Indian Dinner in 30minutes
So now don’t expect to see a whole spread of Indian dishes made from scratch in 30 minutes. That’s not going to happen, it probably will happen in your kitchen, but not in mine. I had to take some short-cuts to make 3 dishes in 30 minutes. Bear with me, this is going to be a long post (I know it's kind of ironic that I've a long post for a quick meal).
I used to watch Rachael Ray’s “30 minute meals” very religiously few years ago. When I tried to make the same dish at home, it used to take more than 30 minutes and I wondered if Rachael was even for real.
Keeping with the theme of “30 minute meals” for blogging marathon, I wanted to challenge myself to make a typical south Indian meal with rice, rasam (pappu chaaru) and curry in 30 minutes. I used frozen toor dal (from past weekend) and store-bought roasted unsalted peanuts to make the gravy for the curry. To tell you the truth, 30 minutes whizzed past pretty fast and if I didn’t have my eyes on the clock and rushed around the kitchen like a mad woman, it might have taken a little longer.
6:40-6:45PM: Washed rice in a pressure cooker and left it to soak for 10 minutes. Heated a sauce pan (for rasam) and sauté pan for the curry on medium-high heat. Cut 2 red onions & 3 green chilies (need twice, chop once).
6:45 – 6:50: Added 2tsp oil to both the heated pans; added tempering (fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, dry red chilies & hing) in the saucepan for dal and let it splutter. Added half of the onions to the curry pan and sautéed the onions with ginger+garlic paste until onions were browned around the edges (about 3-5minutes). Added the remaining half of the chopped onions to the dal pan and cooked until they turned translucent (about 3 minutes).
6:50 – 6:55: Zapped the frozen dal for 2 minutes in the microwave. Chopped 15 mini-bell peppers and 2 ripe tomatoes. Started pressure cooking rice. Once the onions for the curry were done, removed them into blender jar and set aside. Heated 1 tbsp oil in the same pan; added mustard & cumin seeds and after they spluttered, added the peppers, covered the pan and allowed to soften.
6:55-7:00: Onions for the dal were ready by this time, so added the tomatoes; covered and cooked them for 3 minutes. Next added rasam powder, salt, brown sugar, tamarind paste, cooked dal along with 2 cups of water. Left it to simmer on medium flame. To the cooked onions in the blender jar, added roasted peanuts, bagara baingan masala (store-bought), red chili powder, ground cumin, brown sugar, salt, tamarind paste and tahini and blended them into a smooth paste with 1-2cups of water.
7:00 – 7:05: Added the peanut paste into the pepper mixture, seasoned with some salt; covered the pan and left it to simmer on medium flame. The cooker had whistled once already.
7:07: Second whistle and the rice was done.
7:08: Rasam simmered long enough, turned that off.
7:10: Curry simmered long enough and the peppers were tender but a little crisp, turned that off.
The next 15 minutes were spent in cleaning up the mess and some dirty dishes. By 7:30 we were ready to have dinner. Now for the recipes in a more leisurely pace.
Pappu chaaru (Rasam with dal)
- Heat 2tsp oil in a medium sauce pan. Add the tempering ingredients and once the seeds start to splutter, add onions and green chilies and sauté until onions turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Next add chopped tomatoes and turmeric; cover and cook until tomatoes are cooked and turn into mush, another 3 minutes.
- Then add rasam powder, red chili powder, brown sugar, tamarind paste, cooked dal and salt along with 2 cups of water.
- Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat; lower heat to medium and simmer until all the flavors combine, about 10 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Mini Peppers in Peanut Gravy: This dish is a 30 minute spin off on the very famous Hyderabadi mirch ka salan and bagara baingan.
Mini Peppers in Peanut Gravy
- Heat 2tsp oil in a sauté pan; add onions and sauté on medium-high heat stirring frequently until browned around the edges, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add ginger+garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove onions from the pan; heat 1tbsp oil in the same pan; add mustard & cumin seeds and once they start to splutter, add the chopped peppers; cover and cook until half way cooked through, about 5-8 minutes.
- In the meantime make the peanut gravy, to the onions, add peanuts, tahini, masala powders, salt, tamarind paste and brown sugar and blend into a smooth paste with 1-2 cups of water.
- Add the gravy to the peppers, cover and cook until peppers are tender, about 6-8 minutes.
- Note 1: Tamarind Paste - I make tamarind paste at home with tamarind that my mom sends me from India. Take about 2 cups of tamarind with 2 cups of water in a saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Then blend it up into a smooth paste. If you have time and energy, use a strainer to take out the strings so the paste is really smooth. Use as needed.
- Note 2: I recently found that I can add tahini to gravies instead of making my own roasted ground sesame powder. Both of them are basically the same but tahini has some oil in it and is a liquid. If you don’t have tahini, then add some roasted sesame seeds to the peanuts when grinding.
Lets see what my fellow marathoners have cooked up for the 6th day of our 7 day marathon:
30 Minutes Meals:
Seven Days of Salad:
For Ongoing 7 Events:
Seven Days of Rice: