Instant Ragi Onion Dosa| Finger Millet Savoury Pancakes

I am consciously looking for ways to include more millets in our diet, and have been experimenting quite a bit with them. Ragi or finger millet is one of my most favourite types of millets – I love its rustic, earthy taste. I often use ragi in rotis, savoury kuzhi paniyaram and in the form of vermicelli. Today, I am going to share with you all my recipe for Ragi Onion Dosa, another much-loved way of consuming finger millet in my family.

These crispy Ragi Onion Dosa are absolutely delicious, and a breeze to prepare too. They can be made instantly, and do not require any prior soaking or fermentation.

We prefer having these for breakfast, a nice change from the rice-based idlis and dosas, upma and poha we usually have. Any leftover batter is converted into more dosas for an evening snack, within a day or two.

What goes into these Ragi Onion Dosas?

These dosas are made using ragi or finger millet flour, which I pick up on our grocery shopping runs. I add in some rice flour, which gives them a wonderful crispy texture. Some curd, finely chopped onion, curry leaves and green chillies add a burst of flavour to the dosas. I also add in a simple tempering to the batter, which elevates the taste of the dosas by several notches.

Much has been written already about the many health benefits of millets. I have too, and I won’t repeat the same here. I’ll just say that these dosas are a delectable way of getting more millets into your system.

How to make Ragi Onion Dosas

Here is how I go about it.

Ingredients (makes 10-12 dosas):

  1. 1 cup ragi flour
  2. 1/2 cup rice flour
  3. 1 cup semi-thick curd
  4. 1-1/2 to 2 cups water
  5. Salt to taste
  6. 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
  7. 2-3 green chillies
  8. 1 big onion
  9. 1/2 tablespoon oil + more to make the dosas
  10. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  11. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  12. 2 pinches of asafoetida

Method:

1. Take the ragi flour and rice flour in a large mixing bowl. Add in salt to taste.

2. Add in the curd. Mix well, making sure there are no lumps.

3. Add in 1-1/2 to 2 cups of water to bring the batter to a watery consistency. Mix well, ensuring that there are no lumps.

4. Chop the curry leaves and green chillies very finely. Add to the batter.

5. Chop the onion finely. Add to the batter too.

6. Heat the oil for tempering in a small pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Now, switch off gas and add in the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Let them be in the hot oil for a few seconds. Then, pour this tempering onto the batter.

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre left and right: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left and right: Steps 5 and 6

7. Mix the batter well. The consistency should be runny, as shown in the video below. Now, allow the batter to rest till you get a dosa pan nice and hot.

8. When the dosa pan is hot, turn the flame down to medium. Pour a ladleful of the batter roughly over the pan, then take some more batter and, sort of, fill in the gaps. The video below will explain this step better.

9. Let the dosa cook on medium flame till the bottom part starts getting crispy, 1-2 minutes. Then, carefully loosen the dosa and flip it over to the other side. Now, cook for a minute or so on the other side. Transfer the prepared Ragi Onion Dosa to a serving plate. Serve immediately.

Are these dosas vegan and gluten-free?

These Ragi Onion Dosas are completely vegetarian, but NOT vegan or plant-based because of the addition of curd.

They can easily be made gluten-free by avoiding the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most commercial brands of asafoetida available in India contain wheat flour, to a greater or lesser extent, and are therefore best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely go ahead and use it.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use slightly sour curd for best results. I have used home-made curd which was thick, but not overly so. You can use store-bought curd too.

2. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon the consistency of batter that you require.

3. For crisp and lovely Ragi Onion Dosa, the batter should be thin and runny. I add about 2 cups of water to achieve that consistency.

4. If too watery batter is difficult to manage for you, you could add in less water and keep the batter thick. Practise making dosas with this thicker batter and you can then increase the amount of water, once you get the hang of it.

5. A non-stick pan works best for making these Ragi Onion Dosas.

6. Be careful when you flip over the dosas. Ensure that you loosen them gently from the bottom, using a spatula first, then slowly flip over.

7. The ragi flour and rice flour I have used here are store-bought.

8. Making these dosas needs a bit of practice. However, it’s not a very difficult art to master. Please don’t get disheartened if you don’t get it right in the first few tries.

9. You may skip using the onion if you don’t want to.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Khatta Dhokla| Gujarati Steamed Rice & Lentil Cakes

Dhokla, a steamed snack from the state of Gujarat, has many avatars. It is a favourite breakfast and meal in Gujarati households, prepared in several different ways as well. Different combinations of rice and lentils, different grains feature in the dhokla made by different Gujarati families. Today, I am about to share with you all a recipe for Khatta Dhokla, as shared with me by a Gujarati neighbour of mine.

Check out this beauty! Khatta Dhokla, steamed and just out of the cooker!

What is Khatta Dhokla?

‘Khatta Dhokla’ literally translates into ‘sour savoury cakes’ in Gujarati. This is one of the many varieties of dhokla made in Gujarat, generally prepared using rice and a combination of one or more lentils. This particular version is made using idli rice and a mix of chana dal, urad dal and toor dal. The sourness in the dish comes from the addition of curd and proper fermentation of the batter.

The preparation of Khatta Dhokla requires a little prior preparation. The grains need to be soaked well, then ground to a batter and fermented. Once the batter is ready, though, making these dhokla is no tough task.
The batter is then steamed and tempered, with minimal use of oil. Since we are fermenting the batter, there is no need for the use of Eno Fruit Salt or cooking soda here. This is, therefore, a very healthy dish filled with the goodness of whole grains.

Steamed and tempered Khatta Dhokla, ready to serve!

How to make Khatta Dhokla

I have already shared one recipe for Khatta Dhokla on my blog. This version is a bit different from that one, in terms of the ingredients used. I have prepared Khatta Dhokla using this method several times over, and they always turn out spongy-soft and delicious. These are quite the favourite at home!

Let us take a look at how these Khatta Dhokla are prepared.
Ingredients (makes 2 batches of about 15 pieces each)

1. 1-1/2 cups idli rice

2. 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

3. 1/2 cup chana dal

4. 1/4 cup urad dal

5. 1/4 cup toor dal

6. Salt to taste

7. 5-6 cloves of garlic

8. A 1-inch piece of ginger

9. 2 green chillies or as per taste

10. About 3/4 cup of thick curd

11. 2-3 tablespoons of grated bottle gourd, per batch (optional)

For the tempering, per batch:

  1. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  4. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  5. 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves
  6. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

Method:

1. Take the idli rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds together in a bowl. Wash them thoroughly, then soak in enough water for 8-10 hours or overnight.

2. Take the chana dal and toor dal together in another bowl. Wash well. Soak in sufficient water for 8-10 hours or overnight.

3. When all the above ingredients are done soaking, drain out the water from them.

4. Transfer the washed and drained idli rice to a mixer jar. Add in the curd. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves and chop roughly. Chop the green chillies roughly too. Add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies to the mixer jar too. Grind to a smooth paste. Transfer this batter to a large, clean and dry vessel.

5. Now, transfer the soaked and drained urad dal and fenugreek seeds to the mixer jar. Grind all these ingredients together to a smooth batter, using a little water if required. Once done, transfer this batter to the large vessel too.

6. Add the soaked and drained chana dal and toor dal to the mixer jar. Grind coarsely, adding a little water if required. Transfer this ground batter to the large vessel as well.

7. Add salt to the large vessel. Mix all the three types of batter in the vessel well, using your hands.

8. Let the batter rest, covered, in a warm place for 7-10 hours or till it ferments and rises in volume. Once it ferments, the batter is ready to make Khatta Dhokla.

Topmost left: The idli rice and lentils, soaked and drained, Topmost right: Step 4, Centre left: Step 5, Centre right: The chana dal and toor dal, coarsely ground and ready, Bottom left and right: Steps 7 and 8

9. To make Khatta Dhokla, mix 2-3 tablespoons of bottle gourd (if using) with half of the fermented batter. Add some water if the batter is too thick. Grease the bottom and sides of a wide vessel with some oil. Add 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker bottom, place a stand within, and place the greased vessel atop the stand. Place the cooker on high flame and let the water inside start boiling, in which time the greased vessel will have heated up too. At this stage, pour the batter with bottle gourd into the heated greased vessel. Close the pressure cooker. Cook on high flame for 12-15 minutes or till the dhoklas are done. Do not put the whistle on.

10. While the dhoklas are cooking, we will prepare the tempering. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a small pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Now, add in the asafoetida, sesame seeds and curry leaves, and let them stay in for a few seconds. Switch off gas. Do not burn the tempering. Pour this tempering evenly over the dhoklas, once they are done cooking.

11. Spread the finely chopped coriander evenly over the cooked dhokla. Serve the Khatta Dhokla hot or at room temperature.

Top left: The water in the pressure cooker being heated, Top right: Adding some water to the batter, Centre left: The vessel, greased and ready for steaming, Centre right: The batter poured into the greased vessel for steaming, Bottom left and centre: The batter being steamed, Bottom right: The tempering for the dhokla

13. Prepare the second batch of batter similarly, with grated bottle gourd. Steam in a similar manner, then temper and garnish them the same way.

It’s raining ‘Steamed Recipes’ at the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

This post is brought to you in association with the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge.

The Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge is a group of food bloggers who post based on a pre-determined theme every month. The participants form pairs, and each pair exchanges two ingredients which are used to cook the dish for the month’s theme.

The theme for this month is ‘Steamed Recipes’ suggested by Anu of Ente Thattukada. Check out the lovely Vattayappam or Kerala-Style Steamed Rice Cakes that she prepared for the theme!

My partner for the month is Sujitha of Sujitha’s Easy Cooking. I gave her the two ingredients of cardamom and moong dal, and she went on to use them to prepare these delicious Kozhukattai or Tamilnadu-Style Sweet Dumplings. You should also take a look at this beautiful Karadayan Nombu Adai, another traditional steamed snack from Sujitha’s blog.

Sujitha assigned me the ingredients toor dal and salt, and I decided to make these Khatta Dhokla.

Are these Khatta Dhokla vegan and gluten-free?

These Khatta Dhokla are completely vegetarian, but they are NOT vegan or plant-based because of the use of curd.

They can be made gluten-free by avoiding the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most brands of asafoetida available in India contain wheat flour and are, hence, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you could definitely go ahead and use it.

Tips & Tricks

1. Do not be intimidated by the long proceedure I have listed out. The process of making Khatta Dhokla is fairly simple and requires quite basic ingredients. I have tried to share the method in detail so readers find the dhoklas really easy to prepare.

2. Make sure you mix the salt into the batter using your hands. This helps kick-start the process of fermentation.

3. Use fresh curd that isn’t too sour. I use home-made curd.

4. Adjust the quantity of green chillies and garlic cloves you use, as per personal taste preferences.

5. You may skip using the bottle gourd, but I would highly recommend it. It adds a nice texture and taste to the Khatta Dhokla, and also helps make them soft.

6. If you are not making dhokla immediately after the batter ferments, you can store the batter in the fridge for later. It stays well for 3-4 days. Add in the bottle gourd just before you steam the dhokla.

7. The time taken for the batter to ferment depends upon a lot of factors – weather conditions, ingredients used, sourness of the curd, etc. For me, it takes 7-8 hours in hot weather and up to 10 hours when it is colder.

8. For best results, grind the idli rice and urad dal smooth. The chana dal and toor dal should be coarsely ground.

9. Idli rice is a fat variety of rice that is typically used in making idlis. It works wonderfully in this batter. You can use boiled rice instead, too.

10. These Khatta Dhokla can be served with Kadhi Chutney or any other accompaniment of your choice.

11. If the batter is too thick, you can add in a little water before steaming it. The ideal consistency of the batter is thick but not overly so, and definitely not runny.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Vendhaya Dosai| Methi Dosa

Fenugreek, that tiny seed commonly found in spice cabinets in Indian kitchens, is full of health benefits. Commonly known as ‘methi dana‘ (Hindi), ‘vendhayam‘ in Tamil, fenugreek has been reported helpful in various ailments. Regular consumption of this spice in food is, therefore, great! Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for Vendhaya Dosai, a delicious way to make fenugreek seeds a part of our daily diets.

What is Vendhaya Dosai?

