Milagu Rice

To tell you the truth, variety rices make me angry. They’re depressing, especially if you carry packed lunches every day to school or office. At our home, Lemon rice will most definitely make an appearance every week, mostly Mondays when we’re rushed and unprepared for the work week. Rest of the days I find myself staring at Tamarind rice, Tomato rice or Karuveppillai rice in my lunch box. Variety rices may be okay on a couple of conditions (3 conditions, but anything more than one we call “a couple”). 1.      Either the side dishes are stellar enough to punch above the weight of the variety rice (what happens when you try to be a food-blogger and work full-time? – you use bullshit phrases in your writing and jot menu notes/ideas during calls) OR 2.      You’ve got potato chips (or my potato vathals). Anything tastes good with potato chips. OR 3.      You’ve got some variety in your variety rice. What I’ve got for you today is Milagu rice – a variety rice that is simple, super quick and tastes great. I love eggs. So I paired the Milagu rice with fried hard-boiled eggs and a mild beetroot poriyal. So there you have it – a little varied variety rice along with a solid side dish – my favourite fried hard-boiled eggs and a mild poriyal to complement the spice and heat. For dessert, I snucked in a few chunks of “Cadbury’s Dairy Milk” into my lunch box. There, much better than lemon rice and potato thokku. I am linking this milagu rice to my ongoing “lunch box” event. I am sure you have your own lunch box favourites too. Link them to the “Lunch box” event and you could win a pretty dual tone Tupperware lunch box giveaway! Prep time: 5 mins Cooking time: 10 mins Serves: 4 Ingredients Rice – 3 cups cooked Whole black peppercorns – 1 tsp Black gram/Urad dal – 3 tbsp Whole dry red chillies – 3-4 Salt to taste Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp Curry leaves – 2 stems Peanuts – 2 tsp (optional) Oil – 3 tbsp Ghee – 1 tsp Method 1.      Fluff up cooked rice and set aside to cool. 2.      Dry roast whole black peppercorns, urad dal and whole dry red chillies on low heat till the urad dal colours. Remove from heat and cool. 3.      Grind the roasted ingredients to a...

Potato Biryani and Vegetable Kofta – Kid’s Lunch Series

This month’s lunch box series is really close to my heart. I love packing lunches and I take it very seriously. Whenever I pack Jagan’s lunch I make sure to not repeat, to not pack wet food (that sounds like dog food but I actually meant – sambar rice, kuzhambu rice and the likes), to not include exotic non-veg food (to not hurt the noses and sensibilities of his vegetarian friends), to include a dessert or a drink and to pack them tightly. There was still the one time when his Lassi spilled all over his lunch bag and he reeked of yogurt. But mostly I am careful. With so many donts to packed lunches, it is a daunting task planning lunch every day. And to think that come June (Hasini would start carrying lunch to school), I’d have to get everything cooked, packed and ready to go by 7:00 am (that’s when I wake up, nowadays it is even worse), I’d have to be super-efficient and extraordinarily prepared. If I do manage it pull it off, it will be a new chapter in my life – The chapter where I finally wake up early, where I am on time for things. My kids enjoy biryanis and potatoes. They’re children of this “mass biryani everywhere for everything” generation. They’re disappointed if a banquet doesn’t include biryani. At weddings, birthdays, Hasini asks the waiter why biryani is not there. I made a potato biryani a couple of weeks back but used Seeraga Samba rice for a change instead of the regular Basmati rice. Seeraga Samba is short grained, thin and aromatic and is used in the popular Thalappakattu Biryanis. I made vegetable koftas to go with the potato biryani. Vegetable koftas are not the kind of things you’d want to do on a weekday morning. Just prepare ahead. I like to boil, mash vegetables, season them, shape into balls and roll them in bread crumbs and then refrigerate them the night before. Meaning I just don’t fry them but ready them to that stage. The next morning I just shallow fry them and they’re done. I tried to get creative, sticking in a couple of cloves for eyes and making ketchup smiles for the kofta balls to make them look like little chickens sitting on a bed of coriander leaves. They found it  amusing. I will stop when Hasini or Yuvi...

Lunch Box series – Kids Delight Event and a pretty Giveaway!

I am delighted and quite frankly nervous hosting the “Kid’s Delight” event this month that runs from May 16th to June 15th. The “Kids Delight” event is the brainchild of Srivalli, author of Spicingyourlife and Cookingforallseasons. The Kids Delight event is all about foods that kids will love to eat. The theme this month is Lunch-box. There is nothing more interesting to me than planning lunch boxes. I am on a mission to compile everybody’s lunch box favourites in one place and I am looking to you guys – readers and bloggers for recipes, ideas, tips and tricks for this Kids lunch box theme. There is a giveaway too! My closing thoughts every night before I doze off are of food – breakfast and most importantly lunch box. You want to know what moms think (maybe you don’t). “What do I pack for lunch tomorrow?” That’s the number one thing on my mind and most other moms’ minds. Starting June, Hasini would be carrying lunch to school too. I’d better get my act together. I am already amassing a small “lunch-box museum” worth of different types of lunch boxes so that I have back-up when the regular box is dirty and mainly because I am a “dabba” fanatic. In Keeping with the “dabba” theme, the giveaway is a stylish slim dual coloured Tupperware lunch box that can fit into schoolbags or handbags even. I love the purple and pink colours of this box. To win this pretty lunch box, all you have to do is send in your best lunch-box recipes to me by e-mail (just mail me the link to your post). or by linking to the linky tool at the bottom of the page. The winner will be selected at random from all the entries. A storehouse of lunch box recipes would be invaluable to harried moms who are at their wits ends deciding what to pack for their little gourmets. The rules of this event are simple: 1.      The event runs from 16th May to 15th June. You can send in your “lunch-box” entries (any number of them) anytime during this period. Link them using the linky tool below or just e-mail me (foodbetterbegood.jayanthi@gmail.com) the link to your post.  2.      You’ll have to link to this page and Srivalli’s page in your post. 3.      Archived posts are also accepted (again no cap on number of posts). However, you’ll have to update...
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