My mother is a fabulous cook. She is the type of mother who believes in feeding up her family. She could never eat dinner herself until we were all home, and had finished eating. Even now, when my sisters and I are all grown and married, she still worries about whether we are all eating properly. I feel terrible when I think of all the times that my sisters and I should have been helping her in the kitchen, but thought up all kinds of excuses not to!
Most of the dishes I cook up today - mom taught me to make, but try as I may, they just don't taste as good. There was no such thing as dieting in my mom's disliked dieting - she preached portion control - which was very difficult to keep to, when confronted with the mouth watering, calorie laden dishes she placed in front of me. Unfortunately for me, I was always struggling with my weight and my more serious diet binges resulted in disapproval and arguments, which led me to sneak out of the house to skip lunch: 'cause I knew that once I sat at the table, all my good intentions would be 'gone with the aroma'... and it would completely blow my diet off track. I had great willpower in those days... these days when I have no one to oppose my dieting, I just can't keep it up... hmmm... that is probably nature's way of punishing me for giving mom all that trouble :)
Shrimp or Prawn Risotto is a particular favorite recipe of mine, and mom would make it often for me and my sister. It is called prawn pulao in India, and is usually served with salad mixed in yogurt called Raita.
It is a classic and needs no accompaniments. Just a little salad, and presto! A meal fit for a queen! And the best thing is, its quick and simple to make. A one pot dish. Try it for yourself:

Serves 4
20-15 small shrimp shelled, cleaned and de-veined.
2 cups white basmati rice
4 cups of water or chicken broth
1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, chopped (optional)
1 cup peas (optional)
4-5 garlic flakes, chopped
1/2" piece of ginger, chopped
2-3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 bay leaves
2-3 whole cardamoms
2-3 pepper pods
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1-2 tsp chilli powder or to taste
2-3 tbsp canola oil
salt to taste
handful of cilantro and roasted cashew nuts to garnish

Soak the rice for 1/2 an hour. Marinate the shrimp with turmeric and salt and set aside in the refrigerator. In a pan add oil and heat on medium. When well heated, add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, pepper and bay leaves. Now add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic and fry for 10 -15 seconds. If using tomatoes, add now and fry for a few minutes. Add the turmeric, chilli and garam masala powders and fry for another 30 seconds. Add water or broth, and cook until the rice is done. fluff with a fork, and cilantro and roasted cashews to garnish if desired.

Authors Note:
You will find that a yogurt Raita is particularly tasty with this dish. Just mix together - finely chopped tomato, cucumber, carrot, beetroot and onion (or any combination of veggies that you like). Add yogurt, a little sugar, and salt to taste, then garnish with chopped cilantro. I find that this dish tastes best when it is served immediately.

1 comment:

  1. All of your recipes look fantastic. It's this one that sounds especially tasty to me, however. I cannot wait to try it. Thanks Anu!



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