Saturday, August 21, 2010

Risotto with onions

Risotto is a kind of Italian rice. It is different from normal rice in the sense that it is fatter and becomes sticky when cooked. You can buy risotto in any store in speciality section. Risotto is traditionally cooked with Parmesan cheese.


2 cups Risotto

1/2 onion

2 green chillies

2-3 cloves garlic

Olive oil

Stock maker (optional)

Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)


Heat 1 litre water until it boils, take off the heat and add the stock maker, if unavailable add a little bit of salt and sugar. In a pot add the washed Risotto rice and add enough stock to cover the rice. Now let it boil slowly. You have to keep stirring and adding water till you feel that the rice is done.It will swell up be fat and sticky. You don't have to overdo the rice as it is eaten in a slightly undercooked manner. So it will be not extremely mushy but something that can be chewed.
While this is going on, heat some olive oil in a pan, add chopped garlic, chillies and sliced onions on it. Add little bit of salt and sugar let it cook on medium heat for 10mins. Turn off the heat later.
When Risotto is done add the onions and garlic to rice and mix it together add salt to taste.Turn off the heat add Parmesan and let the rice rest for 5mins. Serve hot garnished with some more Parmesan.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dahi Bhat(Yoghurt rice)

This is a simple express dinner recipe. It doesnt require much and will take 20mins to prepare half of which you dont have to pay attention to the recipe.
This recipe serves 2 or a very hungry one.


3 cups of cooked rice, even leftovers will do. Sticky one is good too, infact many people use this recipe to get rid of sticky rice.

2 cups of yoghurt(plain) and non fat if you want I prefer normal one.

3 dried mexican chillies, depends on the size, hotness and your taste. You can use almost any hot pepper here. I have used Jalapeno, banana and those small ones, all are good. No need to go finding dry chillies though they are not hard to get.

A pinch of mustard seeds(can be replaced by cummin)

A pinch of  Asafoetida (Available in any indian store)

 Salt and sugar to taste.

1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil.


Mix the cooked rice with yoghurt, salt, sugar (a little bit more) and keep aside. Add some milk if too dry.
In a pan heat oil add the mustard seeds, let them crackle then add the chillies/peppers. Now remove the pan from the heat and add asafoetida. Add this oil to the rice. Mix properly. Garnish with dried red chillies.

A picture I found on the internet. It need not be so fancy, it still tastes good.

To start of with.....

I am starting with the very basics to keep it simple. Something that can be eaten with many things and easy to cook too i.e. Rice. One of the best way to cook rice is of course invest in a rice cooker that said this blog is not about gadgets so I 'll put up some of the basic ways to cook rice depending on the rice that is when you don't have a rice cooker.
The kinds of rice :- There are like a million kinds of rice available but I am dividing them into just 3 kinds for us.
1) The bad one :- The cheapest rice you find in the store. For Americans this would be one dollar rice packets at Walmart. A simple test to check whether you have got a "the bad one" is to take some rice and pour water over it. If it turns white most probably you have "the bad one". This will turn out to be sticky and the rice looses integrity merging into one gooey mass if cooked in a rice cooker.
2) The averages :- These are the mid price ranged rice packets which will not turn white in water. They have different smells too
3) The speciality :- High end rice packets for speciality items. Basmati from India,  Risotto from Italy, Brown rice etc. Rarely used in my cooking.

The procedures

1) Boil and drain :- Procedure that can make the Walmart rice taste and look good. In a pot take rice and wash it till the water no longer turns white (I know it takes time so be patient or pay more) add lots of water and some salt and some oil. On medium flame(gas mark 6) let it boil for 15-20 Min's. Take a single rice and eat it. It shouldn't be too soft but not undone. Turn off the heat and let it stay for 5 mins. Use a cloth (I suggest keeping one aside for kitchen things) to drain the water and eat immediately. Toss in some oil if you plan to keep it and use it later for some further recipe. That's the best the bad rice can be. This method is also used for cooking rice in between recipes when it is needed a little undone.

2) Absorption :- Good for the average and good quality rice. Add rice and double the water, boil for 15mins at medium heat and leave covered for 5minutes. The rice absorbs the remaining water hence the name. This method is okay for everyday rice. If you use this method on bad rice it will just stick together. Sometimes you just don't have time to strain and drain and do stuff like that, in that case just add half pinch of baking soda to the bad rice while cooking. It will not stick but its not recommended everyday because of the high sodium levels.

Link to jasmine rice from china or whatever
Basmati will be considered speciality