Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chicken n Veggie Rice/Pulav

Recipe No: 255
Most of us have that gene in us to rise to the occasion and do stuff when situation calls. On a normal day for Rice we have three sides… one Curry to pour into the Rice, one vegetable dish and one non vegetarian dish (Yes I accept... it is very difficult to run my household without that magic touch of Non-Vegetarian!!). What will you do if you have to make all these things in 45 minutes? Somehow I decided to cook all these things together and came up this wonderful recipe… Everyone except me at ours thought that the lunch was special that day and was very happy… I accepted all the comments, smiling, with a touch of regret for not telling the truth to them!!! Since then, it is one of my ‘thuruppu cheettu’ on busy days…
Ingredients                                        Serves 4
  • Chicken…………………………350 Grams (bone in, cut into small pieces)
  • Oil………………………………..2 Tablespoons
  • Onion sliced thin…………...1 Cup
  • Curry Leaves………………….1 Sprig
  • Ginger Garlic Paste………...2 Teaspoons
  • Indian Green Chilly………..3 (split into two)
  • Red Chilly Powder……….…1 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder………….1 ½ Teaspoons
  • Turmeric Powder……………1/2 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder…...1 Teaspoon
  • Pepper Powder…………..….1/2 Teaspoon
  • Tomato Sliced……………..…1/2 Large
  • Vegetables cubed…………...2 Cups (I used Carrot, Beans, Potato and Fresh Green Peas)
  • Ghee…………………………..…1 Tablespoon
  • Whole Spices…………………4 Cardamom, 8 Cloves, 1 inch Cinnamon and 1 Star Anise
  • Basmati Rice………………....1 ¼ Cup
  • Thick Coconut Milk………..1 Cup
  • Coriander Leaves......……..2 Tablespoons (chopped)
  • Kasoori Methi……………..…1 Tablespoon
  • Salt as needed
  • ¼ Teaspoon Garam Masala to sprinkle on top
Method of Preparation
  1. Wash Basmati Rice properly; soak in warm Water for 20 minutes; drain properly and keep aside till ready to be used. (Let this happen while you make Chicken.)
  2. Heat Oil in a pan on medium high heat and saute Onion, Curry Leaves, Ginger Garlic Paste and Green Chilly till they are wilted.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and add Red Chilly Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, Pepper Powder and Garam Masala Powder; saute for a minute or till the raw smell is gone.
  4. Add Tomato, Chicken, Salt and 1 cup Water; cook till half done for about 8 minutes after boiling.
  5. When it is half done, add the Veggies and cook completely for another 8-10 minutes.
  6. Mean while in another pan on medium heat, melt Ghee and fry the whole spices till fragrant.
  7. Add the drained Rice and fry really good till the Rice on the bottom of the pan starts to move on itself. Keep aside till ready to be used.
  8. Once the Chicken and Veggies are cooked, remove the pieces with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
  9. Measure the amount of liquid left in the pan after cooking Chicken and make it up to 1 ½ cups (use extra Water to make up.)
  10. Boil together the Water - gravy mixture, Coconut Milk, Rice and some Salt (for the Rice) on high heat till boiled; then lower the heat to minimum; cover the pan and let it cook.
  11. When the Water level reaches the level of the Rice, mix once; put the Chicken and the Veggies on top as a layer; sprinkle the Coriander Leaves and Kasoori Methi (Crush them between your palm before adding); close the lid and let it cook completely until all the Water is absorbed.
  12. Once the Rice is cooked and the Water is all absorbed, mix it gently; check for Salt; sprinkle ¼ Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder on top; off the heat; close the pan and let it stand for 30 minutes before serving it warm with Raita.
Notes:
  • If you are using dried Peas, do cook it before using. I used freshly frozen variety and hence added directly into the Curry.)
  • Be very careful while mixing the Rice to avoid mashing of the Rice. I use a flat ended spatula and start from the side, scrapping the bottom and just turn it over. Do this in all of the portions; otherwise the Rice at the bottom may cook too much with less cooked Rice on the top.
  • To prevent mashing and clumping of the rice, please do not try to mix this a lot while very hot.
  • The amount of Salt should be enough, so that the dish can be eaten on its own.
  • This dish is tastier the next day!
 




Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love…

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