Remember I told you all once that my paternal grandmother spent a large part of her life surrounded by Maharasthrians? She went on to learn a lot of Maharashtrian recipes, most of which were passed on to my mother and, in turn, me. Masala/masale rice is one such dish from her repertoire. I prepared it for dinner last night.
Masala rice is, traditionally, a no onion-no garlic dish, but you might add them if you want to. Also, I prepared this dish using a short-cut that many Maharasthrians would consider sacrilege. 🙂 Typically, you need to add Maharashtrian goda masala to this dish, but if you don’t happen to have any (I didn’t), you can use garam masala instead. I opted for the garam masala method, which is what my grandma would often do, too. I am sure the authentic version would taste wonderful, but the garam masala version doesn’t taste bad either. In fact, it tastes positively delicious, a simple treat for your tastebuds when they get tired of eating rich pulaos and biryanis.
This is a one-pot meal, easy to put together for dinner when you are in a rush. It is the Maharashtrian version of pulao, I would say, one that does not require any grinding.
Ingredients (for 2 people, as a stand-alone dish):
1 glass of rice
1 medium-sized carrot (peeled and chopped into large pieces)
1 medium-sized capscium (chopped into large pieces)
A handful of fresh, green peas
3 green chillies, slit length-wise
10-12 French beans (chopped into large pieces)
1 medium-sized potato (peeled and chopped into large pieces)
A small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped finely
Salt, to taste
2 teaspoons of oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Red chilli powder, to taste
2 teaspoons garam masala
4 whole cardamom pods
A 1-inch piece of cinnamon, broken into two
2 bay leaves
A pinch of asafoetida
- Wash the rice thoroughly. Drain out the excess water. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add the asafoetida.
- Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Saute for a minute.
- Add the carrots, peas, beans, capsicum, and potato. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the washed rice at this point. Saute everything for 2-3 minutes.
- Now, add 2-1/2 glasses of water, salt and red chilli powder to taste, turmeric powder, garam masala, and chopped coriander leaves. Mix well. Let the water come to a boil.
- Now, close the pressure cooker. Put on the whistle. Let the rice cook for 2 whistles.
- Once the pressure goes down, open the pressure cooker. Serve the rice hot with raita.
- You could add fresh, grated coconut to the dish, as a garnish, once it is entirely cooked. That is entirely optional.
- A lot of Maharashtrians add cauliflower and brinjals to this dish. I didn’t, because I didn’t have any.
- If you want to add onions, you can chop 2 small ones length-wise and add them to the pressure cooker after you add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves. Saute them for a minute or so before you put in the other vegetables.
- If you do not want to add the chopped coriander leaves while cooking the dish, you could add them after you are done cooking it entirely.
Do you like masala rice?