- Saffron Rice (Kesari Chawal)
Preparation Time: 5 - 10minutes
Cooking time: 10 - 12 minutes
Each serving contains: Kcals: 227, g fat: 3.5 g saturated fat: 0.3
225g Basmati Rice, washed and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
1 tablespoon sunflower or soya oil
4 green cardamom pods, bruised (Chhoti Elaichi - sabut)
1 teaspoon royal cumin or caraway seeds (Shahi Jeera)
½ teaspoon salt (namak)
475ml warm water (paani)
Pinch of saffron threads, pounded (Kesar)
4-5 drops of rose essence (gulab essence)
A few fresh rose petals, washed and dried, to garnish
- Drain the rice, and leave it to drain in a colander.
- In a non-stick saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the cardamom and royal cumin or caraway seeds and let the spices sizzle for 20-25 seconds.
- Add the rice and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the salt and pour in the warm water. Bring it to the boil and stir in the saffron and rose essence. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 8-10 minutes without lifting the lid. Remove it from the heat and leave to stand, undisturbed, for 6-8 minutes.
- With a metal spoon, transfer the rice to a serving dish, surround it with the rose petals and serve.
2. Stuffed Peppers (Bhanrwa Mirch)
Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Each serving contains: Kcals: 196, g fat: 7, g saturated fat: 0.8
2 green or red peppers
1 ½ tablespoons sunflower or soya oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds (Kaale Sarson ke Daane)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds (Jeera)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 green or red chilli, seeded and chopped
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric & ½ teaspoon chilli powder (Optional)
1 teaspoon Ground Roasted Coriander (Sabut Dhaniya)
400g can chick peas, drained and rinsed (Chana)
¼-1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh
coriander leaves (Dhaniya Patte)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon wholemeal flour (Gainhu ka Atta)
To serve with cucumber slices and lettuce leaves (Kheera and Salad Patta)
- Carefully halve the peppers lengthways keeping the pieces of stalk intact in both halves. Remove the seeds and the pith and brush the skin lightly with oil. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 190 °C / 375° F/ Gas 5. Line a roasting tin with foil.
- Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick saucepan over low heat and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the cumin seeds, then the onion and chilli. Increase the heat and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the turmeric, chilli powder (if using) and ground coriander. Cook for 30 seconds, and then add the chick peas. Cook for 1 minute and add the salt, coriander leaves and lime juice. Stir to mix well.
- Pour in 75ml of water and add the flour. Stir until the water has been absorbed. Remove the heat and divide the mixture among the pepper halves. Place on the prepared roasting tin.
- Cook for 15 minutes and serve with cucumber and lettuce.
Award-winning cookery writer, Mridula Baljekar is the best-selling author of 27 Indian cookery books and the proud winner of two international cookbook awards. Her book, The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook, was awarded the Best in the World by the prestigious Gourmand International Cookbook Awards in 2013. Mridula was also the winner of the “The Best Asian Cookbook in the World” for her book Great Indian Feasts in 2005, by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Mridula presented 52 shows for Carlton Food Network, her own series ‘Mridula’s Indian Kitchen‘ and 13 episodes of the highly acclaimed ‘Spice Trail‘.She owned a contemporary Indian restaurant in Windsor, Berkshire, England, winning several prestigious awards, including the winner at the Best in Britain Awards from 2002-2006.