Arusuvai friendship chain season II is back. Thanks to Sayantani for reviving it. This friendship chain was kick started by Lathamma and Srivalli and Bharthi took it forward. In the first season, I received the mystery ingredient from Gaurav and I had sent to Harini/Sunshinemom. And I am glad I could be a part of this during the second season too.
I received a lovely parcel from Veena . She sent me a lovely recipe book along with a hand written letter. Thank you so much, Veena. The book that came with the ingredient is right for the season with summer recipes from Chef. Sanjeev Kapoor. Veena mailed me saying she forgot to scratch the ingredient name in the hurry to mail the parcel. So asked me to take a guess at the ingredient with out looking at the label. On the first look, I thought it to be dried dates. But on closer look, I knew it was apricot. I made two dishes using the apricot. I made a pulao and had packed it for my husband's lunch box. My husband who doesn't give a feedback unless asked for, remembered to tell me the lunch was good, when he was back from office.
I followed the recipe from here and had scaled down the ingredients quantity to suit the amount of rice I had
- Basmati rice/ any long grain rice - 1 cup (I used Surti Kolam)
- Water - 2 cups
- Beetroot - 2 small ones
- Ghee - 2 tblspn
- Pepper - 15 nos
- Bay leaves - 2 nos, torn
- Onions - 2 medium, julienned
- Raisins - 2 tblspn
- Almonds,cashews - 10 each
- Apricot - 5 nos, quartered
- Fig - 5 nos
- Garam masala - 1/2 tspn
- Mint leaves - 10 nos
- Salt to taste
Wash and soak rice in 2 cups of water for half an hour. Heat ghee in a kadai or thick bottomed vessel. I used pressure cooker vessel. Add pepper,bay leaf and onions. When onions turn pink, add raisins, cashew, almonds, fig and apricot. Saute for few seconds. Drain the rice and reserve the water.Add rice, saute for three minutes and then add the drained 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Add salt, garam masala and torn mint leaves. Cover and cook on a medium heat. When the rice is half cooked, add the grated beetroot and gently mix. Cover and continue to cook till it is done.
After adding the grated beets, don't mix it thoroughly. Give a gentle mix so that the rice doesn't turn red fully. And you will have shades of light red and dark red in rice as shown in the original recipe. I gave a thorough mix only to realise later what the 'mix lightly' in the recipe intended. This is only for the visual appeal and doesn't affect the taste at all.
If you find the water is less, you can add little amount of water so that it cooks well and also doesn't get stuck at the bottom.
This dried fruits and nuts beet pulao along with a bowl of raita and roasted potatoes made a tasty lunch. The pulao did not taste on the sweet side even with the beet and the dried fruits added to it. The pepper sufficiently balances the taste.
P.S. Sayantani could not assign any blogger so that I can send the ingredient and keep the chain going. She says she either doesn't have the confirmation or the address of the blogger to give me. So, if any of you would like to receive from me, please send your mailing address to Sayantani at - firstname.lastname@example.org. You can leave a comment here and I shall co-ordinate with Sayantani and get in touch with you.