Tag Archives: Rice

Joojeh Kebabs on Saffron Rice with Grilled Vegetables and Beetroot Yoghurt

Joojeh Kebabs with Grilled Vegetables and Beetroot Yoghurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joojeh kebab are Iranian chicken kebabs cooked in saffron and yoghurt. They are served on a bed of rice along with some grilled vegetables, yoghurt and pickles.

our first dinner of 2014

The menu may seem elaborate but if you plan properly and do some things ahead of time, it is pretty straightforward.

You can serve these kebabs with some Persian saffron rice. To save on time, I created my own version of the fragrant rice recipe.

We had a friend over and so much was going on that I didn’t get the opportunity to take proper photographs.

A really delicious yet light on the stomach kind of dinner which I would definitely like to repeat.

The following serves four people.

Ingredients for Joojeh Kebabs

1 Kilo boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into medium size pieces

1 Cup thick, creamy yoghurt (Greek or hung yoghurt would work well here)

2 Onions

1 Teaspoon saffron strands

2 Lemons or limes

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Method for Joojeh Kebabs

  1. Peel, wash and grate the onions.
  2. Juice the lemons or limes.
  3. Mix together the yoghurt, grated onions, saffron, juice of lime or lemon, olive oil, black pepper and salt.
  4. Check to see whether the salt is okay and add more if needed.
  5. Now, add the chicken pieces to the yoghurt marinade.
  6. Combine well, cover and refrigerate for as long as you can (I had left it to marinade for 8 hours).
  7. When you are ready to cook, skewer the chicken pieces and grill them for 15 to 20 minutes till the chicken is cooked.
  8. Turn them frequently and baste as necessary with the marinade.
  9. When cooked, keep aside on a serving platter.

Ingredients for Grilled Vegetables

4 Green peppers

4 Large tomatoes (or 8 small ones)

4 Large onions (or 8 small ones)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of one lime or lemon

Salt tot taste

Method for Grilled Vegetables

  1. Wash and quarter the green pepper. Remove seeds and core.
  2. Wash and halve the tomatoes.
  3. Peel, wash and halve the onions.
  4. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon/lime juice and salt.
  5. Pour this mixture over the vegetables and let them sit for about 30 minutes. You can do this while the kebabs are cooking.
  6. Grill the vegetables till they are a bit charred, basting frequently as and when needed.
  7. Keep aside on a serving platter or in a dish.

Ingredients for Beetroot Yoghurt

2 Beetroots

1 Cup yoghurt

Salt to taste

Method for Beetroot Yoghurt

  1. Wash and steam the beetroot till tender but still firm.
  2. Peel and cube the vegetable.
  3. Whisk the yoghurt and add the cubed beetroot and salt.
  4. Mix well, cover and refrigerate. You can do this several hours beforehand. Take out the beetroot yoghurt from the refrigerator half hour before serving to bring it down to room temperature.

Ingredients for Saffron Rice

1 Cup long grain rice (I used Basmati)

2 Cups water

1 Tablespoon butter

1 Teaspoon saffron strands

Salt to taste

Method for Saffron Rice

  1. Wash the rice till the water runs clear.
  2. Place the washed and drained rice in a pot and add 2 cups of water.
  3. Next, add the saffron, butter and salt.
  4. Cover the pot with a large piece of foil followed by a tight fitting lid. You can do this beforehand and let the rice sit till ready to cook.
  5. Half hour before sitting down for dinner, place the rice pot on the burner on minimum heat. The rice should be cooked by the end of the 30 minutes.
  6. Open the lid and a bit of the foil to check for doneness. The end result should be long, separate, fluffy grains of yellow coloured rice.

To plate

  1. Place one serving of rice on a plate.
  2. Put the chicken kebab on the rice.
  3. Add the grilled vegetables on one side.
  4. Serve beetroot yoghurt on another side.

The grilled vegetables are good enough to eat on their own.

Grilled Vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joojeh kebabs on saffron rice.

Joojeh Kebabs

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Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) & Ragi (Finger Millet) Grains: Plain and Masala Varieties

Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) and Ragi (Finger Millet) Grains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me start off this post with a disclaimer: I have nothing against rice. In fact, I like rice in all shapes and form although I rarely eat it. In my quest for a healthy and nutritious diet, I try to replace rice with other grains wherever possible.

today’s recipe is a tale of two idlis which met by chance in one cooking session

Having successfully made rice-free jowar (sorghum) idlis in the past, for this recipe, I thought of experimenting with two other types of millet grains: pearl (bajra) and finger (ragi).

a successful experiment which demonstrates that it is possible to make idlis without rice

Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)

Another fortuitous discovery I made while making these is masala idli.

While the first round of idlis were merrily steaming away, I suddenly remembered that I had some shelled peas and mixed sprouts lying around in the refrigerator. I thought of adding these along with some freshly grated turmeric and green chilli-ginger paste to the second round of idlis.

Both types taste equally good. They are soft like conventional idlis although not as fluffy (absence of rice I imagine).

The following makes 24 regular size idlis.

Ingredients for Plain Idli Batter

1 Cup bajra (pearl millet)

1 Cup ragi (finger millet)

1 Cup white urad dal (white gram/white lentil)

2 Tablespoons methi seeds (fenugreek)

Salt to taste

Ghee for greasing idli moulds

Ingredients for Masala Idli Batter (Optional)*

2 – 3 Tablespoons shelled peas

2 – 3 tablespoons mixed sprouts

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Teaspoon green chilli-ginger paste

Method:

  1. Wash the bajra, ragi, urad dal and methi seeds.
  2. Add water and soak for 8 to 10 hours.
  3. Grind in a food processor. The end result should be a batter which is neither too thick nor too thin. Some of the ragi grains may remain whole, this is perfectly okay.
  4. Cover and place the batter in a warm, dark place to ferment. This can take anything from a few hours to 34 hours depending on the temperature (see note below).
  5. When you are ready to cook the idlis, add some salt to the batter and mix well. If you are making masala idli, you can add the optional ingredients at this stage.
  6. Grease idli moulds and pour the batter in them.
  7. Put in a steamer and let the idlis steam for 40 minutes.
  8. Remove from the steamer and leave for a few minutes.
  9. Run a knife under each idli to remove it from its mould.
  10. Serve with chutney of your choice.

Note:

  1. In warm weather, the batter can ferment in a matter of 4 to 6 hours. If the temperatures are low, the fermentation process takes much longer.
  2. For masala idli, you can add any vegetable of your choice. Grated carrots, grated cabbage and grated bottlegourd would work equally well.
  3. I had fresh turmeric root which I grated and used which is why the colour of my masala idlis is so bright! You can use turmeric powder instead.

Here are the two friends side by side – plain and masala.

Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)  Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)