Vendhaya Dosai – or Methi Dosa – is a heritage recipe from the state of Tamilnadu. It is a dosa made using rice, with a larger dose of fenugreek added in as compared to the regular dosas. This dosa also contains lesser urad dal than is common.

Vendhaya Dosai is very soft in texture, beautiful in taste, redolent of fenugreek. The fenugreek does not make the dosa bitter, but contributes towards its spongy texture and delicious taste.

How to make Vendhaya Dosai?

Here is how we go about it, in our family.

Ingredients (makes about 10 dosas):

  1. 1 cup idli rice
  2. 2 tablespoons urad dal
  3. 1 tablespoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Oil as needed to make the dosas

Method:

1. Take the idli rice in a large vessel, and wash it thoroughly in running water. Drain out all the water, then add in enough fresh water to cover the idli rice fully. Soak the idli rice, covered, for 8-10 hours or overnight.

2. Take the urad dal and methi seeds together in another large vessel. Wash thoroughly, and drain out all the water. Now, add in enough fresh water to cover the dal completely. Soak, covered, for 8-10 hours or overnight.

3. When the idli rice and urad dal are done soaking, drain out all the water from them.

4. Transfer the soaked and drained urad dal and methi to a mixer jar. Grind well, using a little water.

Top left and right: Steps 4 and 5, Centre left and right: Steps 6 and 7, Bottom left and right: Steps 8 and 9

5. Now, transfer the soaked and drained idli rice to the mixer jar. Grind everything together to a smooth paste, adding in a little water if needed.

6. Transfer the batter to a clean, large vessel.

7. Add in salt to taste. Mix the batter well, using your hands.

8. Now, set aside this batter in a warm place for 4-6 hours, covered. During this time, it will ferment.

9. Once fermented, mix the batter gently. The batter is now ready to use in making dosas. To make the Vendhaya Dosai, first get a thick dosa pan nice and hot. When hot, reduce the flame to medium. Pour a ladleful of the batter in the centre of the pan, and spread it out a little using the back of the ladle. Drizzle some oil all around the dosa. Cook uncovered for a minute or so on medium flame or till the dosa becomes brown on the bottom. Now, flip the dosa over and cook on medium flame on the other side too. Transfer the dosa to a serving plate, and serve immediately, with sambar, chutney or milagai podi.

10. Prepare dosas from all the batter in a similar fashion.

#DosaDen at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is brought to you in association with Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of food bloggers, who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme every Monday. I suggested the theme this Monday, #DosaDen, wherein the group members will be presenting a variety of dosa recipes. I decided to showcase this beautiful traditional Vendhaya Dosai or Methi Dosa recipe for the theme.

On that note, you might want to check out the other dosa recipes on my blog. There’s the no-rice Oats Dosa, the delicious Broccoli Masala Dosa and Mixed Vegetable And Paneer Dosa, the traditional Masala Dosa and Open Butter Masala Dosa, and the fiery Mysore Masala Dosa!

Is this Vendhaya Dosai vegan and gluten-free?

This Vendhaya Dosai recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is gluten-free as well.

Tips & Tricks

1. I have used idli rice here. Boiled rice can be used here, too.

2. Whole white urad has been used here. Split white urad dal can be used instead, too.

3. The batter should be ground really smooth, for best results.

4. We always salt the batter as soon as it is ground, then set it aside for fermentation.

5. Make sure you mix the salt into the batter using your hands. This kickstarts fermentation.

6. Use a heavy pan for best results. Spread out the dosa only a little, keeping it thick. Don’t spread it too thin.

7. The time taken for fermentation of the batter can differ from one person to another. It depends upon various factors, such as weather conditions, ingredients used, water used in the batter, etc. For me, the fermentation takes about 5 hours.

8. If the batter is too thick, you can add in a little water. The ideal consistency of the batter is thick (but not too much), and not too watery.

9. Some people cook Vendhaya Dosai on one side only. However, we cook it on both sides.

10. Traditionally, 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds is used for the above measurements of idli rice and urad dal. If you find that a bit too much, you could start with a lesser quantity of fenugreek seeds, and then go on increasing it as and when you get used to it.

11. If you don’t plan to make the Vendhaya Dosai immediately after the batter is fermented, you can store it, covered, in the refrigerator. This way, the batter will stay well for 3-4 days.

