Saturday, August 12, 2006

tiranga rice for indian independence day

the very talented food blogger, indira, is hosting an indian independence day food parade on her blog which is called mahanandi. indira invited fellow indian food bloggers to write about a traditional meal from their home state and submit it in time for her food parade on august 15th, the day india achieved independence from britain in 1947.

choosing my home state was a bit hard for me as i have fond attachments to three states that i know quite well. i was born in tamil nadu but lived mostly in karnataka and maharashtra when i was in india. can't really say where i feel most at home. when it comes to food, i'm much more interested in learning about a very wide range of regional and national cuisines and don't really have an in-depth knowledge of the traditions of any one type of cuisine.

my entry for this food blog event is a pan-indian recipe inspired by the tri-coloured indian flag and is dedicated to my mother as she found it and slightly adapted it from a tarla dalal cookbook. it's a spinach, peas and carrot rice which is then baked to create a golden cheese crust that smells heavenly, tastes delicious and works really well with the rice.

here's the recipe from which you can accordingly adjust proportions based on how many people you are cooking for. this time, i just used one cup of uncooked rice and adjusted all other ingredients based on my best judgement.

serves: 8

for the rice layer: 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice, 1/2 tsp shah-jira (cumin), 2 tbsp ghee, salt to taste

for the greens layer: 3 cups chopped spinach, 1 cup boiled green peas, 3 chopped green chillies, 1 chopped onion, 1 tbsp ghee, salt to taste.

for the carrot layer: 2 teacups grated carrot, 1/2 teaspoon shah-jira, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, salt to taste

for baking: 3 tablespoon grated cheese (cheddar works well)

cook the rice. each grain of the cooked rice should be separate. heat the ghee and fry the shah-jira for a few minutes. add the cooked rice and salt and mix well.

cook the spinach with 1 tablespoon of water. when cooked, drain the spinanch. heat the ghee in a vessel and fry the onion for a little time. add the spinanch, green peas, chillies, salt and mix well.

for the carrot layer 1, heat the ghee in a vessel and fry the shah-jira. add the greated carrot and 2 tbsps of water. add the curry powder and salt and mix well. cover and cook for a few minutes.

grease a baking dish and spread half the cooked rice. Next spread the spinanch mixture, cover with the remaining rice and finally with the carrot layer. Sprinkle the cheese on top. (you might notice that i flipped the layers around. had to do that because i didn't get my carrot proportion right and ended up with too little so i layered it first.)

bake in a hot oven for 10 or 15 minutes. serve hot as such or after inverting on a tray.

my mom created this recipe for a dinner party a long time ago. and i have been making this dish ever since i started cooking. funnily, my mum is not into cooking at all. she just has a great talent for identifying good recipes and then instructing our cook on how to adapt them. in fact, she quite dislikes going into the kitchen and has always discouraged me from doing so. she's quite amused that i've taken to food and cooking in such a big way and spend so much time on it. she's much busier dedicating her life and soul to a bigger cause, one that she galvanised more than ten years ago.


Anonymous Indira said...

What a gorgeous entry for this food parade, Lulu. I like the color combination and it's healthy too with all the spinach, peas and carrots.

I wish we had 'Diginity' chapter in our town (Kurnool) in India, my father recently retired and completely at a loss what to do with his free time.

Dignity is a great cause I think and my kudos to your mum for putting her energy on this great endeavor.

2:39 am  
Blogger Nish said...

Hey Lulu,

bumped into Niki last night at BG...
we're going to istanbul end August. Need urgent hot tips - do you have anyone who lives there? to be my local concierge???

6:11 pm  
Blogger Mimi said...

Lulu this looks mom is the polar opposite of your mommy ..because the woman loves to cook..i of course am less than a domestic goddess! Happy early independence day!..xx <33 Mimi

P.s.* Send your email to this address and ill be sure to write..i actually visited a lot of exhibits id like to share with you..xx

7:13 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi indira
thanks for your comments. yes, indeed, dignity is changing the lives of so many. there are dignity chapters in some of the other cities in india including jamshedpur. many of these were started because someone in the town took the initiative. why don't you gift a subscription of dignity magazine to your father and maybe he will be inspired to start a chapter in kurnool.

hi nish
good to hear from you after ages. i have friends from istanbul but neither of them lives there right now. will email them for some hot tips for you!

hi mimi
nice to see you back at the blog. missed ya! will email you separately.

9:28 pm  
Blogger Pavani said...

Hi Lulu,
Happy Independence day..
I have been looking for tri-colored rice recipe for sometime now. Your recipe looks easy and yummy. Will try it soon. Thanks for sharing.

4:03 pm  
Blogger gs said...

hi lulu
like ma,like beti.tiranga looks great.will ask gb to prepare it .

1:22 pm  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

This is so cool, Lulu. I will definitely have to try making this to commemorate Independence Day next year!

3:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

August 15th, 1947 is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the end of an old era, the beginning of a new age. But we

can also make it by our life and actsas a free nation an important date in a new age opening for the whole world, for the

political, social, cultural and spiritual future of humanity.India's Independence Day is celebrated on August 15 to

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9:52 am  
Blogger notyet100 said...


6:24 am  
Blogger Lulu said...

thanks for letting me know! very surprised that TOI published the pictures without my permission though!!!

9:39 pm  

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