Loaded Veggie Burrito| Vegetarian Bean & Rice Burrito

Say hello to the Loaded Veggie Burrito!

I haven’t had a chance to go to Mexico to try out the country’s cuisine (much as I would love that!), but I surely love the Mexican fare that we get here in Bangalore’s restaurants. From the tacos and enchiladas, elotes and nachos, guacamole and burritos to churros and tres leches cakes, I love it all! I love how Mexican food is packed with flavour and uses beautiful fresh ingredients.

Lately, I have been slowly experimenting with the cuisine at home, with ingredients easily available to me. I am happy with the few Mexican dishes that I’m able to replicate at home, this Vegetarian Bean & Rice Burrito – or Loaded Veggie Burrito as I call it – one of them. I’m here today to share with you all the way I make this burrito, which turns out quite delicious, BTW.

Mexican Cuisine at Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

If you have been following my posts regularly, you would know that I’m part of something called the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. It is a group of enthusiastic food bloggers who cook based on a pre-determined theme every month. The participants are grouped together into pairs, with each pair exchanging two secret ingredients that aren’t known to the rest of the group. Each pair then cooks with their two secret ingredients, while the others try to guess what they could be. Isn’t that fun?!

The theme for the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge this month is Mexican cuisine. I was paired with Renu of Cook With Renu for the month, and she gave me the two secret ingredients of salt and garlic. They fit right into the recipe for Vegetarian Bean & Rice Burritos that I make often, which is quite a family favourite. So, that’s what I decided to showcase for the challenge. You guys must check out the gorgeous Farmer’s Market Vegetarian Quesadilla that Renu created using the two ingredients I gave her (cheese and peppers)!

It was Narmadha of Nams Corner who suggested the Mexican theme. She made these beautiful Home-Made Nachosfor the theme.

A closer look at my Vegetarian Bean & Rice Burrito

A burrito is a Mexican-style wrap, which comes with a variety of fillings. Refried beans, Pico de Gallo (tomato salsa), sour cream, rice, cheese, corn, vegetables, Salsa Roja (a spicy-tart Mexican tomato sauce), guacamole and jalapenos are the most commonly found in a burrito filling. A flour flatbread – called a tortilla – envelops all of it.

My Vegetarian Bean & Rice Burrito contains several of these fillings, most of the components made from scratch and relatively guilt-free, including tortillas made from whole wheat flour. Also, like I was saying earlier, I make these burritos using ingredients that are commonly available here in India.

This might not be the most authentic recipe for Mexican burrito, but it definitely yields finger-lickingly delicious results! I agree, it’s not exactly something you can put together in a jiffy, but if you can prep the fillings in advance, the burritos are not too difficult to wrap up. These home-made, relatively healthy burritos make for a great party snack, and kids love it too.

Vegetarian Bean & Rice Burrito recipe

Here is how I go about making the burrito.
Ingredients (makes about 8 burritos):

For the tortillas:

  1. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1 tablespoon oil + more to cook the tortillas

For the refried beans:

  1. 3/4 cup rajma, soaked overnight
  2. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  3. 4-5 garlic cloves
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  6. 3/4 teaspoon roasted cumin powder

For the cheese sauce:

  1. 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  2. 1-1/2 cups milk, boiled and cooled
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  4. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  5. 3/4 cup grated cheese

For the Pico de Gallo:

  1. 1 medium-sized tomato
  2. 1 medium-sized onion
  3. 2-3 cloves of garlic
  4. 1 green chilly
  5. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  6. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

For the corn:

  1. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder

For the lemon-coriander rice:

  1. 1/2 cup rice
  2. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Juice of 1 lemon or to taste
  5. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander

For the pickles:

  1. 1 large onion
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Juice of 1 lemon

For the veggies:

  1. 1 large capsicum
  2. 2 medium-sized carrots
  3. 3/4 cup purple cabbage, chopped length-wise
  4. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Red chilli powder to taste
  7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander

For the Salsa Roja:

  1. 5 medium-sized tomatoes
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 4-5 garlic cloves
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1 tablespoon sugar
  6. Red chilli powder to taste

Other ingredients:

  1. About 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos or as needed
  2. Mustard sauce as needed (optional)
  3. 2 medium-sized European cucumbers


We will start by preparing the dough for the tortillas.