12. This batter is not well suited to the making of idlis.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Dark Chocolate Truffles| Easy Chocolate Truffle Recipe

Do you like chocolate truffles? I absolutely adore them! (I’m actually a chocolate-crazy person and love anything with chocolate in it. 🙂 ) Today, I’m about to share with you all an easy-peasy recipe for Dark Chocolate Truffles, a huge favourite at my place.

What are chocolate truffles?

Chocolate truffles are a delectable sweet treat, decadent and soft on the inside, the outside usually coated with cocoa powder. Bite into one, and you are in chocolate heaven!

As fancy as they sound, chocolate truffles are actually very easy to make at home. They just need about three or four basic ingredients – mostly heavy cream or milk, butter or ghee, sugar and cocoa powder.

There are several variations to chocolate truffles, limited only by one’s imagination. Mint, peanuts, almonds, raisins, walnuts, pecans, cranberries, coffee, vanilla, rose – any number of permutations and combinations are possible.

What goes into my Dark Chocolate Truffles?

These Dark Chocolate Truffles are one of the simplest versions of the dessert, which can be put together in minutes. Instead of heavy cream or milk, I have used milk powder to speed up the cooking process.

I have used dark, unsweetened cocoa powder here and sugar, of course. Then, there’s butter to bind it all together. I have used salted butter to give a faint salty tinge to the truffles, and I think they were all the more lovely for that.

Introducing Indian Natives’ Absolute Dark Cocoa Powder

The unsweetened dark cocoa powder I have used in these truffles is called Absolute Dark, from a brand called Indian Natives, based in Pollachi, Tamilnadu. This is single-origin, organic cocoa powder without any additives or preservatives. It’s completely vegan and cruelty-free too.

I have been using this cocoa powder for some time now, and love it to bits. It’s absolutely brilliant! The pure, unadulterated smell of this cocoa powder is amazing and it tastes equally lovely. It is rich and beautiful, and great for baking and for use in other desserts. The bub loves it too, and has it with her milk almost every day.

I have been interacting with the brand for some time now, and totally love their philosophy. Most commercial brands of cocoa powder available today are laden with preservatives and additives, and Indian Natives started out to counter that, and have grown from strength to strength. The founder Akila and her family run a farm in Pollachi, to ensure the production of great-quality, unadulterated cocoa powder. There are several variants of the same available, in differing strengths like mild and medium. Apart from this, they also offer spices like nutmeg and pepper, by-products like cocoa butter, and coconut palm sugar. Their cocoa powder has been receiving rave reviews, I see, and now I know exactly why!

Easy Chocolate Truffle Recipe

I made these Dark Chocolate Truffles recently, and they were met with much love by the family. Here’s how I went about making them.

Ingredients (makes about 20):

  1. 3/4 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 cup milk powder
  4. 1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  5. 2-3 tablespoons butter

For garnishing:

  1. Unsweetened dark cocoa powder, as needed
  2. Milk powder, as needed

Method:

1. Take the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place on high heat. Allow the sugar to melt completely in the water.

2. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce flame to medium. Continue cooking on medium flame till the mixture becomes sticky or attains a half-thread consistency. (See notes). This should take 3-4 minutes.

3. At this stage, reduce flame to the lowest. Immediately add in the milk powder and cocoa powder, with one hand, stirring constantly with the other hand to prevent the formation of lumps.

4. Now, increase flame to low-medium. Continue cooking on low-medium flame till the mixture thickens and reaches a malleable consistency, but is not too thick. When almost done, add the butter to the pan and mix well. Stop cooking when the mixture has thickened considerably and is just slightly runny. This can take 8-10 minutes. You will need to stir constantly.

5. Allow the mixture to cool down enough to handle, then shape small balls out of it.

6. Place the balls in a clean, dry, air-tight box and keep it in the refrigerator. Chill for 2-3 hours at least.

7. Get the chilled balls out of the fridge about half an hour before you want to serve them. Just before serving, mix milk powder and unsweetened dark cocoa powder as per your taste preferences, in a tray. Roll each of the chilled balls in this powder, so that they are evenly coated with it. Your Dark Chocolate Truffles are now ready to serve – serve them immediately.

