Sunday, January 27, 2013

Republic Day 2013

This post was drafted for India’s Republic Day – 26th January. As they say, man proposes,God disposes, my time schedule got disrupted and I’m posting it today – better late than never.
In India, winter is the season when one has access to a great variety of fresh vegetables. Rice is part of the staple diet in India, especially in the South. Hence I decided to put up a three colored rice preparation depicting the three colours of the Indian national flag - orange (carrots), white (rice) and green (French beans).

Tiranga Pulau (Tri-coloured Pulao)
For 3 to 4 persons
1. Basmati rice - One cup (200 grams)
2. Cubed mixed vegetables any two to three varieties (carrots, green peas, French beans, cauliflower, potatoes) - Half cup
3. Boiling hot water – 2 cups
4. Onions – 2 medium sized, finely sliced.
5. Whole spices – 5 cloves, 5 pepper corns, half inch piece cinnamon, 1 bay leaf
6. Oil – 3-4 tablespoons
7. Salt – One and half teaspoon or as per taste

• In a heavy bottom pan and on a very low flame, heat three tablespoons of oil.
• Add the whole spices and finely sliced onions.
• As the onions soften, add the cubed mixed vegetables and half teaspoon salt. Cover and let the vegetables half cook for approximately two to three minutes.
• Add the cleaned, washed and drained rice.
• Saute for a minute or two until the oil coats the rice.
• Add the boiling hot water and the balance teaspoon of salt.
• Cover and cook till done.

To go with the above rice preparation, here is a side dish made with pork. It’s spicy and tangy taste is great during this wintry weather.
No occasion is complete without a pork dish among the Catholics in Goa, Mangalore and the East Indians living primarily in Mumbai. Flavors in their food are more or less the same.

Pork is mostly cooked spicy hot except the roast pork. The recipe below is adapted from the East Indians. The success of this recipe lies in the marinade.

Pork Vindaloo

1. Pork – 1 ½ kg.
2. Kashmiri Red chilies – 15 nos.
3. Whole jeera (cumin seeds) – 2 tea spoons
4. Garlic – 3 big pods (30 grams)
5. Ginger – 1 inch piece
6. Vinegar – 1 cup.
7. Salt – 2 ½ tea spoon

• Cut the pork into one inch piece cubes. Wash and drain it well.
• Grind all the above spices in to a fine paste using the vinegar.
• Add the spice paste and salt to the drained pork.
• Let it marinate in a glass bowl for six to eight hours or over night.
• Transfer the marinated pork in to a heavy bottom or earthen vessel.
• Cover. Add water to the lid and let it simmer for an hour to an hour and a half.
• Keep stirring every 10 to 15 minutes and adding water on the lid as it dries.
• Check for salt and vinegar.