1. Take the whole wheat flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

2. Adding water little by little, bind into a soft, pliable dough that is not sticky.

3. When the dough is done, add in the oil. Knead everything well together for about 2 minutes.

4. Now, let the dough rest covered till the other things get ready.

We will now cook the beans.

1. Drain out all the water from the soaked rajma beans. Transfer them to a wide vessel.

2. Add in enough fresh water to cover the rajma beans completely.

3. Now, place the vessel in the pressure cooker. Cook on high flame for about 5 whistles or till the beans are thoroughly cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.

Next, we will cook the rice.

1. Wash the rice thoroughly under running water. Drain out the water and transfer to a wide vessel.

2. Now, add in 3 cups of fresh water. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker.

3. Cook on high flame for 4 whistles or till the rice is thoroughly done. Let the pressure release naturally.

In the meantime, prepare the pickled onions.

1. Peel the onion and chop length-wise. Take the chopped onion in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add in salt to taste and lemon juice. Mix well.

3. Let the onions soak in the juice till you are ready to make the burritos.

Now, we will prepare the Salsa Roja.

1. Peel the onion and garlic cloves. Chop roughly.

2. Chop the tomatoes roughly too.

3. Grind the tomatoes, onion and garlic together to a smooth puree.

4. Transfer the puree to a heavy-bottomed pan, and place on high flame. When the mixture starts bubbling and boiling, reduce flame to medium.

5. Let the mixture cook on medium flame till the raw smell of the tomatoes goes away and it starts to thicken up. This should take 10-12 minutes.

6. Add in salt, red chilli powder and sugar. Mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes or till the mixture thickens some more. Switch off gas at this stage. Your Salsa Roja is ready – allow it to cool down fully.

Now, let’s prepare the cheese sauce.

1. Keep the grated cheese ready.

2. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan on high flame. When it gets hot, add in the wheat flour. Saute on medium flame for a minute or till the wheat flour becomes nice and aromatic.

3. Now add the milk to the pan. Cook on medium flame for 2 minutes, then add in the salt and pepper. Mix well.

4. Cook further on medium flame till the milk comes to a boil and thickens up a bit. Stir intermittently. Switch off gas at this stage.

5. Immediately add the grated cheese to the pan. Mix well. The cheese sauce is ready. Allow it to cool down fully.

Now, let’s prepare the refried beans.

1. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked beans out. Drain out the water from them – this can be used later to make a gravy-based curry, soup or rasam.

2. Peel the garlic cloves. Chop finely.

3. Now heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the garlic and let it stay in for a couple of seconds.

4. Reduce heat to medium. Add the drained rajma beans to the pan, along with salt to taste. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for a minute.

5. Add in red chilli powder and cumin powder. Cook on medium flame for a minute more, then switch off gas. The refried beans are ready. Keep aside.

Now, we will prep the rice and corn.

1. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked rice out. Allow it to cool down fully.

2. Take the sweet corn kernels in a saucepan, along with about 3/4 cup water. Place on high flame. Let cook on high flame for 4-5 minutes or till the corn is done. Switch off gas and drain out the water – the water can be used later in gravy or soup.

Let’s season the corn kernels now.

1. Take the drained corn kernels in a bowl.

2. Add in salt to taste and cumin powder. Mix well. Keep aside.

By this time, the rice would have cooled down. Let’s prepare the lemon-coriander rice.

1. Fluff up the cooled rice gently.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Then, reduce flame to medium and add in the cooked rice and salt. Mix well.

3. Saute for a minute, making sure the salt is well mixed with the rice. Switch off gas.

4. Now, mix in the lemon juice and finely chopped coriander. Mix well. The lemon-coriander rice is ready. Let it cool down a bit.

Now, we will prepare the veggies.

1. Remove the stems and cores from the capsicum. Chop into long slivers.

2. Peel the carrots. Chop into sticks.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the sliced carrot, and saute for a minute on medium flame.

4. Now add in the sliced cabbage and capsicum. Add salt to taste. Saute on medium flame for about 2 minutes or till the vegetables are cooked through, but still retain a bit of a crunch.

5. Add in the red chilli powder. Mix well. Saute on medium flame for a minute more, then switch off gas.

6. Mix in the finely chopped fresh coriander. Allow the veggies to cool down slightly.

Next, we will prepare the Pico De Gallo.

