In the throes of summer, I was quite fed up with all the salads and wanted to bite into some winter style Jeera rice and comforting gravy curry. All I had on hand were a bag of fresh mushrooms and some frozen peas. I also recenlty reorganised and cleaned out my pantry cupboard and found a bag of unused puffed lotus seeds, called makhana. I have eaten it in curries in vegetarian buffets here in hyderabad, but most preparations are made with cream and rather heavy. this was a quick preparation that took under 30 mins for both the rice and the curry and needed to be lite since its so damn hot here these days.
Mushrooms with Peas and Lotus Seeds
200 gms button mushrooms, cleaned and halved or quartered depending on their size
1/2 cup frozen / fresh peas
1 medium onion chopped
2 small tomatoes chopped
1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste / or a small piece of ginger and 2 pods garlic chopped/ smashed
1/2 teaspoon jeera / cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander / dhania powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
a pinch of turmeric powder
salt to taste
1/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
a few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves
1/2 cup of puffed lotus seeds
heat the oil in a pan and splutter the whole cumin. add the chopped onions and fry till they change colour. add the ginger garlic and fry for a minute. Add the tomatoes and the red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and turmeric. cook for a few minutes till the tomatoes begin to shrink and are half cooked. Add the mushrooms and cover and cook on a low flame for 5 minutes. uncover, add the salt and the frozen / fresh peas and the puffed lotus seeds and cover & cook for another few minutes. open the lid, check for doneness and salt and chilli. adjust if needed. pour in the milk and stir everything around. bring to a gentle boil. turn off and serve hot with jeera rice or plain rice or rotis.
Simple Jeera Rice
this is very different from the Jeera Rice posted here
I used unpolished basmati from the farm of a friend. and this rice is a little sticky cos it isnt polished too much. it also has the most amazing fragrance and flavour. All it needs is a little kick from the whole cumin and a little ghee. Overpowering the rice with a lot of whole spices, will be sacrilege. This is the kind of jeera rice that goes well with kadhi or rajma or this simple mushroom curry.
in a pressure cooker, heat one tablespoon of ghee. Splutter a teaspoon of whole cumin seeds, add 1 cup of washed, soaked and drained basmati rice, 2 cups of water, salt to taste. Cook under pressure for 2 whistles. wait for the pressure to release, fluff with a fork and serve hot.