Tips & Tricks

1. I have used 1/3 cup of the dark cocoa powder here, due to which my truffles had a delectable, chocolate-ey taste. You can tone down the amount of cocoa powder you use, if you don’t want the truffles to be so chocolate-ey. Alternatively, you could use a milder version of cocoa powder, like Indian Natives’ Mild or Medium Dark.

2. I have used milk powder from Nestle here. Please note that this is sweetened milk powder.

3. I was sent a sample of Indian Natives’ Dark Cocoa Powder to try out and share my feedback. My opinion of the product is honest and completely unbiased, formed after using and loving it for some time.

4. The above quantity of sugar was just perfect, for the amount of sweetened milk powder and unsweetened, dark cocoa powder I used. You may adjust the quantity of sugar you use, as per personal taste preferences.

5. Make sure you cook the sugar syrup till sticky or half-string consistency only, and no further. Overcooking the syrup might lead to hard truffles. Check this post of mine for a video on what sticky or half-string consistency of sugar syrup looks like.

6. Do not overcook the truffle mixture, else they might become too hard. It needs to be cooked just till thickened, but is still a bit runny. It hardens further when chilled in the refrigerator.

7. These Dark Chocolate Truffles are best served chilled, rolled in a cocoa powder + milk powder mixture just before serving. Bring them out of the fridge a little while before serving.

8. You can use a mix of cocoa powder + powdered sugar to roll the truffles in, too.

9. I have used salted butter here. You can use unsalted butter or ghee in its place too.

10. Please remember that the butter needs to be at room temperature and softened, for best results.

12. I have kept these chocolate truffles simple and basic, but, like I was saying earlier, the flavour possibilities are endless. Go ahead and flavour these any way you want!

13. While the cocoa powder I have used is vegan in itself, these truffles are NOT, because of the addition of milk powder and butter.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Vegetable Bath| Simple Vegetable Pulav

Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for Vegetable Bath (no, not the kind you take in the bathroom!), straight from my aunt’s kitchen. For the uninitiated, that’s how Vegetable Pulav is referred to in South India. 🙂 There are several ways to make Pulav, and this is one of the simplest variations. Nonetheless, it tastes super flavourful and delicious.

Vegetable Bath or Vegetable Pulav

A bit about this Vegetable Pulav

My aunt, who is a wonderful cook, makes this Vegetable Pulav often. When guests visit without much of a prior notice, she often whips up this delectable confection with rice and vegetables in a matter of minutes. She has made this version of Vegetable Pulav for me many times, and I have always loved it. I decided to call her up recently, and get the recipe from her. Like I was saying earlier, it is a one-pot or pressure-cooker dish that is very, very easy thing to make.

Ingredients for this Vegetable Pulav

This Vegetable Pulav is flavoured using garam masala powder, which can be either store-bought or home-made. Some whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves go in too, along with some ginger-garlic paste. The pulav is mildly spiced, using a bit of red chilli powder.

Any vegetables of your choice can be used in this Vegetable Pulav. I prefer adding onions, beans, carrot, green peas, potatoes and capsicum, which is what my aunt uses too. She also occasionally adds in some ‘noolkol‘ (kohlrabi) or turnip, which adds a lovely flavour. A ripe tomato adds a hint of tanginess to the Vegetable Pulav.

We typically make this pulav using Sona Masoori rice. Basmati or any other variety of rice you prefer can be used instead, too.

How to make Vegetable Bath, a la aunty dear

Here’s how to go about it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

Vegetables:

  1. 1 medium-sized carrot
  2. 1 medium-sized potato
  3. 1 medium-sized onion
  4. A handful of shelled green peas
  5. 1 small capsicum
  6. 7-8 beans

To grind:

  1. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  2. 5-6 cloves of garlic

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 medium-sized tomato
  2. 8-10 cashewnuts
  3. 1 cup Sona Masoori rice
  4. 3 cups water
  5. 1 tablespoon ghee
  6. A small piece of cinnamon
  7. 1 bay leaf
  8. 2 star anise
  9. 2 green cardamom
  10. 1 black cardamom
  11. A small piece of stone flower
  12. Salt to taste
  13. 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  14. Red chilli powder to taste
  15. A handful of fresh mint leaves
  16. A handful of fresh coriander

Method:

1. First, we will prep the vegetables to be used in the pulav. Peel the onion, potato and carrot. Chop the potato and carrot into large cubes, and the onion finely. Remove the seeds from the capsicum and chop into medium-sized pieces. Remove strings from the beans and chop into large pieces. Keep the shelled green peas ready.

