Friday, August 15, 2014

Indian Independence Day Special: Tricolor Rice Platter



Today is Indian Independence Day. It is in fact the 68 th Independence Day. It has been 68 years since India became free from the British. I wanted to make something that would simulate the Tricolor Indian flag, popularly referred to as "Tiranga"( Tricolor). I pondered for a while and finally decided to celebrate this wonderful occasion by making a Tricolor Rice Platter. Before going into the details of my platter, let me tell you all a little bit about the Indian Flag. It is of course made up of three horizontal bands of equal colors: saffron, white and green with a navy blue wheel with 24 spokes  in the center of the middle band.Saffron stands for valor,courage and sacrifice of the Indian people. White stands for truth, peace and purity. Green stands for prosperity, vibrance and life. The wheel which is based on the Ashoka Chakra represents righteousness, progress and perpetuity.It represents motion. The 24 spokes of the wheel represent the 24 hours of the day.



My Tricolor Rice Platter comprises of Carrot Pulao for the Saffron band, Jeera Rice for the white band and Palak Pulao( Spinach Rice) for the green band. I am bringing this to Angie's Fiesta Friday! I am sure everyone there will enjoy this platter! Jhuls and Selma are co-hosting this week.I have already packed my pretty floral tankini and the sunscreen for the pool-party! Each week I look forward to Angie's party!





Carrot Pulao ( Carrot Rice)


Servings: 4


Ingredients:


Basmati rice: 1 cup
Grated carrots: 1 cup ( from 1 large carrot)
Jeera( cumin seeds): 1 tsp
Onion: 1 medium, chopped fine
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 2, chopped fine
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Coconut oil: 2 tbsp
Lemon juice: from one small lemon
Freshly grated coconut: 1 tbsp ( optional for garnishing)
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp chopped fine ( for garnishing)
Water: 2 cups
Salt: as per taste.

Method:


Rinse the basmati rice thoroughly until all the starch is removed. Soak basmati rice in water for 30 mins. Drain the water and let it dry for 20-30 minutes.

Heat oil in a kadai/ sauté pan. Add 1 tsp jeera and the onions. Sauté until the onions turn transparent.

Add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chillies and sauté for few seconds. Now add the turmeric powder and garam masala powder.

Add the rice and sauté for 2-4 minutes. Add the grated carrots, sauté for a minute. Add in the hot water, salt and bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce the flame to low and cook for 15 minutes. 

When done, fluff with a fork/ spoon. Add in the lemon juice, mix well.

Garnish with freshly grated coconut and chopped cilantro leaves.



Serve hot with some Raita of your choice or by itself.

Enjoy!


Jeera Rice ( Cumin rice)


Servings: 2-3


Ingredients:


Basmati Rice: 1 cup
Water: 2 cups
Clarified butter( ghee): 1 tbsp( you could use regular cooking oil if you don't have ghee)
Jeera ( cumin seeds): 3/4 tsp
Cinnamon stick: 1 inch
Bay leaf: 1 small
Cashew halves: 1 tsp( optional)
Salt: to taste.

Method:


Rinse the basmati rice thoroughly until all the starch is removed. Soak basmati rice in water for 30 mins. Drain the water and let it dry for 20-30 minutes.

Heat ghee in a sauté pan/ pot on low heat. Add the jeera( cumin) and cinnamon stick and sauté for few seconds. Add the cashew halves and saute until slightly golden.

Now add in the washed and dried rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Now add 2 cups of hot water, salt and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame to the lowest possible, cover and cook for 15 minutes. 

When done, open, fluff the rice and keep covered for 10 more minutes with the flame turned off.

Serve hot with a side dish of your choice.



Palak Pulao ( Spinach Rice)



Servings: 4


Ingredients:


Cooked rice: 2 cups
Spinach purée: 1 cup
Ghee( clarified butter): 1 tsp
Onion: 1 medium, chopped fine
Green chillies: 2, chopped fine
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Sugar: 1/4 tsp
Salt: to taste
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp( from one small lemon)
Chopped Ciilantro: 1 tbsp( for garnishing).

Method:


In a sauté pan/ kadai, heat 1tsp ghee. Add the ginger garlic paste and onions and sauté until the onions turn transparent. 

Add the chopped green chillies, garam masala, spinach purée, salt, sugar and cook for 5-6 mins. 

Add in the rice and mix well.  Cook for 1-2 mins. 

Now add the lemon juice.

Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.



Serve hot.