Harry’s friends from work had come over for dinner one day, long time back. All of them youngsters, staying away from home. Sick and tired of the eating the same food at office everyday, they were looking forward to some good home cooked meal. After eating the first bite, they told me that its no wonder Harry has his lunch at office canteen ;-). All of us laughed at the joke and braved our way through the rest of the dinner. They were honest kids, trying very hard to say something complimentary. And, finally when we came to the curd rice, they were happy – they could honestly complement me on that one :-)). They left home, happily looking forward to their boring, repetitive canteen food.
I am a not bad cook, but I am an inconsistent one. I mess up with quantities too. I know how to cook for four people at the most. One more addition and I am gone! Like today, I was cooking for some guests and I was making this spinach rice recipe, I messed up with the quantity. I was sweating over the stove, making chapatis at the last minute to make up the mistake. I didn’t get any huge compliments for the lunch today, but hey, I am not complaining. No one was running away and there were requests for second helping.
For me, that’s more than enough!
Rice : 2 cups
Green gram: 1 cup
Spinach : 1 bunch
Onion : 1 large, chopped
Oil : 1-2 tsp
Coriander leaves : 1 small bunch ( 1 cup)
Mint leaves : 1 small bunch (1 cup)
Ginger garlic paste : 2tsp
Green Chilies : 2-3, per taste
Cumin/Jeera : 1/2 tsp
Onion : 1 (optional)
Tamarind : 1 tsp (optional)
Coconut : 2 tbsp, scraped (optional)
Cinnamon stick : 1″ piece (optional)
Cloves : 1-2 (optional)
- Soak rice and dal separately for 30 min at least. Cook the dal for one whistle in a pressure cooker and keep aside.
- Grind the coriander, mint and other items under the list together, without adding any additional water.
- Clean and chop the spinach fine. Heat oil and add the chopped onions. Saute for a minute, then add the spinach and the ground paste. Cook for 3-4 minutes or till a nice aroma is released.
- Add rice and mix nicely. Add green gram, salt, 4 cups of water and cook till the rice is done. I usually transfer this to a rice cooker at this stage. If you are using a pressure cooker, it should be cooked for about 4-5 whistles. Serve with raita or curd.
My sister in law uses the same coriander – mint paste for making vegetable rice. The base recipe is same, the spinach and green gram are replaced with mixed vegetables. The vegetables are sauteed for a minute with the ground paste, then rice is added and cooked in a rice cooker till done.