Thursday, October 25, 2012

Spiced Tomato Coconut Rice

Are we talking about quick cooking!? Yes, We are!

Being a south Indian all my friends ask me to cook lemon rice, curd rice, tamarind rice, coconut rice & tomato rice for them quite often. 

This time I had some time to click the pic so here comes my recipe for some 
Spiced Tomato Coconut Rice.

This serves as one of the tangy tasty filling dishes for dinner.

There are variations to this which I will keep posting. 

However, for this one all you need is:

  • 1 cup dessicated Coconut
  • 4 ripe medium tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups rice
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 tsps  Roasted Peanuts
  • 1 tsp Urad dal/White lentil
  • 3 Green chillies
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder 
  • 4 ground pepper
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil/Ghee - for cooking

Boil the rice & keep aside.
Now heat a pan & add some ghee. Throw in the mustard seeds & when they start to splutter add the urad dal. As soon as it gets golden add the green chilies & the tomatoes to it. Ensure that the tomatoes are cut very thin. It will quicken the cooking process & make it pasty very easily. Cover to cook.
The oil can be seen in the sides so it is now ready for the coconut in it. Saute & add turmeric powder, ground pepper & salt to this. Within a minute add the peanuts & the boiled rice to this & your Tomato Coconut rice is all set to be served with Garlic Rasam & Papad.

Turmeric Powder/Coconut & Peanuts are optional
You may add a dash of Ginger garlic paste if you wish
You may add curry leaves too - I didn't have fresh ones
You can carry this in your lunch box too
You cant keep this for long as coconut gets spoilt easily - not good for long journeys

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lauki Thepla (Spiced Indian Flat-bread)

Gujarati recipes are always liked by my folks at home. This time around I tried the Lauki theplas.
These theplas are not just tasty but also works very well to fill in your tummy. 

During my school days I have always gorged on the tiffin boxes my Gujarati friends would get & finish it off much before the snack breaks. I classify this as a perfect snack! Works fine for breakfast as well.

I dedicate this post to all my Gujju friends! :)

This is a HIT if you travel long distance by train as this spiced Indian flat-bread remains perfect for long hours. It does not require refrigeration however, if you want to store them at home you are free to refrigerate & re-heat as & when required.

You will need:
  • Lauki (Bottle Gourd) - 1 cup grated
  • Wheat flour - 3 cups
  • Green chillies - 3 finely shredded
  • Ajwain (Carom seeds) - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - about a pinch for coloring
  • Oil - 1.5 tbsp (for kneading)
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Water- as required (for kneading)
  • Oil/Butter/Ghee - for cooking

Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl & knead them together for about 7 minutes. This will be a hard dough. Should not be very soft. When done, cover with a wet cloth for about 20 mts & then roll out the dough log long & divide into equal portions. 
Now, take a portion & place it on the board & use the rolling pin to roll it round just like any other flat bread. while rolling you may want to sprinkle some flour if it sticks to the board.
Heat a heavy skillet or a tava & place the thepla on this. Cook on medium flame or low flame when required as the lauki needs to be cooked well. Use grease on both sides while cooking & press this thepla so it cooks well. When brown spots appear turn & cook the other side.
Theplas are ready!

  • You may substitute lauki (bottle gourd) with mooli (radish) or methi (fenugreek leaves)
  • I grated the bottle gourd & sprinled salt over it so it releases all the water content. I drained the water before mixing into the flour. Many people do not drain the water off but it might get very sticky so I avoid doing this
  • You may skip greasing the theplas if you want oil free ones
  • Pickles & green chutney are the perfect accompaniment

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oats Upma - Lunch Box Idea

When it comes to cooking for breakfast or lunch I keep it simple.

With a job which involves a lot of travel across the country I have to treat myself to the food at various restaurants & snack bars & the same goes for my husband so, whenever in town I prefer to cook at home  for my husband & myself.

There is a cafeteria & quite a few eateries within my work campus however, I think no food can match a simple home cooked food. But WHAT!? isn't it?

I spend a lot of time thinking about the food I need to carry. Most times my breakfast as well as lunch are on-the-go. So, I cook easy & keep it easy to carry as well. 

My favorite breakfast items are -  Idlis, Rava Idlis, Vegetable Idlis, Poha, Oats rolls, Stuffed chilla rolls, Veggie stuffed parantha rolls, paneer wraps, Spring rolls etc to name a few.

I carry uncut fruits also as often as possible. Only the melons are cut & the pomegranate de-seeded. I always avoid storing cut Apples, Pears, Bananas, Kiwi fruits, Plum & Oranges. I like to eat them fresh.

Most times I repeat the breakfast item for my lunch as I do not really get much time to cook in the mornings.

So, let us see what I cooked today - OATS UPMA 
This is a great source of fibre & its called the Magic Breakfast in many countries. The wholesome goodness is just so perfect to keep you going through your busy day!

Get some:
  • Oats - I used 2 cups of Quaker Oats 
  • Onions - 2 medium & chopped
  • Tomatoes - 2 medium & chopped
  • Green peas - I used the frozen ones, about half a cup
  • Capsicum - 1 medium & chopped
  • Green Chilies - 3
  • Ginger - half inch, finely chopped 
  • Mustard seed - 1 tsp
  • Urad Dal/white lentils - 1tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - just as required
  • Garam Masala - if required
  • Salt -  as per taste
  • Red chili powder -  as per tolerance
  • Oil - as required


Take a pan & roast the oats for about 2 minutes on medium flame. Empty into a plate.
Use the same pan, add oil & when it heats up add the mustard seeds. Let it splutter & then put in the lentils. Saute & as soon as it gets golden brown add the onions, green chilies & ginger to this.
Just when the onions get translucent add the tomatoes, capsicum, green peas, turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder & some garam masala. Cover the pan with a lid. Toss when required & if the vegetables are cooked enough add 3 cups of water to boil. Covering with a lid will help the water boil quickly. When the water starts boiling add the oats to this & mix in well. Cover with a lid again for about a minute.
Serve hot!

  • You may add any vegetable you wish
  • Adding turmeric is also optional
  • You can squeeze in some lemon juice over this to enjoy tangy oats upma
  • I cooked it in Ghee instead of any oil as I used a non stick wok which does not require much grease for cooking

Travel Ideas

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