1. Peel the onion and garlic cloves. Chop finely. Place in a mixing bowl.

2. Chop the tomato and green chilly finely. Add them in.

3. Add in the finely chopped coriander, salt to taste and lemon juice.

4. Mix everything well together. The Pico de gallo is ready. Keep aside.

Now, we will prepare the tortillas.

1. Place a thick pan on high flame, and allow it to get nice and hot.

2. In the meantime, divide the dough we prepared earlier into 10 equal portions.

3. Place a ball of dough on a floured work surface and roll it out into a large circle. Keep it slightly thicker than a phulka roti.

4. Place the prepared tortilla on the hot pan, and reduce the flame to medium. Drizzle some oil all around the tortilla. Cook on medium flame till the tortilla gets cooked on the bottom, taking care to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Now, flip it over to the other side. Cook till done on the other side too, on medium flame. Transfer to a plate when ready.

5. Prepare all the tortillas in a similar manner.

Now, we will prep the accompaniments that go into the tortilla.

1. Chop the cucumbers into thin slices.

2. Keep the mustard sauce (if using) and pickled jalapenos ready.

Lastly, we will assemble the Vegetarian Bean & Rice Burrito.

1. Place one of the tortillas on a serving platter.

2. Place a generous amount of the refried beans and lemon-coriander rice in the centre of the tortilla.

3. Drizzle some Salsa Roja and cheese sauce all over this. Add in some mustard sauce (if using).

4. Now, add some of the Pico de Gallo, pickled onions, sweet corn kernels, veggies, sliced cucumber and pickled jalapenos on top.

5. Wrap up the tortilla into a roll. Your Vegetarian Bean & Rice Burrito is ready – serve immediately. Prepare all the burritos in a similar manner.

Tips & Tricks

1. The different components of this burrito can be made in advance, and assembled together at the time of serving.

2. You may use a 50:50 mix of whole wheat flour and maida to make the tortillas. I have used whole wheat flour here.

3. Make the tortillas large so it’s easy to stuff all of those things into them. 🙂 Also, don’t roll them too thin, which will make them crispy. You need to keep the tortillas a little soft so you can easily roll them.

4. You may reheat the tortillas before serving the burritos. Alternatively, you can prepare the burritos and then warm the whole thing up.

5. You can add as much or as little of the various components to your burritos. That’s completely up to your preferences.

6. I have used purple cabbage, carrots and green capsicum to make the burritos look colourful.

7. Make sure the rajma beans are well cooked before using them in the burrito. I have used the small Kashmiri rajma here.

8. Don’t be intimidated by the numerous ingredients listed out here, or by the seemingly long proceedure of making these burritos. The burrito might have many components, but they are fairly easy to make, and can be prepared ahead.

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


Punjabi Chana Masala Powder| Homemade Chole Masala Powder

Would you like to learn how to make Home-Made Chana Masala Powder? I think you should!

Gorgeous Punjabi Chana Masala Powder!

In the quest for good Punjabi Chana Masala Powder

My stash of Punjabi Chana Masala powder recently got exhausted. While I make my own Sambar Podi, Rasam Podi and Garam Masala at home, along with a few other South Indian spice blends, I had been okay with store-bought Chana Masala. This time around, though, I wanted to try making it at home – and that is how this story began.

A search on the Internet gave me several ways to make Home-Made Chana Masala Powder, but I instantly connected with the one by Chef Sanjyot Keer. It sounded a bit different from the rest, with a lot more spices going in. So, I tried it out, with a few variations… And, it turned out absolutely brilliant! Trust me, this home-made version smells so wonderful, is so fresh and delicious, store-bought versions aren’t a patch on this. I have used it a few times, and totally, totally adore it. The best part is that it takes bare minutes to make it!

How to make Punjabi Chana Masala Powder at home

With due credit to Chef Keer’s recipe, I share with you all the way I made this Punjabi Chana Masala Powder at home.

