a bowl with hot water to which ½ teaspoon of salt has been added (keeps the paneer soft).In the same oil, splutter the cumin seeds, add the grated ginger and onions and fry till translucent.Add the blanched spinach leaves and fry for a couple of minutes.Cool and liquidize in a blender.Pour the pureed spinach back into the same pan, add turmeric, chilli powder and bring to a boil.At this stage add the fried paneer and butter milk, simmer for a minute or two stirring so that the buttermilk blends into the mixture.Add salt to taste and adjust seasoning if required. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

Tomato and onion raitha

1 medium salad tomato finely chopped 1 small onion finely chopped 1 green chilly slit and de-seeded 2 cups curd beaten smooth 2 tablespoons milk Salt to taste A sprig of coriander for the garnish

Method: Take the chopped tomato, onion, chilly and salt into a dish and mix well.Pour the beaten curd over it and mix well. Add the milk and mix.Garnish with coriander, chill and serve

Dal tadka

1 cup tur dal 3 cups water A pinch of asafetida ½ tspn turmic powder 1 tspn red chilli powder ½ tspn coriander powder 2 cloves garlic 1 small onion sliced finely 1 tablespoon ghee 1 tspn jeera / cumin seeds A few curry leaves and fresh coriander for the garnish Salt to taste

Method:In a pressure cooker, cook the tur dal with 2 cups water, turmeric and asafetida till well done. Cool and mash well with the back of a spoon.Heat ghee in a pan (ensure it doesn’t burn), splutter the cumin, add the garlic and fry for a few seconds.Add the green chillies and chopped onion and fry till pink.Add the chilli and coriander powder, salt, curry and coriander leaves, fry for a minute Add the boiled mashed dal and one cup water and bring to a boil.Serve hot with steamed rice / rotis and accompaniments

With the system having to work overtime to cope with this overload, i tried as best as i could to stick to some basic wholesome food to bail us out today….. My personal choice would have been some curd rice, but since K cant stand it and we had some dal from yesterday, I ended up making Aloo jeera and Cabbage poriyal to go with some soothing hot rice ……plus it was overcast the whole day and the weather seemed to call for this………

Recovery Food

recovery lunch

Cabbage stir fry

3 cups finely chopped cabbage 1 green chilly slit lengthwise 1 tablespoon oil 1 tspn mustard seeds 1 tspn urad dal 1 tspn channa dal A pinch of turmeric Salt to taste A sprig of curry leaves

Method:In a kadai, heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds, add the urad and channa dal and fry till golden. Add the green chilly and curry leaves and stir.Now add the finely chopped cabbage and stir it till the colour changes. Add the salt and turmeric and cover with a lid and turn the down to heat medium. The cabbage will cook in its own steam in about 7 minutes. However open the lid to check a couple of times to ensure it does not burn. 2 tablespoons of fresh grated coconut can be added to this at this stage

Jeera Aloo

6 medium boiled potatoes peeled and cubed 1 tspn jeera A sprig curry leaves A sprig of fresh coriander leaves ½ tspn red chilli – garlic powder A pinch of turmeric Salt to taste 1 tablespoon oil

Method: In a kadai heat the oil and splutter the jeera.Add the curry leaves and the cubed boilt potato.Fry on medium heat for about 5 minutes till it turns a light golden brown, turning over using a spatula.Add the salt, turmeric and chilly powder and stir again till it is well coated.Cover and continue to cook for a few minutes.Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with rice or rotis.

Since we were up all night, and K woke up really late, we had a light ‘breakfast’ of a puran poli each. Once the food was cooked, we decided we’d wait for hunger pangs to dig into another meal…..this was the least we could do to give our poor stomachs some respite……!! Its been such a ‘fulfilling’week for us….cos that’s what we mostly did!! I hope to do some healthy eating over this next week to recover from this overdose…….

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