Friday, October 19, 2007

easy peasy pulao and saag channa.

Since my back has been so crappy, cooking has been really difficult. I'm not even supposed to stand for 10 minutes at a time, which makes sense because doing that is REALLY painful. Enormous, growing baby + herniated lumbar disc = ouch.

My mom's been filling up our freezer, so we're living off that. Occasionally I've been making super easy stuff like pasta and store-bought sauce with frozen veggies.

So, here's something easy I whipped up today. You can absolutely substitute frozenstuff with fresh - since I have limited mobility, I have been using frozen.

Pulao is an Indian rice dish, saag means spinach, and channa means chickpeas/garbanzo beans.

Stuff You Need
-3 rice-cups brown rice (by rice-cup, I mean the cup that came with our rice cooker, not 8 ounce cups)
-1 tbsp canola oil (can substitute with other oils)
-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
-16 oz thawed frozen veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, & zucchini)
-seasonings to taste: salt, garam masala, garlic powder, ginger powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder
-rice cooker
Saag Channa
-1 lb frozen spinach
-1 can garbanzo beans
-Maya Kaimal Tikka Masala, purchased at Costco - you could always substitute with a little bit of tomato puree, fresh ginger and garlic to taste, and then add a bit of cream or half-and-half once it's cooked)
-pressure pan or pressure cooker

I am putting these in steps for each one, but that's not the order I made things in. I started both at the same time, so while the spinach was thawing, I was washing rice. While the rice and spinach were cooking, I washed the beans. Stuff like that. I was never without something to do.
-Rinse rice
-Heat oil and cumin seeds in stovetop pan on medium heat
-Once oil is hot, add washed rice. Sautee on medium 5 min or until rice is nicely toasted. Add thawed veggies, cook for a few more minutes. Do not overcook. If using fresh veggies, sautee them first, then add rice.
-Add rice & veg mixture to rice cooker along w/6 rice-cups of water. Water:rice ratio is 2:1. Add spices.
-Set to cook. Ta da!
Saag Channa
-Add spinach to pressure pan, set stove to high.
-Rinse garbanzo beans. Add these, salt to taste, and tikka masala to pan. Turn stove to medium.
-Close pressure pan. Once steam starts coming from the spout, cover with weight.
-Go sit down. Pressure cookers/pans will let the steam build up and build up, and when they can't take it any more, a gust of steam comes hissing loudly out from under the weight.
-Once the loud hiss comes, turn off.

It may sound more complicated than it actually was, but it took no time. Basically: frozen spinach into pan, heated oil and cumin, washed rice, tossed rice into pan, washed beans, threw beans & tikka in with spinach, added frozen veggies to rice & covered, put rice & veggies into rice cooker, measured water, set to cook, covered pan, sat down, put on weight, sat down, turned off, the end.