Ingredients (makes about 3/4 cup):
To dry roast:

  1. 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  2. 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  3. 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  4. 5 cloves
  5. 2 medium-sized bay leaves
  6. A 1-inch piece of cinnamon
  7. 1 star anise
  8. A small piece of mace
  9. A small piece of nutmeg
  10. 3 black cardamom
  11. 6 green cardamom
  12. 5 dry red chillies, Kashmiri or Bydagi, not very spicy
  13. 2 teaspoons carom seeds
  14. 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 tablespoon dry fenugreek leaves aka kasoori methi
  2. 3 tablespoons pomegranate (anardana) powder
  3. 1 tablespoon dry mango powder (amchoor)
  4. 1/2 tablespoon black salt
  5. 1 tablespoon red chilli powder


1. Get a heavy-bottomed pan nice and hot, then add in all the spices listed under ‘To Dry Roast’. Make sure the black cardamom, green cardamom and nutmeg are roughly crushed with a mortar and pestle. Now, reduce the flame to low-medium.

2. Dry roast the ingredients on low-medium heat for 1-2 minutes or till they turn fragrant. Take care to ensure that they do not burn.

3. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate. Allow them to cool down fully, then transfer to a mixer jar. Add in all the things listed under ‘Other Ingredients’. Grind everything together to a powder that is slightly coarse. Your Home-Made Chole Masala Powder is ready! Store in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle.

Is this spice mix vegan and gluten-free?

Yes, it is. The above recipe yields a completely vegetarian and vegan (plant-based) chana masala powder. It is completely gluten-free as well.

I have used store-bought kasoori methi, amchoor, black salt and anardana, all of which are vegan and gluten-free. You should check the labels of the brands you are using, to ensure that these ingredients are vegan and gluten-free.

Tips & Tricks

1. The original recipe suggests dry-roasting the ingredients in batches, but I did it all together as there was so little of everything anyway.

2. I have added a few spices which weren’t part of the original recipe.

3. Make sure you use a heavy-bottomed pan for the dry-roasting and that the ingredients do not burn while doing so.

4. Let the dry-roasted ingredients cool down completely before starting to grind.

5. Do not overly roast the ingredients – just 1-2 minutes of roasting is good enough to bring out the fragrance of the ingredients.

6. This spice mix contains salt and is tangy enough. Hence, be careful when you are adding salt and souring agents like lemon or amchoor while using this powder to prepare a dish.

7. This recipe yields a fragrant, moderately spicy Punjabi Chana Masala Powder. You may increase the number of dry red chillies you use if you would prefer a spicier version.

8. Use a clean, dry, air-tight bottle to store the Chana Masala Powder. Use as needed with a clean, dry spoon only. At room temperature, it stays well for months, but I would suggest using it sooner rather than later.

9. I have used the black cardamom and green cardamom with skins, here.

10. This Punjabi Chana Masala Powder already contains dry red chillies and red chilli powder. So there is no need to add red chilli powder when you use this powder in a dish.

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

Kesar Badam Shrikhand| Saffron & Almond Hung Curd Dessert

Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for Kesar Badam Shrikhand, a dessert made using the exotic spice, saffron.

What is Shrikhand?

Shrikhand is a traditional Gujarati dessert, the main ingredient of which is hung curd. Curd is tied in a cotton cloth and hung over the sink or placed over a colander, for all the water to drain out of it. What is left is a thick, creamy residue, which we know as ‘hung curd’. This is the way shrikhand is traditionally made, though some modern-day recipes suggest the use of Greek yogurt instead of the hung curd.

Powdered sugar is mixed into this hung curd, typically with one or more flavouring agents like cardamom, saffron, dried fruits, nuts and the like. Modern versions of the shrikhand include flavours like chocolate, pineapple, strawberry, mango and butterscotch. The Kesar Badam Shrikhand I am presenting today includes saffron and almonds.

Shrikhand is extremely easy to prepare, and requires the bare minimum of ingredients. It tastes utterly delicious, though! It is popular in Gujarati households as a dessert, had on its own, or as an accomplishment to piping-hot pooris.

A closer look at saffron

You probably already know that saffron is a very expensive spice. However, did you know that it is considered to be the costliest spice in the world?

Saffron – ‘kesar‘ in Hindi and ‘kumkuma poo’ in Tamil – comes from the Crocus Sativus flower, also referred to as the Saffron Crocus. What we know as saffron is actually the stigma of these flowers, which are collected and dried. Each crocus flower yields just three stigma, which go on to become three threads of saffron, and these only need to be picked by hand. This is delicate work, which cannot be done by a machine. It takes thousands of these crocus flowers to yield a miniscule amount of saffron – and that’s why it is super expensive!

Most of the world’s saffron is grown in Iran, followed by Kashmir in India. Morocco, Greece and Spain are other small producers of saffron, too. Saffron comes in the form of threads, and is usually sold in little boxes of 1, 5 or 10 grams.

A pinch of the spice added to hot water or milk releases a beautiful, natural pale yellow colour and its enchanting aroma. No wonder saffron is so extensively used as a colouring and flavouring agent in various dishes, both sweet and savoury.

#ExoticSaffron at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I’m part of this passionate bunch of food bloggers, called the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The members share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday.

The theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop this Monday is #ExoticSaffron, wherein we are showcasing different dishes made using saffron. I love using saffron in my kitchen, whenever I can get my hands on some authentic, good-quality stuff. I already have recipes for Rava Kesari, Kesar Badam Lassi and Gondhoraj Lebu Pulav on my blog, all made using saffron. Today, I decided to share one of our favourite family recipes with the spice – Kesar Badam Shrikhand.

The very talented and experienced blogger Mayuriji of Mayuri’s Jikoni was the one who suggested the theme for the week. I loved the way she has used saffron in this recipe for Paal Kozhukattai, a heritage Tamilnadu dish. I’m also charmed by her Lemongrass & Ginger Jelly, with saffron.

How to make Kesar Badam Shrikhand

Here is how I go about it.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 500 ml curd
  2. 1/4 cup powdered sugar or as needed
  3. 2 tablespoons hot milk
  4. A generous pinch of saffron
  5. 10-12 almonds
  6. Dry rose petals for garnishing, as needed (optional)


1. Take the curd in a large cotton cloth, fold and hang it up atop the kitchen sink for 3-4 hours to drip. Alternatively, the curd can be kept in a cotton cloth over a colander, with a bowl kept underneath to catch all the water dripping out. In 3-4 hours, all the water would have drained out of the curd and you would be left with a thick residue.

2. Transfer this residue to a large mixing bowl and add in the powdered sugar.
3. Take the hot milk in a small cup, and add in the saffron. Mix well, and keep aside for at least 15-20 minutes for the saffron to release its colour and fragrance into the milk.

4. While the saffron is soaking, chop up the almonds finely. Add this to the mixing bowl, reserving some for the garnishing.

5. When the saffron is done soaking, add the coloured milk to the mixing bowl, threads and all.

6. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl well. Place it, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours to chill. Your Kesar Badam Shrikhand is ready to serve.

7. Now, transfer the shrikhand to serving bowls. Serve it garnished with dried rose petals (if using) and the chopped almonds we had reserved earlier. You can serve this Kesar Badam Shrikhand on its own or as a side for hot pooris.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use curd made from full-fat milk, for best results. Either store-bought or home-made curd can be used. It should be reasonably thick and not too watery.

2. The shrikhand tastes best when the curd is fresh and not overly sour.

3. Make sure the saffron you are using is original and not adulterated. There are several fake versions being sold in the name of saffron.

4. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use, depending on personal taste preferences. The above quantity was just perfect for us.

5. I have used regular refined sugar here. I’m guessing you could use a healthier alternative like jaggery too, but I have never tried that out. For me, shrikhand is always made with sugar.

6. Make sure the milk is quite hot when you add the saffron strands to it. Leave it undisturbed for at least 15-20 minutes, for the saffron to release its colour and flavour into the milk. This is important.

7. A cotton cloth works best for the making of the hung curd. Make sure all the water has drained out of the curd, and that you are left with a thick, creamy residue.

8. I have added finely chopped almonds (badam) to the shrikhand, for texture. You can also toast the almonds before chopping them up and adding them to the shrikhand.

9. I have used some dried rose petals and finely chopped almonds to garnish the Kesar Badam Shrikhand. You can skip the garnishing if you so prefer, though I must say it makes the dessert look wayyyy better!

10. Don’t overdo the saffron. It is meant to be used in small quantities only. Add a good pinch of saffron for the above recipe, and that’s just right.

11. This recipe is NOT vegan or plant-based, because of the use of curd made from dairy-based milk. It is completely gluten-free, though.

12. I prefer making shrikhand in small batches and consuming it within a few hours of the making. It can turn slightly more sour than is comfortable, if left uneaten for more than a few hours. It tastes best when slightly chilled.

