Namaste and a warm welcome to all.

As you can see my blog is about food and recipes. I love eating and trying out new recipes all the time.

Very often we mum's think of healthy and interesting food options that we can make for our kids especially when they are back from school knowing that their lunch boxes never come back home empty. Hence I always feel its important to give them a healthy and wholesome snack once they are home. When my kid comes home from school I always try and give him some source of carbohydrate combined with proteins along with this, a fruit and milk, or puddings made from milk. Kids normally can't eat too much at one time, so the portions can be small but giving them a little from each of these food group ensures a balanced meal.

I have some interesting ideas that I'd like to share with you all. You might find some of my recipes very basic but I am hoping that my blog is helpful not only for Indians but for people all around the world! Indian food is quite popular and enjoyed by most, so hopefully you can attempt recipes from here and make it yourself now, in your kitchen. Please do go through my recipes and give it a shot at trying them. Let me know how things turned out and if you enjoyed your experience of cooking.... Feel free to get in touch, share your experience, leave a comment or ask any questions you may have. Thank you for stopping by and taking a look! I do hope its helpful.

Happy cooking!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Spinach & Carrot Rice.

I like this rice preparation. It has a nice flavor and not to forget thats its healthy for our kids. If you make it spicy and tangy then adults will love it too.

1 1/2 cup of washed and finely chopped spinach.
1-2 tbspn of tomato puree
1-2 cloves chopped garlic

1/2 cup of Rice (Wash and soak for about 20-30 minutes)

1 tbspn of oil
1 clove
1/2 tspn cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 tspn hing (aesfotida)
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
1/2-1 tspn garam masala (1 tspn if you like it spicy)
1-2 green chillies (finely chopped or slit lengthwise-they way you like it)
Pinch cinnamon
Salt as per your taste.
Pinch freshly ground black pepper powder.

1-2 tbspn of finely chopped capsicum
1-2 tbspn of green peas
1-2 tbspn of finely chopped carrots. I have used carrots in my spinach rice preparation.
You can even put peas and carrots together.

Heat oil.

Add garlic once the oil becomes hot and let it sizzle on low flame.

Add spinach and stir for a minute.

Add tomato puree (you can add 1-2 finely chopped tomatoes and cook them well till they are mushy if you do not have the puree).

Add salt and stir.

Add 2-3 tbspn of water.

Cook on medium low flame for about 3-4 minutes (or till the chopped tomatoes are soft enough, if you are not using the puree). Switch off the gas and keep aside and let the spinach preparation cool.

Wash the soaked rice well.

Once the spinach preparation has cooled, grind it into a paste.

Rinse the container (in which you cooked the spinach) with some water (just enough water for the grinding to start and not too much). Pour it into the grinder so the grinding process can start.

You can grind to make a smooth puree or a little coarse texture whichever you prefer. While this puree is ready, heat 1 tspn of oil and add a clove once the oil is hot.

Add cumin (jeera) seeds.

Add hing.

Add spinach puree. (using the same cup you used to measure the amount of rice which was 1/2 cup)

Add 1/2 cup of spinach puree again, so the total amount of liquid that goes in is, 1 cup because rice taken is 1/2 cup. The amount of water or liquid content in white rice preparation is double the quantity of the rice taken. We used 1/2 cup rice hence the total amount of liquid should be 1 cup. If the spinach is thick, then dilute it with water needed to bring its volume to a total of 1 cup. I hope this makes sense.

Add turmeric powder.

Add green chillies (not for kids).

Add garam masala powder.

Add salt. You need to add more salt here since you will be adding the rice later so there needs to be some additional salt added for the rice.

Add the finely chopped carrots or any vegetable that you have chosen from the list above.

Stir well on low flame. As you can see I have ground the spinach to get a coarse texture and not a complete puree. But you can puree it for a smoother texture, depending on how you like it.

Keep on a low flame and add rice along with 4-5 tbspn of water. Water should be double the quantity of rice, but here the water content would be little less since there is spinach along with water(which occupies some volume too) so water would be little less than 1 cup. Hence add a few extra tbspns of water.

Stir well.

A dash of cinnamon.

Some freshly ground black pepper.

Stir on a medium flame and bring it to a boil.

Once it boils lower the flame and cover with a lid. I have also kept some heavy container on top of the lid so the steam does not escape and the rice cooks faster.

After about 5-7 minutes open and check.

Stir and see the texture. Here you need to use your judgement.

Add 4-5 tbspns of water around the rice from the edges in a circular fashion if its sticking on sides or if the rice texture has become dry. If it has enough water then do not add additional water. Here you need to check and see and decide if you need more water or not. Also check how much the rice has cooked.

Stir once.

Cover again and let it cook on low flame.

After about another 6-8 minutes switch off the gas but do not open the lid. Open the lid after about 10-15 minutes of switching off the gas. The rice will cook well in the steam and will soften. Also if some rice is stuck to the bottom of the container it will all come out inside the steam.

After you open stir once.

Keep it open for 5-10 minutes to let all the steam evaporate so while stirring the rice should not become mushy but every grain should be separate. You can squeeze some lemon and mix well. Add some red chilly powder for a spicier version and finally garnish with freshly chopped coriander. For kids mix some ghee into it before serving. It tastes absolutely delicious. Have it just like that or with a lentil or Raita.

“Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.” ~Josh Billings

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