Little S’s friend was to come over after school to spend an evening with her. They are in the same pre-school and same class and I do not understand their need to spend still more time after school together. Both of them had been pestering me about visiting each other’s home for some time now and finally I called up her Mom and we decided to do it once a week.
The weather having turned a beautiful warm a week back, I had planned to take them to the park in the afternoon and let them run free. But come the day of the meet and it was chilly, so the poor kids & of course poor me, had to be stuck inside the house. They played on their own though and didn’t bother me except for occasional call for snacks. Four year olds can be angels if they want.
Now this little friend speaks Kannada(language spoken by natives of Karnataka a state in Sothern India) at home and last time she was visiting, she had asked for Rice & Tuppa for dinner. Of course I didn’t understand and had plied her with Rice, dal, vegetables and yogurt. Only later did her mom tell me that she loves rice & ghee and that is what she had wanted.
This time I tried to play safe and asked Little S what her friend liked to eat. The morning of the their play-day she declared “Friend S likes Pulao”
So be it I thought, easy for me and convenient for the kids to eat too. I decided on a Soya Peas Pulao with soya granules instead of the chunks. I loosely followed Tarla Dalal's recipe. Since Friend S was a eggatarian, I served it with boiled eggs which were lightly fried to a golden yellow. This was a complete meal delicious, protein rich and yet very easy. Served with a bowl of plain yogurt on the side, there was little more the kids will ask for. Ideal to be packed for a school lunch also.
Little S finished of her plate happily while I had to force friend S to eat, though she said she liked it. Friend S turned out to be unfamiliar with boiled eggs though and was pretty much taken by the egg white, hated yolk. She likes omlettes, more homework to be done next time.
When little friend S's Mom came to pick her up, she brought me some steaming Upma from her kitchen, now this kind of play days I like.
Soy Peas Pulao
What You Need
Uncooked Rice ~ 1 cup
Soya granules ~ ¼ cup of Nutrela Soya Granules(Note: Next time I am going to up this amount)
Green peas (fresh or frozen) ~ ¼ cup
Cumin seeds (jeera) ~ ½ teaspoon
Cinnamon (dalchini) ~ 1/2" stick
Cloves (lavang) ~ 2
Bay leaf ~ 1
Cardamom (elaichi) ~ 2
Onions ~ ½ cup chopped
Tomatoes ~ ½ cup chopped
Ginger ~ ½ “ grated
Turmeric powder (haldi) ~ ¼ teaspoon
Garam masala ~ ¼ teaspoon
Coriander (dhania) powder ~ ½ tsp (You can use 1 tsp of this, but I kept it low)
Fennel (saunf) Powder ~ ¼ tsp
Oil ~ to cook
Ghee ~ ½ - 1 tsp to smear the rice (optional)
salt to taste
To be ground into a chilli-garlic paste – I did not use this since the pulao was intended for kids
3 cloves garlic
3 whole red chillies
How I Did It
Wash the rice and soak it for 10-30 minutes. Drain the rice after this and smear with ½ tsp of ghee.
Heat Oil in a Frying Pan
Flavor the oil with Bay leaves, whole cardamom, and cinnamon stick
Add ½ tsp of whole cumin seed
When the seeds crackle, add the onions and sauté till the onions turn golden brown.
If you are using chilli-garlic paste add it now
Add finely chopped tomatoes and sauté till they are soft
Add the green peas and soya granules and sauté for a minute
Add the turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder, fennel powder and salt and sauté for another couple of minutes
Add the Rice now and mix well with the masala. Sauté for 2 more minutes and add about 2 cups of water and cover and cook. If using a pressure cooker add 2 cups of hot water and pressure cook for 2 whistles
If not using a pressure cooker, check occasionally to see if rice is done. If not and water has dried up add a little more water (very little about ¼ cup might be needed) and cook till rice is done.
You can serve with boiled eggs, which I fried to a golden yellow because Little S likes the color. Also a bowl of yogurt on the side completed the meal.
Note: for younger kids you need to fish out the whole garam masala like cardamom, bay leaf, clove and cinnamon stick before serving
Other Recipes with Soya Granules:
Egg Paratha with Soya Stuffing
A recipe that could use soya granules or chunks:
Reading List: Thanks for all of your inputs and enriching my reading list. I recently read Chitra Banerjee Divakurani's Palace Of Illusions, a feminist interpretation of the epic Mahabharata. I also read Cold sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. Enjoyed both the books. I am currently reading Anne Tyler's Digging To America. I had read her Breathing Lessons earlier, but had totally forgotten about her, thanks to RLM for the suggestion. Sadly the library didn't carry "Tales from FirozSha Baag" by Mistry