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

Nasi Kuning With Urap Urap Sayur| Indonesian Yellow Rice & Spiced Vegetables

I’m super excited to present this recipe for Nasi Kuning and Urap Urap Sayur to you all!

Nasi Kuning refers to a simple yellow rice that hails from Indonesia, prepared on special occasions like weddings, festivals and parties. The yellow colour comes from turmeric that is added to the rice, fragrant with the use of aromatics like bay leaves, pandan, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. Considering Nasi Kuning is quite mild-tasting, it is served with very flavourful sides such as Urap Urap Sayur. This is a delicious spicy salad with stir-fried vegetables and a shredded coconut dressing, with notes of tangy and sweet – all in all, a flavour bomb.

How this Indonesian meal came about

The husband and I are big fans of Pan-Asian food, and enjoy home-cooked Thai food often. Thailand occupies a special place in our hearts, and I learnt to cook Thai for this very reason. When I recently got my hands on some fresh pandan leaves, I was reading up online for ways to use them, and came across a recipe for Nasi Kuning. Soon, I was reading about Urap Urap Sayur, one of the popular accompaniments to the rice dish in Indonesia. I was fascinated, and realisation dawned that, maybe, it was time to delve deeper into an Asian cuisine other than Thai. I went on to cook the rice-vegetable duo recently, and it was such a huge hit at home that I have made it thrice already. 🙂 I’m so glad this meal happened, and there is definitely more in store!

Indonesia, especially Bali, has long been on our list of places to visit. We are fascinated by the country, with its lush rice terraces, ancient temples and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. The fact that the country has several delectable vegetarian and vegan foods to offer added to its allure. The pandemic has ensured that we cannot travel to Indonesia any time soon, but we can definitely make an attempt to get closer to the country via its food!

How to make Nasi Kuning

I adapted this recipe to make it a pressure-cooker version. This way, it’s a breeze to cook the rice, and it’s super delicious too.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1-1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  3. 2-1/2 cups water
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 1 bay leaf
  7. A 2-inch piece of lemongrass root
  8. 1 Kaffir lime leaf
  9. 2 strands of pandan leaves
  10. 1/2 teaspoon sugar


1. Wash the rice thoroughly under running water. Drain the water.

2. Now, transfer the drained rice to a wide vessel. Add in the coconut milk and water.

3. Add in the salt, turmeric powder and sugar. Mix well.

4. Tear the pandan leaves and kaffir lime leaves. Cut up the lemongrass root roughly. Add these to the rice, along with the bay leaf.

5. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

6. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, wait for 10-15 minutes to open it and get the cooked rice out.

7. Allow the rice to cool off slightly, for another 10 minutes or so, then gently fluff it up. Your Nasi Kuning is ready.

How to make Urap Urap Sayur

I used this recipe as the base, and adapted it to suit my family’s tastes. I have used vegetables commonly available in India, so mine might not be an authentic version, but it surely tastes delectable! It’s super easy to put together too.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 2 small-sized carrots
  2. 10-12 beans
  3. 1/2 of a big red capsicum
  4. 1/2 of a big yellow capsicum
  5. About 1/2 cup cabbage
  6. 4 cloves of garlic
  7. 4 Kaffir lime leaves
  8. 2 green chillies
  9. A 1/2-inch piece of ginger
  10. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  11. Salt to taste
  12. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  13. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  14. Juice of 1/2 (Indian) lemon or to taste
  15. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander


1. We will start by prepping the vegetables required for the salad. Peel the carrots and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Remove strings from the beans and chop them into small pieces. Remove the core and seeds from the capsicum, and chop them into small pieces as well. Chop the cabbage into long strips.

2. Keep the grated coconut ready.

3. Now, we will prepare the spice paste required for the salad. Chop up the green chillies roughly. Peel the ginger and chop roughly too. Peel the garlic cloves. Grind together the green chillies, ginger, garlic cloves and kaffir lime leaves to a coarse paste, without adding any water.

4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the chopped carrots and beans, along with some salt. Saute for 1-2 minutes on medium flame or till they start losing their rawness.

5. Now, add the cabbage to the pan, along with the capsicum pieces, along with salt to taste. Saute on medium flame for 1-2 more minutes or till the vegetables are slightly more cooked. You can sprinkle some water if the veggies feel too dry.

6. Add in the spice paste we prepared earlier, along with jaggery. Mix well. Saute on medium flame for a minute.

7. Now, add the coconut to the pan. Saute on medium flame for a minute more. By this time, the vegetables should be cooked, but not overly so, and should retain a bit of a crunch. Switch off gas.

8. Mix in the finely chopped fresh coriander.

9. Mix in the lemon juice. Your Urap Urap Sayur is ready.

Serving the Nasi Kuning

In Indonesia, Nasi Kuning is traditionally served in a tall conical shape. This is believed to be very auspicious, and finds pride of place on the table on special occasions.

The yellow rice is typically served with a number of side dishes such as omelette, Sambal Goreng (fried chilli paste), Ayam Goreng (Indonesian fried chicken), Urap Urap Sayur and slices of tomato and cucumber.

I put the Nasi Kuning into two large bowls, packed it tightly, and then inverted it onto two serving plates. I then arranged the Urap Urap Sayur all around the rice, on both plates, and kept some thinly sliced ‘seedless’ European cucumbers alongside too. We had bites of the rice mixed with the spicy salad, with the cucumber slices serving as a ‘palate cleanser’.

Tips & Tricks

1. Typically, jasmine rice is used in Nasi Kuning. However, I have used Sona Masoori rice here, as I didn’t have any.

2. I have used ready-made thick coconut milk from Thai Heritage. You can also make your own at home, instead.

3. Adjust the quantity of water you use depending upon how grainy you would like the rice to be. The same goes for the number of whistles you allow while pressure-cooking the rice. The above recipe works perfectly for us – it yields a well-cooked, not grainy but soft rice. I have used an 7.5-litre pressure cooker here.

4. I have used lemongrass root here. However, you can use leaves from the plant too.

5. Indonesian bay leaves are traditionally used in the rice. These, I believe, are slightly different from the Indian bay leaves. However, I have used Indian bay leaves here.

6. I got the fresh pandan leaves from Trikaya Organics. In case the fresh leaves are not available, dried ones or pandan essence can be used instead.

7. You can prepare the Urap Urap Sayur in the time when the Nasi Kuning is pressure-cooking. This way, both the rice and the salad are ready to be served together.

8. Several local vegetables and greens are typically used in the Urap Urap Sayur. I prefer using carrot, beans, capsicum and cabbage in the salad – I feel they go really well. You can use coloured cabbage too, to make the salad look prettier.

9. Dessicated coconut is also often used in Urap Urap Sayur, whenever freshly grated coconut is not available. However, I prefer using fresh grated coconut, as I think it elevates the taste of the salad by several notches.

10. Adjust the number of green chillies you use in the Urap Urap Sayur, as per personal taste preferences.

11. Some recipes call for the use of a shallot or two in the Urap Urap Sayur. This is ground together with the garlic, chillies and kaffir lime leaves. I prefer to skip the shallots.

12. Galangal can be used in place of the ginger I have used in the Urap Urap Sayur. However, I prefer the taste of Indian ginger in this dish, instead.

13. Do not overcook the vegetables in the Urap Urap Sayur. They should be cooked through, but not too mushy. They should retain a little crunch.

14. The above recipes for Nasi Kuning and Urap Urap Sayur are completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. They are completely gluten-free as well.

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

Schezwan Dosa| Spring Dosa

Schezwan Dosa is a fusion of South Indian and Chinese cuisine, and I think it is a highly delicious one at that. A purist might balk at this popular street food, but I happen to love these dosas slathered with a fiery red chilli sauce, filled with gently stir-fried vegetables. It’s a nice change from the routine once in a while, come on!

Schezwan Dosa, aka Spring Dosa

What goes into my Schezwan Dosa

I use regular home-made dosa batter to make these, keeping it slightly thick so it holds the filling well.

There’s Schezwan sauce that goes in too, of course – a type of hot sauce made with red chillies that is widely used in Chinese cuisine. I try to make my own Schezwan sauce when I can, keeping it moderately spicy (will share the recipe shortly). When I can’t, I use Ching’s Schezwan Chutney, which tastes nice and is not smoke-from-the-ears-inducing spicy.

The Schezwan Dosa is also often called Spring Dosa because of the variety of vegetables that goes into it. I load the dosa with veggies, preferably in different colours, to make it look appealing to the resident food connoisseur aka my little daughter, the bub. For the bub, I make the dosa without the Schezwan sauce, with a generous dose of veggies inside, and it still tastes great. It’s a great way to get some veggies in, albeit slightly unhealthy!

