Friday, September 28, 2012

Lemon Rice

Last week we went to watch a movie called Barfi.What I knew from the reviews about this love triangle between Ileana D’cruz, a deaf and dumb, happy go lucky Murphy played by  Ranbir Kapoor and mentally challenged Jhilmil potrayed by Prinyanka Chopra,I was certain I am going to cry  out poodles in the theatre. But the movie turned out to be surprisingly lighthearted and funny.I still cried but not so much to make the poodles.

We came back home late and invariably overslept  next day morning.There was no time to make breakfast and a full course afternoon meal  together.  It was already so late. I decided to make a heavy breakfast of chapathi and egg curry and  a  quick fix lunch of lemon rice.This suggestion brought a big smile to my husband’s face.Satish(my husband) is not a foodie.This reaction from him surprised me.What he then said…”Good -nice lunch to make.I love it”-was least expected from him.I immediately opened my small cook book to delve for the recipe…and ah there it was-The quick fix…..  All its ingredients are always available in any Indian home.  I gathered all the ingredients,placed them in a line beside the stove ,then started to cook.

While I cooked I was mesmerized by the aroma of curry leaves fried in oil with the lentils ….hmmm… infused with a  tangy burst of fresh yellow lemons…..OOOOH...I was already ready for my quick fix feast….

 I served  steamy lemon rice  with some boondi raita and potato wafers-a perfect combo for a perfect quick fix lunch on Sunday afternoons.

Mustard Seeds-1tsp
Urad Dal-1 Tsp
Chana Dal-I tbsp.
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Red Chilli-2
Green chilli-3to 4
Curry Leaves-10-15
Roasted peanuts-1/4 cup
Lemon Juice-3tbsp or more
Cooked rice-2 cups(boil 1 cup rice with 13/4 th cup of water)
Asafoetida-1/4 tsp
Salt to taste


Heat oil in apan..When oil is hot add mustard seeds.After they splutter add red chilli, urad dal,chana dal,curryleaves and asafoetida.Reduce flame. Add green chilli .Then add peanuts.Fry till urad dal and chana dal turns brown in low flame.Add turmeric and salt .Add rice and sprinkle lemon juice over it..Mix well.Serve hot with  potatoes crisps or wafers or a bowl of bundi raita.
You can also mix 1 tbsp grated coconut in the above.
Some recipes use Sesame oil instead of sunflower or vegitable oil.Spread this rice on a plate to cool. Add turmeric along with 1 tsp of sesame oil (or more if you like) and mix it along with the rice.
You can also garnish with cashewnuts and coriander leaves.
You can also add lemon juice to the tempering  and refrigerate it.Take out 3 tbsp of this,heat it  and add to rice when you fell like making lemon rice.


Coconut Barfi

Coconut barfi-This was the first sweet I made.This was  in my 12th grade and all through college when you would get galvanized watching ace chefs and savvy housewives weaving their magic in the kitchen in innumerable  TV shows. During these shows I would promptly prop myself against the TV diligently noting down the ingredients and instructions of many unheard recipes ,confident that I would recreate the magic in my own kitchen.I would get up , stride into my kitchen still under the spell.But I would begin cooking only to realise that   my chapathis were , not yet, -so perfect or that  the curry had turned out to be too sour.  Experience would let me know that -Only Practice makes a man perfect.

But things were different with coconut barfi.

Coconut barfi was  my  first expedition  into the kitchen .To my surprise it came out really well, the first time itself ,and rekindled my faith that I am a Chef in the making.

And now  I was reminded of this easy to make sweet again ..May be it was the commercials aired for the movie Barfi.One cannot draw a tangent- I know.But oh!This humorous me …I did draw one.Every time I would see the trailers I don’t know why I would also feel like eating coconut barfi.Funny a`int ‘I?

So I rummaged through my grocery and found a packet full of dessicated  coconut .Making coconut barfi is easy and it was  ready in minutes-spreading  the aroma of  coconuts and cardamom  in its each bite…

Coconut-2 cups(I used dessicated coconut)
Sugar-21/4-11/2 cup depending on how sweet you want it to be
Water -¾ cup or just enough to cover sugar
Cardamom -4pods

Take a heavy bottomed pan .Add the sugar and water. Keep stirring consistently .Let it boil till it reaches two- thread consistency..Then add the grated coconut. Keep stirring consistently. When the mixture bubbles,  add  ghee and cardamom pods.Stir till the mixture becomes thick and gets frothy at the edges .  The mixture should  start leaving the sides of the vessel and It comes off easily without sticking to sides of the vessel.(Some people add ghee and cardamom now).At this stage transfer the mixture  to a greased pan.Level the mixture with a flat spatula.Let it cool .Cut it out  into squares within 10 minutes.Serve or refrigerate if it is to be used later than 3-4 days.

Please ensure that only the white part of the grated coconut is used for the preperation.Avoid the brown flakes of coconut from getting mixed with it
Run the coconut in the grater couple of times so that the burfi turns out to have a smooth surface if you donot preferit to have a coarse surface.
You can also add 1/4 cup of milk after coconut is added to sugar syrup and bubbles come.However continue stirring till the mixture thickens.

Verdict:My coconut barfi  was “coconuty”- as delicious as ever.Little Aniket,my sonny, loved it.Thats the biggest pat on my back.