Narangi Pulao with Pistachios

It is orange season and so all of our orange recipes come out to add delight to our kitchen menus again. This beautiful pilaf is so good – full of orangey flavours and a visual delight.

We made this recently in one of our late night COVID-19 lockdown cooking sessions, around 10pm after endless zoom meetings. Luckily the rice had been soaked and dried, so the cooking was not a chore. There are no photos for this recipe yet – almost a travesty in this visual era. But we wanted to share it with you and keep it on our blog as a record of our best loved dishes.

Similar dishes include Matar Pulao, Orange and Date Salad, Orange and Green Chilli Relish, and Quinoa Salad with Orange.

You can also browse all of our Pilafs and our Orange Recipes.

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Matar Pulao | Rice Pulao with Peas

When rice forms a major part of a cuisine then there are infinite recipes using rice. Contrast this with cuisines in which it isn’t so important. When growing up, rice was used mainly for rice pudding and an even rarer rice salad. Apart from that it was unusual to have rice with a meal. I guess my mother bought rice only when she wanted to make a pudding – whereas I keep the pantry stocked with 6 – 8 different types of rice. Sticky rice, black and/or red rice, basmati, short grain rice, risotto rice and pongal rice are fairly standard pantry items.

These days I love rice cooked with spices and a vegetable or with lentils. It forms a great addition to any meal, especially Indian meals. It is also a great way to use up any vegetables sitting at the bottom of the fridge on a Friday night – prior to doing the next week’s shopping.

Peas Pulao or Matar Pulao is a popular dish which was made especially during the cooler months in northern parts of India. It can be made in a pressure cooker or rice cooker as well. This is the second version of peas and rice – the spicing is very different in each one.

Similar recipes include Narangi Pulao, Green Pea Pilaf, Rice in Tomato Juice, and Broad Bean and Dill Rice.

Browse all of our Rice dishes and all of our Pea dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Carrot Ghee Rice from Kerala | Carrot Pulao

One of the things you have to love about Keralite food is their liberal use of ghee. Enriching and energy giving, ghee is ladled into special dishes with abandon. This is a cross between Kerala Ghee Rice, Coconut Rice and Carrot Rice – a mixed rice dish of vegetables, warming spices and coconut milk.

Similar dishes include Carrot Rice, Sri Lankan Ghee Rice, and Kampung Ghee Rice.

Browse all of our Rice dishes and all of our dishes from Kerala. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Poha with Coconut and Cashews

Poha is one ingredient we keep coming back to. It is easy to use and really versatile. Here thick poha is mixed with spices, cashews and toasted coconut. It is a super snack for 2 – 3 people, or serve it along with other Indian dishes.

Similar recipes include Cabbage Bondas, Crispy Fried Potato, Kanda Batata Poha, Poha Chaat, and Kolache Poha.

We have 10 or so Poha dishes, check them out here. Or explore our Indian Snacks.

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Cooling Yoghurt Rice | Curd Rice | Thayir Sadham

As we head into another heatwave, thoughts turn again to cooling dishes. One of the most nutritious and cooling is yoghurt rice, also called curd rice. It tastes cool and refreshing on the hottest of summer days.

Yoghurt rice is made from rice cooked until mushy, then cooled and mixed with yoghurt and spices. It can be garnished in various ways, including with fruit, cucumber, onion, herbs and pomegranate. Today we have kept it simple. It can be eaten as-is or accompanied with a papad and pickle. Yum!

This dish is also often used in Temples as Naivedyam and Prasadam. We have made it quite thick here – just add more yoghurt to get a thinner texture.

Similar dishes include Sri Lankan Yellow Rice with Yoghurt, Yoghurt Curry, and Jeera Rice.

Browse all of our Indian Rice dishes, and all of our Yoghurt dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Sesame Rice | Ellu Saadham

This is a lovely South Indian rice dish with the gorgeous flavours of peanuts and sesame seeds – distinctly South Indian. It is a traditional Tamil and Kannadiga dish made especially during festivals. Truth be told, with the sesame seeds, it tastes a little like a tahini rice with peanuts, coconut and chilli.