How to make Schezwan Dosa

Here is how I go about it.

Ingredients (makes 10-12 dosas):

For the filling:

  1. 1/2 cup purple cabbage, chopped long and fine
  2. 1 medium-sized carrot, chopped into thin sticks
  3. 1/2 of a medium-sized yellow capsicum, chopped into long strips
  4. 1/2 of a medium-sized red capsicum, chopped into long strips
  5. 1/4 cup sweet corn kernels
  6. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 3/4 teaspoon black pepper powder or to taste
  9. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  10. 1 teaspoon soya sauce
  11. 1 teaspoon vinegar
  12. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

Other ingredients:

  1. 10-12 ladles of thick dosa batter, salted and fermented
  2. Oil, as needed, to cook the dosas
  3. Schezwan sauce, as needed, to spread inside the dosas


1. We will start by preparing the vegetable filling for the dosas. Chop the capsicum, carrot and cabbage as stated above. Keep them ready, along with the sweet corn kernels.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the chopped capsicum, carrot and cabbage, along with the corn kernels.

3. Reduce the flame to medium. Stir fry on medium heat for a minute. Now, mix in the salt to taste.

4. Cook on medium flame for 2-3 more minutes or till the vegetables are done but still retain their crunch. They should not be overly cooked. Mix in the jaggery powder and black pepper powder.

5. Mix in the soya sauce.

6. Now, mix in the vinegar. Cook on medium flame for about a minute more or till the vegetables get dry. Switch off gas at this stage.

7. Lastly, mix in the finely chopped coriander. The vegetable filling is now ready. Allow it to cool down fully before using it in the Schezwan Dosas.

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre left and right: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 5, 6 and 7

8. When you are ready to make the dosas, get a thick dosa pan nice and hot. Pour a ladleful of the batter in the centre of the pan. Spread it out to a large circle using the back of the ladle, and drizzle some oil all around it.

9. Turn the flame down to medium. Cook on medium flame for 1-2 minutes or till the dosa gets cooked on the bottom and the spots of wet batter on the top disappear. Now, spread some of the Schezwan sauce all over the top of the dosa.

10. Keep a generous amount of the vegetable filling we prepared earlier, in the centre of the dosa.

11. Fold both sides of the dosa to make a sort of roll, as shown in the pictures.

12. Transfer the dosa to a serving plate. Cut into 2-4 pieces, as desired. Serve hot. Prepare Schezwan Dosa using all the batter, in a similar fashion.

Top left and right: Steps 8 and 9, Above leftmost bottom: Step 10, Leftmost bottom: Step 11, Bottom right: Step 12

Tips & Tricks

1. Chop all the veggies equally thick, so they cook evenly.

2. Lemon juice can be used in place of the vinegar, in the vegetable filling. I have used white vinegar here.

3. Adjust the quantity of pepper powder and jaggery powder as per personal taste preferences. You can even skip the jaggery powder if you so prefer, but I would highly recommend using it.

4. Onions can be added in to the filling too. Here, I haven’t.

5. If you don’t have coloured cabbage and capsicum, you can use regular ones instead too.

6. The vegetable filling can be made in advance, while the dosas can be made just before serving.

7. Be careful while adding salt to the vegetable filling. Remember that the soya sauce we are using in the filling contains salt too.

8. Don’t overcook the filling. The veggies should retain their crunch.

9. The filling should be dry and not too wet, or it will make the dosa soggy.

10. You can use either store-bought or home-made Schezwan sauce in the dosa. Like I was saying earlier, I often make my own at home. If not, I use Ching’s Schezwan Chutney.

11. Keep the dosa batter slightly thick, for best results.

12. Make sure the dosa does not burn on the bottom, while you spread the sauce and filling over it.

13. The dosa batter we use at home is completely vegan and gluten-free. However, I can’t say the same about the vegetable filling because store-bought soya sauce goes into it – please read the ingredient list on your soya sauce to ensure it is entirely vegan and gluten-free. The same goes for Schezwan sauce, in case you are using a store-bought version.

14. Grated cheese can be used in the Schezwan Dosa too, along with the filling. I usually skip it.

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