Monday, January 05, 2009

Herbed Rice with Julienne Potatoes- Aloo Pulao

On a recent visit to the library to return movies and books ( and paying a fine for late returns) I picked up a cook book. The main library has quite a good collection of Indian cook books. That may be because there is a lot of desi population here.
Every time I step into the Indian store it is interesting to see that many non-Indians enjoying our cuisine and some even with little chits of paper, buying ingredients neatly listed.
Back to my list now! This weekend my in-laws will join us.This is their first visit to us and indeed to the USA. Things finally fell in place with their VISA and the ticket and now they are very eager to meet their Grandson! I am eager to meet them and at the same time a bit nervous.. I was a newly wed 3 years ago and stayed with them very briefly. There wasn't enough time to get to know each other and hardly any to note their likes and dislikes in re food.
Aah! here is where the hubby steps in, did you say? Naah! he has been away from home for job and projects for nearly a decade and isn't that well up in the home department. All he can guide me is, " they don't eat onion-, umm... dunno, you ask them"
No onion - Garlic, this opened up a new line of thought. So far I never really gave it so much thought, chopping an onion here, mincing a bit of garlic there.. you know how it is. There are dishes I make without these, but in my already nervous state of mind, I drew a blank. So I feverishly scanned the cookbook section in the library and found this and knew I had found a good thing!
Hare Krsna cuisine is famous as is their philosophy .
The recipes use simple everyday ingredients found in almost all pantries and very few which need a visit to the Indian store.
Since rice is a staple on our dining table, I tried this recipe and the resultant taste was this amazing flavorful rice that can be eaten on its own or paired with a simple raita for an enjoyable lunch or dinner.
I cannot wait to try out some more of these superb recipes!!

Recipe source here

Serves 4

1 cup Basmati Rice
2 medium size Potatoes
1 1/2 tbs, finely shredded or minced fresh Ginger
2 tsp Finely minced Green Chilies (+/- as per taste)
1/4 cup fresh grated or shredded dry coconut, lightly packed
2 tbs chopped Cilantro
3 tbs Plain Yogurt
3 tbs Peanut Oil or ghee
6 cloves /Lavang
1 1/4 inch Cinnamon stick
1 small Bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2cup Fresh or frozen Peas
1 tsp Salt
3/4tsp Turmeric
1 tsp fresh Lemon or Lime juice
2- 2 1/4cups Water
1 tsp raw Sugar
1 tbs Butter or ghee
lemon wedges for garnish

Clean, wash, soak and drain rice.
Wash, peel and cut the potatoes in julienne strips, 1 1/2 inch long and 1/2 inch wide

Combine the ginger, cilantro, green chilies, coconut and yogurt in a bowl. Mix well. Drop in the potato strips . Stir to coat and allow them to marinate and in the meantime prepare the seasoning

Heat oil /ghee in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium high heat. Add cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cumin. Fry until Cumin seeds brown. Add marinated potatoes and stir-fry until light brown

*Add the rice, fresh peas, salt,turmeric, lemon or lime juice, water and sugar. Stir and quickly bring to a full boil. If using frozen and defrosted peas,add them to the rice about 5 mins. before the end of cooking

Reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid. Simmer gently without stirring for 20-25 mins. or until the rice is tender and fluffy and all the liquid is absorbed

Remove the lid, turn off the heat and add 1 tbs ghee or butter, cover and let the rice sit for 5 mins.

Serve hot with lemon wedges.

*I usually do not cook rice on the stove top, at this stage I simply poured all the ingredients in my electric rice cooker and set it to cook on its own
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  1. my husband's grandmother is like your in-laws. She doesn't eat garlic or onions. so i have a wide variety of recipes that work without these ingredients. you can find them under the title 'tamil(brahmin) recipes' in my right sidebar. They are extremely simple too. hope that helps :)

    good luck!

  2. There are some really good recipes in Tarla Dalal's jain cookbook. has a jain recipes section that I have used to try recipes for a friend who does not eat onions and garlic, try the chhole and navratan korma too from the same. I have the tarla dalal book and send you the recipes if you need. I am sure you will do great with the in-laws. Just know that you are the queen in your kitchen.

  3. I am so used to cooking with onions... its hard for me to cook without it.
    But during festivals we don't eat onions and garlic, for all the recipes we cook the same way, minus onions.
    Good luck...:)

  4. Rice and potatoes, Manasi? I just died and went into carb heaven. I love it! This I have to try asap.

  5. hey Manasi, in my house no body including my hubby does not eat onion /garlic.
    almost all the recipes in my blog are garlic free:)
    will email you regarding this ok!

  6. happy new year :-)

    I must try this sometime :-)

  7. My Mother in law is like that she avoids both onions and garlic, coincidentally I just posted a recipe for curried black eyed peas which does not use both, your herbed rice looks really yum, will try it sometime :-)

  8. Nice sure it wud taste well too.My granny is like ur inlaws,nogarlic,no onions...infact she has never tasted them in her life!

  9. haha...I hear you about the fines, I always have one too every time I go back....!!
    The Hare Krsna website is indeed a'll find so much there for your in-laws~also, Manjula from youtube has ALL Jain recipes too!

    The rice looks good, girl....that and some cold raita on the side is comfort!

  10. Hi.. i just wanted to know wen do u add everything to d rice cooker?

  11. That reminds me...on my recent trip to Mumbai, my aunt gave me a Hare Krishna cookbook. I had scanned thru it then & was impressed by the variety of dishes, but promptly forgot about it on my return. Thanks for nudging my memory. Your rice looks yummy, I'll try it soon.

  12. I was going to suggest Jain recipes, but there's plenty of food for thought here already. Good luck! And enjoy the company.

  13. Thank U all !! For the wonderful suggestions!!!

    Chaitra, After the potatoes were cooked , I added the Rice + Potatoes,water etc in the rice cooker.

  14. My lineage is such that I have inherited two sets of cuisines that essentially use no onion or garlic. That I use them a lot in my cooking is a different thing... but I can send you a whole list. :-)

  15. I'm excited to hear how the visit is going and looking forward to the goodies you have been cooking up.

  16. The pulao looks great. I will definitely try this !!


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