Welcome to my kitchen...

Welcome to my kitchen...
There is no love sincerer than the love of food. ~George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Maharashtrian Style Masala Rice (Masale Bhaat)

An extremely popular cuisine, served at most of the weddings, in the West Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a spicy, Marathi version of the vegetable pulao and is usually enjoyed best with any pickle, chutney or yoghurt. What makes it different from the usual pulao is the blend of some more ground spices, curry leaves and dry peanuts which give a wonderful aroma and taste…

Health Check – Health benefits of rice include providing fast and instant energy, stabilizing blood sugar levels and providing essential source of vitamin B1 to human body. Other benefits include skin care, resistance to high blood pressure, dysentery and heart diseases. Rice is the staple food in most of the countries and it is an important cereal crop that feeds more than half of the world’s population.

1 cup Basmati Rice (serves 2-3 people)
1 Onion chopped into big pieces
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 medium size potato, finely chopped
½ portion of medium size cauliflower, washed and cut into big pieces
1 green capsicum, finely chopped
½ cup green peas (optional)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil/Ghee
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
2-3 dry red chillies
1-2 Bay leaves
3-4 curry leaves
¼ cup dry peanuts
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon garam masala
Pinch of turmeric powder
Coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 cups water

(Some people prepare a special masala for this rice. To do this, dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves till it changes its color. Allow them to cool down and then grind coarsely. You can include this step if you want, which I skipped and instead used ground spices)

Cooking Method
1Wash and soak the rice for 15-20 minutes prior to cooking.
2. In a deep cooking vessel/Kadai add the oil.  Once the oil gets heated add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves and bay leaves and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. 
3. Add chopped onions and stir fry them until light brown. Also add chopped ginger to it and stir fry.
4. Now, add all the ground spices except garam masala– Red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cinnamon powder and mix the spices with the fried onions. Add very little water to avoid the spices getting burned. Stir this for 1 minute. 
5. Now add the dry peanuts and stir for another minute. 
6. Add all the remaining vegetables – potatoes, cauliflower and green capsicum and mix well. Cover the lid of the vessel and put the heat on medium. Let the vegetables cook for another 4-5 minutes. 
7. Once the vegetables are partially cooked. Add the soaked rice with 2 cups of water and stir nicely. 
8. Now mix into it the chopped tomatoes and green peas (optional). 
9. Finally add salt and garam masala mix well. 
10. Cover the lid of the vessel and let the rice cook for 10-15 minutes. Simmer the heat, once the rice begins to boil. 
11. Garnish the rice with chopped coriander (cilantro). Your yummy masale bhaat is now ready to be served. You can serve it hot with green chutney, any pickle or yoghurt.


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