It’s 9 AM and the third day of the summer break. I am absolutely impressed with all three of my kids ability to hibernate , yes hibernate in summer. To give them credit, its only the third official day of summer break and I wait for them to get super bored. Bored to the point that cataloguing the library books in the attic ( yes, I have a secret compulsion to catalog the huge collection we seem to be growing in the bookshelf) would actually seem fun ( at this point you can of course picture me rubbing my hands in glee – much like the super villain in disney movies). This of course is apart from the near daily dips in the pool and xbox and pursuing their artistic ability ( read violin, piano) and productive use of their time ( read cycling, FLL leagues, engineering buildups and simple joy of reading a book ). Whew ! Summer time was so much simpler when I was growing up, you actually got to do nothing so many times. And then of course, we could play kho-kho outside and indulge in nimbu -paani and spiced buttermilk and of course all those yummy fruits which were summer seasonal. Add to this, I could manage to scrape my foot, knee and a lot more in the evening games. Climbing trees never looked more fun. I can only reminisce about those days again. Wish my mind and body exuded that flexibility again. Imaginations.. Ah, you weren’t taught to imagine, you just did. I know simple as it was, I just remember going on , on my world tours through the wonderful world of reading. And then of course I grew up !!!!
Life’s experiences aside, I suppose making silk out of sow’s ears was something I admired my maternal grandmother for. Oh , here was this lady phenomenal in just about everything, she could sew,cook and I mean by cooking create wonderful things from stuff in her pantry. Oh and painting, she was absolutely wonderful. Always had a smile and a story and more importantly could make do with what was readily available. A very well learned person, erudite and very inspiring. This creation is greatly inspired by her versatility and cooking prowess.
Rummaging the fridge and pantry for the ingredients yielded:
- Ivy Gourd – About 2 handfuls
- Long purple Brinjal – 2
- Green Moong dal sprouts – one small cup
- red potato – medium sized – 1
- red onion – 1 – large
- Curry leaves – a bunch
- Fresh green coriander – a handful
- Basmati rice – 1.25 cups
- Split Urad dal – 2 tsp for seasoning
- Black mustard seeds – 1 tsp for seasoning
- Asafoetida – A pinch
- curry powder – 1 tsp
- Sambar powder 2 tsp
Necessary ( evil) Lubricants :
- 4 tsp of fat of your choice- oil or butter or clarified butter if you have a devil may care attitude
Prep Work: (Btw this is a parallel process operation)
- Wash and cook the basmati rice in the required quantity of water. The grains need be cooked as in tender and separate.
- Chop all the veggies – Now you can choose any shape you like, I simply diced them all.( onion chopper to the rescue)
- I also nuked the ivy gourd , chopped potatoes and sprouts for about a couple of min in the microwave to facilitate the cooking process.
- Heat the oil in the wok and in the seasonings – Asafoetida,Mustard seeds,Urad dal and curry leaves. Add a pinch of mustard powder of desired.
- Add the cut onions and saute till tender, and then add in the cut eggplant . Add in the nuked veggies then.Once tender add in the salt and curry powder and sambar powder
- In a couple of minutes you will have a wonderful aroma wafting from the wok.
- Plate out the rice and use a fork to spread it out.Let it cool for about 5 -7 min.
- Then gently toss it in with curried vegetables in the wok. ( the idea is to gently fold it in, other wise you can get huge gooey ball of masala rice 🙂 )..
- Garnish with the cut coriander leaves.
Oh yeah ! Lunch is served !!!
End result : Delectable !!!!Just lip smacking . Serve it up with a bowl of plain yogurt, and a slices of cucumber to round off the balance.
- You can definitely add in any mixture of vegetables.Do balance it out with the spices though.
- Want to try this version mimicking the north side of the Vindhyas – Use Pulav masala and cinnamon and cloves for seasoning and your palate will be surprised at the new flavors.
- Want to add in more protein – try adding in a mixed bunch of sprouts – truly yummy combination along with roasted peanuts or cashwenuts.
- Want to have real low spice levels, just use salt and pepper and green chillies for seasoning.
Cleaning out the fridge was never more satisfying ….
Signing off !!