The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

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March 15, 2010

Pulihora (Tamarind Rice), Made Easy!

Happy Ugadi or Gudipadwa to all!

Ugadi/Gudipadwa is a Andhra, Karnataka, and Maharashtrian holiday which celebrates the arrival of the New Year, which also coincides with the beginning of Spring. This year it falls on a working day (3/16) and so my mom decided to make dishes that don't require a lot of time and happen to be our favorite. Yay for all.

The two dishes are Pulihora (Tamarind Rice) and Sooji Halwa (A Semolina Sweet). Both of these items are served as Prasad (offering to the god) at South Indian temples. Tamarind Rice is a very traditional delicacy which is often served at festivals and weddings.

One of the key components to making this rice dish so tasty, is Chaunk or Talimpu (seasoning). Also, traditional Tamarind rice making involves time-consuming method of soaking tamarind in water, squeezing the juice out, cooking it to make it into a paste, and then mixing it with rice. With semi-processed tamarind paste available these days, tamarind rice can be made in 10-15 minutes. It is a great way to turn your left over rice into a mouth-watering dish enjoyed by all.


Ingredients:
- 2 cups Basmati Rice

Ingredients for seasoning:
* 3 Tbsp Vegetable oil
* 1/3 cup Peanuts
* 2 Tbsp Channa dal (yellow peas)
* 1 tsp Mustard seeds
* 1 tsp cumin seeds
* ½ tsp (Asafoetida) Hing
* 1 tsp Turmeric powder
* 1 tsp Methi powder (fenugreek)
* 1 to 1-½ Tbsp Tamarind paste
* 6 small Green chilies, sliced into half  (3 Red chilies, broken into 1-inch pcs)
* 8 to 10 curry leaves
* 1-½  tsp Salt to taste
* ½ Tbsp Brown sugar (or gud)

Procedure:
1) Cook rice with slightly less water so that the grains are separated and not sticky. Then immediately transfer into a open dish, add a tbsp oil and spread it to loosen the grains.


2) In a small skillet add oil and heat it on medium heat. Hold your hand above the skillet and feel the heat. When hot, add peanuts and fry for 3 minutes. Add channa dal and continue to fry.


3) When peanuts and dal start to turn golden brown, add mustard and jeera and fry until the seeds start to splutter.
4) Add green chillies and a pinch of salt and fry for 2 min., then add hing, turmeric and methi powder. Add curry leaves and mix well.
5) Remove from the stove and add brown sugar. Transfer the seasoning onto the rice.

6) Add tamrind paste into rice and mix it well to a uniform color of deep yellow color. Allow the rice to absorb the seasoning for atleast 30min and serve.



4/26/2010:
Hey you all, just wanted to add that, you can also make this dish with rice noodles or vermicelli. Just follow the same recipe but with cooked rice noodles versus cooked rice:



To learn more about the spices used in seasoning, click here.

March 4, 2010

Mazzedar Naan Pizza

'The day after the big storm last week, my mom and I decided to spice up things in the kitchen by making our very own pizza. We had shoveled the driveway for 2 hours and wanted to treat ourselves for all the hard work. Below are the list of ingredients and procedure for making 4 individualized pizzas. It became a party once we announced we were making pizza from scratch. (shh… almost from scratch!)


• 4- Tandoori Naan (Costco, Indian or local grocer)
• 1 cup of Spaghetti sauce (any variety)
• 1 small can of Sliced olives
• 1 ball of Fresh Mozzarella cheese thinly sliced
• 1 large Red Bell Pepper sliced
• 1 large Green Bell pepper sliced
• 1 medium Yellow onion sliced
• 6 fresh Mushrooms (baby bella) sliced
• 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
• ½ tsp crushed Red pepper
• Extra Virgin Olive oil (EVOO)

Procedure:
1. In a non-stick saucepan saute the peppers and mushrooms with a pinch of salt for 5-6min and keep it aside.


2. In a bowl mix together spaghetti sauce, ginger garlic paste and crush peppers (for a bit of kick to your pizza)
3. Place a non-stick griddle on medium/low-med heat. Brush the bottom of the naan with EVOO and place it on the pan.


4. Spread the sauce on the naan evenly and arrange cheese slices to cover the naan.


5. Spread the sauteed vegetables and sliced olives evenly over the cheese and drizzle a little bit of EVOO.


6. Allow the naan to grill for at least 5-min or until the cheese melts and the bottom is browned evenly.

7. Voila! Your personal pan pizza is ready to enjoy. Slide the pizza into a plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for added flavor. It's great for parties of all sizes.


***Other toppings include: canned or fresh pineapple pieces and olives, shredded grilled chicken (for meat lovers), or even leftover veg. curry. Also try using hummus instead of pasta sauce for a Mediterranean taste).  

Chapata Pineapple


Leftover cabbage curry

How do you eat your naan pizza? Please share your ideas?