Sunday, January 5, 2014

Thayir sadam (Curd rice) with Spinach and Potatoes

Thayir Sadam or Curd rice is a dish that I make when I yearn for something very light but am really lazy to cook anything elaborate for a meal. It is made by combining cooked  rice with curd/ yogurt/ buttermilk and often accompanied by a pickle of your choice. This is not a standard dish in my house but whenever i have left-over rice, I spruce it up with a good seasoning and convert it into curd rice and, most of the time, pair it with a fancy side-dish. Since, today, I have this big box of spinach and  basket full of potatoes to exhaust, I decided to cook up a flavorful, yet simple Spinach and potatoes side dish.

Thayir Sadam with Spinach and Potatoes


For Curd Rice:
Oil -2-3 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1-2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1-2 tsp
Green chillies - 1 chopped
Ginger - 1/2 cm chopped
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Asafoetida powder - 1/2-1 tsp

Cooked rice - 1cup
Buttermilk/ Yogurt/ Curd - 2 cups or more (personal preference)
Salt - to taste

For Spinach and Potatoes:
Oil - 2-3 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1-2 tsp
Garlic - 3-4 cloves pounded
Paanch phoron - 2-3 tsp 

For the masala:
Spinach - 1 lb (blanched)
Potatoes - 6 to 8 med sized potatoes (peeled and cut into thin strips)
Turmeric powder - 1-2 tsp
Cayenne powder - 1/2-1 tsp
Salt -to taste


Curd Rice:
Heat a medium sized saute pan, add oil and other ingredients for seasoning/tadka. 

Now add the cooked rice, salt and mix well. Switch off the gas.

Add your choice of curd or yogurt or buttermilk and mix well. Make sure to add more curd so that it does not end up very dry. 

Spinach and Potatoes:
Blanch the spinach by boiling it in water, draining it, and then leaving it in some cold water.

In a heated wok, add the oil. Once the oil is heated, add the seasoning.

 Add the potatoes and saute them with some salt and the spice powders.

Now drain the blanched spinach and add this to the potatoes. Mix it well and close it with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium flame and allow it to cook for 5 minutes. Make sure to not get it burned.

Open the lid and mix the ingredients well. Make sure there is enough salt and the potatoes have cooked and all the water from the spinach has evaporated. If the potatoes need more cooking, close the lid and allow it to cook for a couple more minutes. The flavor in this dish basically comes from the Panch pharon which was added as the main seasoning. 

Enjoy this simple flavorful side dish with Thayir sadam and your choice of pickle!

Vangibath (Rice dish with Eggplant)

Nothing relaxes me as much as cooking, especially with my favorite music playing in the background. So here I am today, on a Sunday morning, fully charged for cooking some yummy food and enjoying it with my family. 99% of the time my cooking revolves around my cravings and, today, I am craving for some rice dish especially after having sandwiches for lunch every single day of last week.  I am at a point where I can't even lay my eyes on  the word 'Sandwich' anymore;-) Opening the fridge, I grab all the veggies sitting in my fridge and the moment I notice eggplant and carrots, I know exactly what I want to cook. So, here is my version of Vangibath....a very simple recipe, which when paired with raita, is absolutely a perfect combination.



For Seasoning:
Mustard seeds -1-2 tsp
Urad dal -1 tsp
Green chillies -2 (julienned)
Curry leaves -1 sprig
Cashewnuts - few
Garlic - 3-4 pods pounded
Vegetable Oil -  1-2 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp

For the Masala:
Onion -1 med sized (julienned)
Eggplant - 1 big (cut lengthwise into strips)
Carrots - 3 big (cut lengthwise into strips)
Vangibath powder- 2-3 tbsp (depending on your spice level)
Turmeric powder - 2 -3 tsp
Sesame seed powder - 2-3 tsp
Vegetable Oil -  1-2 tsp
Salt - for tasting

Cooked basmati rice -2 cups


Heat the wok, add oil and ghee. Once it is heated, add all the seasoning ingredients starting with mustard seeds. As soon as it starts spluttering, add the urad dal, green chillies, curry leaves, cashewnuts, and garlic.
Now start adding the ingredients for making the masala. Add the onions, saute them until light golden color and then add the carrots, some salt and continue sauteing these for couple of minutes.


Add the eggplant and the spice powders. 

Reduce the heat to medium low and cover it with a lid for a few minutes. Make sure it does not get burned. Add the oil, mix it well, and more salt if needed, close the lid, and leave it at low temperature until all the masala blends in with the veggies and they get cooked.

Now mix the cooked basmati rice to this masala. Make sure there is enough salt after mixing with the rice and it is evenly distributed. 

Enjoy this hot steaming Vangibath!