Sunday, March 28, 2010

Masale Bhaat

Traditionally no Marathi marriage menu will be complete without a Masale Bhaat (Spiced Rice).
Its basically a version of biryani typically found in Maharashtrian cuisine. Extremely delicious and heavenly. Recently we did Gudi Padwa celebration at our house and invited few friends over. Ofcourse I was in my cooking spree. Made a whole meal with traditional Maharashtrian menu. Everyone, especially, Ganesh LOVED it!

I haven't blogged in a while. But hey.. its never late to start, right? So I decided to put down my recipe of Masale Bhaat.


Although I cooked it for about 15 people, I am giving a scaled down recipe for serving about 3-4 adults. Here it comes -

Masale Bhaat

Serves 4

Ingredients -

For Masala:
1/2 cup Dry coconut powder
4 - 5 cloves (1/4 spoon powdered clove)
1/2 inch Cinnamon stick (1/4 spoon powdered cinnamon)
4 - 5 Cardamoms (10 cardamom seeds)
5 spoons Cummin seeds
2 spoons Coriander seeds
5 Dry red chillies (adjust spice as per taste)

For Rice

2 cups cooked basmati rice.
2 half cooked potatoes (cut into 4-6 pieces)
2 cups mix vegetables (cut into 4 along length) (traditionally Tindora and/or Brinjal (egg plant) or cauliflower is used)
2 green chillies
4 - 5 curry leaves

Salt to taste

Tempering:
Mustard,
Hing (asafoetida)
Jeera (cumin)
Turmeric
Curry Leaves
Oil to fry

Method:

For Masala:

Separately dry roast each ingredient and set aside to cool.
Transfer everything to a chutney vessel (typically the smaller vessel which allows dry grinding) and grind it to smooth powder.
The masala is ready. Transfer to an air tight container to preserve the aroma.

For Rice:

Heat oil in wok (kadhai) and add Mustard, Hing, Jeera, Curry Leaves and Turmeric

Grind Chillies and curry leaves to a fine paste and add it to the oil.

If you are a big onion fan and onions are like a must have ingredients, then this is the time you want to add about 1 medium size thin vertically chopped onion in the oil and fry till golden brown. If not skip this step and move to next.

Add potatoes and fry till cooked .

Add the vegetables and stir fry again.

Key is to make sure you don't smash the potatoes or vegetables.

Now sprinkle the masala powder and salt and marinate the vegetables and potatoes. Transfer the spiced mixtured in a vessel and it with a lid and let the masala do its job for about an hour.

Meanwhile separate out the cooked rice in a plate and make sure its not cold.

Now in the kadhai start adding the marinated mixture to the rice and mix well so that the rice take the color of the masala.

This is time you want to taste the rice for spice and salt and add marinated mixture accordingly. Lesser the masala, lesser is the spice. So if you are not a spice lover, be very conservative in adding the mixture to rice.

Once you add the desired amount of mixture to rice, cook it covered and on a low flame for about 15 minutes (till the rice starts steaming) this will make sure the rice is now absorbing the masala taste. If the rice mixture is too dry, sprinkle some water and cove it again.

If it helps, instead of kadhai transfer it into a baking tray and bake it on 200 F for about 10 mins. or in a microwave safe bowl and cook for about 10 minutes.

Traditionally uncooked rice is used and the marinated rice is then pressure cooked. But this is little risky if you are new to cooking. It can get overcooked and spoil the dish. Thats the reason I am suggesting pre cooked rice.

Once cooked, garnish with grated coconut and chopped coriander serve hot.

When I cooked this, we finished it before I could take a photo. :) So for time being, just that you know how it should look like, I got the photo from another website.






Photo Courtesy: http://www.tarladalal.com/

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