If not in Spring, when else could I catch a nasty cold? I was just wondering last week how I survived the peak winter and most of the spring without falling sick, when everyone around me were glued to tissues for sometime during the past few months. May be I didn't touch wood ;) Right after my last post, I was down with cold and headache with puffy and watery eyes.
The frustrating part is none of the cold remedies that I have in my closet work. I sometimes feel its better to rely on known traditional remedies like tulsi tea, pepper rasam, a bowl of hot soup etc. Not to mention, pretty much thats what I've been eating the last few days and it sure does give comfort. My husband made some quick rasams and dal that lasted for 2 days and we did carry-outs a couple of times. All I want to do when I have cold is cuddle in the couch or bed with a blanket wrapped around me. To keep my sanity, I avoid staring the roof and usually would like to browse using my laptop or watch TV. But things never happen as we want, do they? My daughter was after me to work on her science project, read story books, help her in coloring etc. According to her, I have plenty of time when I am sick! But she helps me in someways to regain my energy though I am not physically active.
Well, finally I started feeling better yesterday and wanted to get back to atleast some routine. Yesterday being sunday, our usual special food day, I was able to make-up my mind and body to cook something better. Rice varieties are usually a good choice for a time like this because its a single item and would go well with even mild side-dishes like chips, raita, pickle etc. This is an excellent rice dish that I learnt from my friend who is a great cook. She has shared so many of her recipes with me. They sure do add new flavors in my kitchen while comforting my soul and stomach as well! We talk about some food items almost everyday and is never boring for us :) My collection of non-southindian recipes has grown significantly because of her and I can't wait to try each and every one of them. With such good friends and cooks around me, no wonder I am able to sustain my interest and motivation for cooking!
The name Chana Pulav sounds very much north-indian. But the ingredients used are pretty basic in south indian cooking as well, so I am convinced that this can fall in both categories. The recipe does call for one popular north indian ingredient "Kasoori Methi" (dry fenugreek leaves), but I didn't have it today and yet it came out awesome as usual. So, I would say its optional. This dish is an excellent choice for a potluck item. The chana and rice mixed with mild spices gives a whole new taste and it sure would get attention in a party.
- Basmati rice - 1 cup
- Chana (cooked or canned) - 1/2 cup
- Onions - 1 medium (sliced)
- Tomato - 1 medium
- Ginger/Garlic paste - 1 tsp
- G.Chilly - 1
- Cocounut milk - 1 cup
- Cinnamon - 1 inch
- Cloves - 2
- Cardamom - 1
For the paste:
- Onion - 1/2 medium (chopped in cubes)
- Garlic - 2 cloves
- R.Chillies - 2
- Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
- Grated coconut - 2 tsp
- Soak the Basmati rice in water atleast for 10 mins. Drain the water, and fry the rice in a pan with a tsp of ghee for a few mins or until the water evaporates. Set aside.
- Heat 1/2 tsp of oil and fry the ingredients mentioned above for the paste except the coconut. Grind them to a paste with coconut.
- Heat ghee/oil in a large wide pan and season with Cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
- Add the sliced onions and g.chilly and fry until onion turns golden brown.
- Add the ground paste and fry in low heat until the water is completely evaporated and you see oil starting to separate.
- Now add the fried basmati rice and mix well. Finally add the tomatoes, chana and salt and mix again. At this point, if you have kasoori methi, you can add it crushed.
- Add 1 cup water and 1 cup coconut milk and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 mins or until the rice is fully cooked.