2. Chop up the cashewnuts roughly. Keep aside.

3. Chop the tomato finely. Keep aside.

4. Put together all the whole spices you need to use in the pulav – green cardamom, cinnamon, black cardamom, bay leaf, star anise and stone flower.

5. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves. Chop up the ginger roughly. Grind the ginger and garlic together, with a little water, to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

6. Wash the rice thoroughly, then drain out all the water from it.

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre left and right: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left and centre: Step 5, Bottom right: Step 6

7. Heat up a pressure cooker bottom. Add in the ghee. Allow it to melt.

8. Add in all the whole spices and cashewnuts. Reduce the flame to medium. Allow these ingredients to stay in for a few seconds or till the cashewnuts start browning.

9. Add in all the vegetables we prepped earlier – onion, green peas, carrot, beans, potato and capsicum. Saute on medium flame for a few seconds.

10. Add in the ginger-garlic paste. Mix well. Saute on medium flame for a few more seconds.

11. Add in the washed and drained rice. Mix well.

12. Saute all the ingredients together for about a minute on medium flame.

13. Add in 3 cups of water, along with the chopped tomatoes and salt to taste.

14. Add in the garam masala and red chilli powder. Mix well.

15. Now, close the pressure cooker and put the weight on. Increase flame to high. Allow to cook on high flame for 3 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

Top left, centre and right: Steps 7,8 and 9, Middle left, centre and right: Steps 10, 11 and 12, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 13, 14 and 15

16. While the pressure is settling, chop the mint leaves and coriander finely. Keep ready.

17. When the pressure has released fully from the cooker completely, wait for 10-15 minutes before removing the whistle and opening it.

18. After about 10 more minutes, fluff up the rice gently.

19. Mix in the finely chopped mint and coriander. Your Vegetable Pulav is ready. Serve hot with raita of your choice.

Top left: The Vegetable Pulav, pressure cooked and ready, Top right: Step 16, Bottom left and right: Steps 18 and 19

Is this Vegetable Pulav vegan and gluten-free?

This is a completely vegetarian preparation, but not vegan because of the use of ghee. If you want to make it vegan or plant-based, substitute the ghee in the recipe with oil.

This recipe is entirely gluten-free.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon the texture of the pulav you require. We use 3-1/2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice, when pressure-cooking it plain, for 4 whistles. For this Pulav, I have used 3 cups of water for 1 cup of rice + the veggies, and given it 3 whistles. The pulav was well-cooked, neither too grainy nor too mushy, the way we prefer it.

2. Do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. They are commonly available ones, and very simple to prep too. Once the ingredients are prepped and ready, putting the Vegetable Pulav together is almost child’s play.

3. You may skip the onion, ginger and garlic if you do not prefer using them.

4. You can use any vegetables you prefer.

5. I use an 8-litre pressure cooker to make this Vegetable Bath.

6. Use a good-quality garam masala, for best results. Chana masala can be used instead too, for a change.

7. I have used ghee in the Vegetable Bath. You can use oil instead too, or a mix of ghee and oil (use only oil if you want to make it vegan or plant-based). Increase or decrease the quantity as per personal preferences.

8. I don’t usually soak the rice before adding it to the pulav.

9. If you don’t have one or two of the whole spices used here, it would be ok to omit them.

10. The number of whistles suggested above work perfectly for us. The cooking time might differ depending upon the ingredients used, amount of water used, texture of the pulav you require (grainy or well-cooked), and the make of the pressure cooker.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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Check out the other pulav recipes on my blog: Pudina Pulav| Coconut & Mango Pulav| Haryana Style Aloo Chutney Pulav| Gondhoraj Lebu Pulav| Milk Pulav| Easy Vegetable Pulav| Malabar Masala Choru