Did you watch the finale of Orange in the new Black season#4? It was awesome!
Ok, sorry to those of you who don’t watch it or don’t know about it. It is a super exciting US TV series aired on Netflix, where they show prisoners from all regions, age groups and communities dealing with the complicated life in there. Watching how things quickly change inside the bars and how people react to that, depending on their vulnerabilities and strengths, is very interesting. It is my most favourite show on the TV currently. After “The Good Wife”, “How to get away with murder” and “Suits”. Yeah well, what can I say? I like shows that show complicated life and business. And now I am desperately waiting for the next season to come up.
Anyhoo. After spending almost whole of the last weekend with OITNB, I was still in that zone (if you know what I mean!) and not much into cooking an elaborated meal. So I dug into my recipe book (yes, I have one peeps) and after flickering through a few of my favourites, threw it away only to decide on a simple rich dish. Just so I could get it over with quickly and sit down with the laptop again.
I am sure you would agree that rice dishes are a saviour when you are not in a mood to stir long time in the Kitchen. And very healthy if you make them right.
This one called Tehri or Tahiri is one of the most popular and commonly made meals in the state of U.P. Its basically another version of pulav or pulao cooked with some veggies, mostly potatoes, peas and cauliflower.
What makes it different though, is the preparation in mustard oil, along with hot green chillies. It has also got a fair bit of turmeric in it, giving it the bright golden yellow colour. The kind of ingredients that go into a Tahari depends on the region. Some add vadi or bari into it, some add yogurt while some add a bit of lentils to the dish.
This time I have added methi i.e. fenugreek leaves** to Tehri, which brings in a very sharp flavour to this U.P. style Pilaf. Feel free to add the kind of vegetables and / or meat you like, but the spices like turmeric and fierce green chillies along with the strong flavour of mustard oil is what gives this dish its character
So the next time you are binge watching your favourite series, do cook some Tahri and enjoy it hot. Don’t forget to serve it with some chilled raita aside, so to keep you cool if it goes berserk on the TV.
Cuisine: U.P., North Indian
Cooking level: Easy-medium
Nutritional info: Rich in carbs, iron and antioxidants. Good source of calcium and vitamins A & C.
Accompaniment: Coriander chutney, Raita etc.
What you need?
- 1 cup rice
- 1 medium bunch of methi leaves
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 medium tomato, roughly chopped (optional)
- ½ inch piece of ginger, grated
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3-4 green chilies, minced or chopped fine
- 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 tsp turmeric powder, red chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp salt OR to taste
- Cilantro for garnishing
How to make?
Wash the rice in plenty of water and soak for 30 minutes. In a heavy bottomed pan or pressure pan, heat mustard oil, and throw in the cumin seeds. Once they start sizzling, fry the green chillies, ginger and minced garlic just till they start turning brown.
Add in chopped onion and salt and fry till it turns translucent. Add in tomatoes if using and all the other spices. Cook covered for about 4-5 minutes till the tomatoes get all mushy and the raw smell of spices has disappeared.
To this, add the methi and potato (or any other vegetable that you might be using) and cook well for 4-5 minutes, stirring in between. Add about 1 ½ cup of water and bring to a boil, then add the soaked and drained rice.
Cover and cook for around 10 minutes until the potato and rice are cooked. If cooking in pressure pan or pressure cooker, switch off after one whistle. Open when cool and fluff with a fork. Remove in a serving bowl and garnish with the fresh coriander leaves.
Traditionally, tomatoes are not used in Tahiri. But since the taste of methi is too strong for some (including my family), I use them in this particular recipe. Adding tomatoes also reduces the shelf life of this dish making it tricky to keep as a travel or lunchbox item. So plan ahead and add or skip tomatoes as per your taste/requirement.
** Fenugreek leaves are a native to Indian subcontinent but are easily available these days into most big Supermarkets in the UK and US. Look for it in the Exotic food isle. For more recipes with this methi, click here and check out the health benefits of methi here
Like I have mentioned above, there could be a hundred ways to make Tahri, each family has a different recipe. I would try and post and few more recipes for tehri soon.
More rice dishes to sort out your weekdays: