Cabbage has always been a vegetable that’s regularly cooked in my mother`s home as its extremely nutritious and rich in vitamins and minerals. As a kid, I would hate the unpleasant aroma of cabbage in the process of getting cooked. My grandmother loved making Cabbage Thoran by simply garnishing cooked cabbage with a dash of roughly pulsed green chillies and coconut. The fresh raw spice from the green chillies, swathed on the seemingly innocent cabbage, would zing it up to a whole new level. I also make Cabbage Avial and sometimes simply season and cook cabbage and peas together. Still YUM! I was looking for a one pot meal to include cabbage and Mallika Badrinath`s version seemed to be on the same lines as my Pudina Rice Recipe. One can never ever go wrong with a mint-cilantro-green chilli base! I tweaked it by adding just cilantro! And we have a winner!!!
1 1/4 Cups Basmati Rice.
2 1/2 Cups Water.
A few drops of ghee/ oil.
3 Cups Cabbage Diced.
1/2 Cup Frizen Peas.
1 Onion diced fine.
1 Green Chilli Sliced long.
A pinch of turmeric.
Salt as needed.
Ground Masala Base:
1/3 Cup Grated Coconut .
1 Tbsp Pottu Kadalai/ Chutney Dhal/ Cashew Nuts.
1 Tsp Poppy Seeds/ khus Khus.
1 Inch Piece Cinnamon.
1 Bunch Tender Coriander Leaves.
2 Green Chillies.
3 Tbsp Oil/ Ghee.
1 Tsp Jeera.
1 Tsp Channa Dal.
1 Tsp Urad Dhal.
1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds.
A few broken cashew nuts.
6-7 Torn Curry Leaves.
1/4 Tsp Hing.
1/4 Tsp Cardamom Powdered (Optional)
Wash the rice until the water is clear and add the measured water, a drop of ghee, and cook in the rice cooker. When done allow the rice to cool for some time.
Grind all the ingredients that’s required for the masala base . Add the cashew/dalia, red chillies, whole spices, coconut and then finally the cilantro. Pulse to a dry rough mix.
Take a large wok and add about 3 tbsp of oil. Temper with the above mentioned seasonings and add the diced onion and the sliced green chili.
Add the pulsed masala mix and incorporate in to the kadai. Stir for a couple minutes.
Add the shredded cabbage, peas, turmeric powder, a little salt and sprinkle a few drops of water. Cover and cook but take care that the cabbage never gets burnt.
The cabbage has an unpleasant aroma when over cooked but since it cooks in the ground masala, this smell is completely morphed.
When the cabbage is well cooked, add the cooked and cooled rice.
Mix the rice in to the flavored cabbage in the kadai and gently turn without breaking the rice grains.
When well mixed, taste and adjust for salt.
Delicious cabbage rice can be served with Carrot Raita and chips.
Tomato Rice is an all time delicacy that we always enjoy. The ingredients required for this are available in our pantry and refridgerator everyday. It`s always a quick fix rice dish that I make quite often. The tomato rice that amma used to make was more simple, but over the years, I have rehashed it to make it a lot more flavourful and ambient with multiple tastes. I am not sure if there is an official recipe for tomato rice, but this one works very well for me.
2 cups of Basmati Rice cooked in 31/2 cups of water and cooled.
Thinly sliced garlic out of 5 pods.
Thinly sliced ginger.
5-6 Vertically sliced green chillies.
5 ripe tomatoes sliced in to long pieces. (I gently scoop out the seeds and water from the tomatoes to keep it dry)
Pidi Kozhukattai is one of the oldest tiffin items that I remember my grandmother Maduraiamma making for me when I would come from school all hungry and ravenous. I would be waiting to eat the lovely white steaming hot balls of rice, smelling of hing and coconut and smother it well with her delicious Molagai Podi dripping with Idhayam gingely oil. YUM!!! Of course Madurai amma was always liberal with her use of coconut oil and coconut, but what I use is a definitely calorie scaled down version of the same. It`s very fast and simple and needs very little time for preperation. This is her recipe which she passed on to me through my amma, and here it goes for all of you…:)
Boiled Rice -2 cups
Coconut – 1/4 cup
Urad Dhal, Bengal Gram, Mustard, Curry Leaves, Red Chillis.
Soak boiled rice for two hours along with 2 green chillis.
Grind coarsely in the mixie along with salt and green chiilis adding only adequate water.
Add 2-3 spoons of oil to a kadai. Then slowly add the urad dhal and bengal gram and allow to wallow for a few seconds. When you begin to see them browning, add quickly the mustard and allow to splutter and finally add the curry leaves, red chillis and hing.
Immediately add the ground rice mixture and the dessicated coconut to the seasoning in the kadai. Keep stirring for a few minutes till you see the rice mixture slowly getting cooked and growing harder.
When you find it comes to a soft “upma” consistency, switch off the stove.
Grease the idli plates and shape this “upma” in to balls with your palms. Arrange the balls on the plates and stack the plates one above the other.
Steam the kozhukattais in the cooker just like the idlis – Switch on the stove on max till you see full steam and then simmer for 8 mins.
Switch off and allow to cool for 2-3 mins as the steam may harm your fingers.
Remove from plates and serve HOT with molagai podi or tomato chutney or hot tomato gravy.
Hint: This could be made more healthier by additionally soaking 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats along with the rice. The oats does not alter the taste but you also get your daily dose of fibre. Another option is to add “Flax Seed” or Powdered Flax.