Tag Archives: homestyle Indian food

Recipe of the Week: Masala Rice

A while ago, I posted a pilaf rice recipe, my neighbor absolutely loves that recipe and when I make it, she gets a big bowl of it for lunch and dinner. But recently, I’ve started experimenting with spices and ingredients and one of my experiments was a big success. I’ve added a twist to old pilaf recipe and spiced things up. It’s become a big hit in my home and with my friends. They love it because it’s a filling, hearty solution when you don’t know what you want to eat but crave a savory meal. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5-6 whole black peppers
  • 2-3 black cardamom
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 tsp. jeera (cumin seeds)
  • salt to taste (1-2 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1-2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. haldi (turmeric powder)
  • 1 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1-2 vegetable bouillon cubes (chopped)
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables (I use the mix with carrots, corn and snow peas – soak in warm water for 10 minutes)
  • 2 cups rice (washed and soaked for 10 mins)
  • 4 cups water (remember, one part rice to two parts water)
  • 1 chopped large onion (I like red onion because it adds color to the dish)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped ginger
  • 1/2 chopped tomato
  • 1 cup nutri (soya chunks – soaked and lightly salted)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat oil in a large pot, add black cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, whole black pepper and let sizzle until all the ingredients brown and swell.
  • Add jeera and let cook until golden brown.
  • Add onions and chopped ginger and cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add dry spices; ginger powder, salt, pepper, red chilli powder, garam masala, haldi, curry powder and chopped vegetable bouillon, cook until oil starts to separate from the mixture.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and mix well. Cook until all ingredients nicely mixed into a thick paste.
  • Add thawed mixed vegetables and mix until all are coated with the paste.
  • Add nutri (soya chunks) and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add rice and water and mix paste into the rice.
  • Turn heat on high and bring to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil, lower heat to the least setting and cover.
  • Cook mixture for about 15-17 minutes without removing cover.
  • Remove from heat after rice is fully cooked and serve with yogurt.

Voila! You’ve just made masala rice. I know there are ton of ingredients that go into this recipe. But if you’re like me, you’ve already got most of these spices in your kitchen and if you don’t 95% of local grocery stores (especially in Canada) will have small packages of these items that you can buy for cheap.

Enjoy your new go-to meal and do let me know how enjoy it!

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Recipe Of The Week: Green Lentil Curry

Lentils are a used in almost all parts of India. Each province and city makes them differently. Being Punjabi, we love lentils with rice. It’s a Punjabi tradition! Cut up some red onions and serve with the rice and lentils and you’ve got an amazing meal to make any Punjabi smile and here I’m sharing my family recipe with you.

Here’s what you need:
1 cup green lentils
6 cups water
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp jeera (cumin seeds)
1 tbsp hing
2-3 tbsp ginger
1 green chili chopped
1 onion chopped

Here’s what you do:

  1. Boil water and lentils until lentils are completely soft and mushy. You may need to add more water as the lentils boil down. This can take 30-45 minutes on high heat. Do not remove lentils and water from heat, just lower the heat as much as possible.
  2. Once your lentils are boiled to softness, in a fry-pan you’re going to add oil and hing and cook until sizzling. Add in jeera and cook until brown.
  3. Add your onions and ginger and cook until onions are browned. Add green chilli and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Next add your dry spices, red pepper, turmeric, curry powder and salt and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Now, turn up the heat on the lentils and once they begin boiling, add the ginger/onion masala to the boiling lentils. Be careful because they will sizzle and splatter. Let the lentils and mixture cook for at least 10-15 minutes or until everything is nicely mixed in together.
  6. Serve with basmati rice and fresh onions.