It is also a great “packed rice” dish – food packed for a long journey – katu saadham was traditionally given to wedding guests for their travels back home.

This recipe works well with any variety of rice. Sona Masuri is the preferred rice in South Indian, and so it is most common to make it with this variety. But it can even be made with basmatti as I did today.

Sesame seed is a wonderful ingredient. In Ayurveda sesame is a wonderful rejuvenative food, especially for vata. It has a strong heating effect that soothes the cold quality of vata. But it should be avoided by those with high pita. They are also said to be strengthening to the lungs and help alleviate an aggravated kapha.

Similar recipes include Pepper- Cumin Rice, Tomato Rice, and Clove and Cardamom Rice.

Browse all of our Mixed Rice recipes and all of our Sesame dishes. All of our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore ourĀ  Mid Spring recipes.

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Saffron and Cardamom Pilaf

Rice. Such an essential food around the world, particularly in the countries from the Middle East to India, around to Indonesia, then up through South East Asia, through China, Korea and Japan. Then if you pop through many island countries and parts of Africa, more rice dishes can be found. So many delicious ways with rice.

This is a pilaf flavoured only with saffron and cardamom. Subtle and delicious, with the sweetness of sauteed onions.

Similar recipes include Tomato Rice, Okra and Coconut Rice, and Black Cumin and Pepper Rice.

Browse all of our Rice recipes and all of our Pilafs. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Super Healthy Urad and Red Rice Kitchari with Spinach

As you know, I am a sucker for a good kitchari. The best known kitchari dishes are made with rice and mung dal, but in fact it can be made with any grains and lentils cooked together. You can see a range of different ones here. Today’s version uses the delicious Urad Dal with some Red Rice.

As an aside, kitchari is often called risotto by some recipe writers/sharers. This is not accurate – kitchari might be closer to a congee even tho that also is not a great analogy. Read here to see the differences between kitchari and risotto – including that risotto is perfectly cooked rice, just a little al dente, and kitchari often over-cooks the rice to form a gorgeous porridge-like texture. This is especially true in the South of India. In the North, it can be closer to a pilau or pilaf – still a long way from a risotto.

Any red rice can be used in this recipe. I am using a Wild Red Rice (labelled Forbidden Rice in the supermarket), but red Basmati can be used or a Keralite or Sri Lankan red rice. I have also made it with an equal ratio of Urad Dal, Pongal Rice and Wild Red Rice. In a pinch, make it with any white rice in place of the red rice.

Keep in mind that urad dal has a great affinity for ghee/butter and cumin seeds. Tomatoes also. Best not to skimp on these ingredients.

Similar recipes include Moth Bean Kitchari, Ghee Pongal, and Sabudana Kitchari.

Browse all of our Kitchari recipes and all of our Urad Dal dishes. Or browse our Late Winter recipes.

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Spicy Eggplant Rice | Vangi Bath

There are infinite varieties of rice and vegetable dishes in South India, each one absolutely delicious. Today’s recipe is a spicy eggplant rice. It can be made with green or purple eggplants.

Similar recipes include Sesame Rice, Curd Rice, Eggplant Rice, Jeera Rice, and Tomato Rice.

Browse all of our Indian Rice dishes, and all of our Eggplant recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Thengai Saadhum | Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is a staple in South India, a common festival dish and often served as prasadam in temples. It is a wonderful cooling dish in the heat of pre-Monsoon season and easy to make given the proliferation of coconuts around the coastal areas of South India.

Each region has it’s own recipe – the spicing will vary from town to town, and family to family. We have another Coconut Rice from South India, that varies a little in the spice combination.

Similar recipes include Okra with Coconut Rice, Coconut Rice and Peas, Sri Lankan Coconut Rice, Balinese Coconut Rice, and Green Mango and Coconut Rice.

Browse all of our Coconut Rice recipes and all of our Rice dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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