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Chef's corner: Relish your Navratri fast

Indulge in nine days of revelry with healthy but tasty dishes made with natural grown food. Chef Pankaj Bhadouria shares an innovative recipe of Motia Pulao made with samo rice and water-chestnut flour

During the nine days of Navratri, which falls between September 25 and October 3 this year, people consume satvik (simple cook) food. Pankaj Bhadouria, the first winner of Masterchef India in 2010 who now runs a cooking academy in Lucknow, says, “Onion, garlic and turmeric, even if they grow underground, are off the list as they are heat inducing and can prove to be harmful while one is fasting. Instead, spices such as cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaves are used.”


Chef Pankaj Bhadouria

She adds that rather than wheat flour and plain white flour, water-chestnut flour (singhade ka atta), buckwheat (kuttu), amaranth flour (rajgira), along with samo rice (jungle rice) and sabudana (sago beans) are used to make puris, khichdi and other savoury items. She shares the recipe of Motia Pulao, made with samo rice and water-chestnut flour.

Motia Pulao

Ingredients
>> 2 cups samo rice
>> 1 large tomato
>> 2 green chillies
>> 2 tsp chopped green coriander
>> 1 cup paneer
>> ½ cup khoya
>> 2 tbsp water-chestnut flour (singhade ka atta)
>> 4 tbsp peanut oil or
desi ghee
>> Salt to taste

Method
>> In a pan, take 1 tbsp ghee or oil
>> Add the samo and sauté a little till it turns light brown
>> Add salt as per taste and two cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until well done.
>> Remove from heat. Cover and set aside for 10-12 minutes or till all the moisture is absorbed
>> Fluff up using a fork
>> De-seed the tomato and chop into dices
>> Finely chop the green chillies and the coriander
>> Mash the khoya, 1 tbsp singhade ka atta and paneer well into a dough
>> Roll them into marble-si>> ed balls
>> Roll the balls in singhade ka atta. You can also roll the balls in some samo rice
>> Heat the remaining ghee or oil and deep fry the balls till golden in colour
>> Add the balls, chopped tomatoes, chopped chillies and coriander leaves to the fluffed rice and mix lightly
>> Serve with cucumber raita

 

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