Growing up in North India had its own delights when it came to culinary pleasures!The Winter season was the most waited season of the year as there would be a multitude of fresh vegetables all of which came straight from the fields.Plump Radishes,fresh Coriander Leaves moist with dew,big pods of fresh and sweet peas,big red Carrots,Snow Peas,Leafy Vegetables like Spinach,Fenugreek Leaves,fresh Mustard Greens(Sarson ka Saag),Chenopodium album(excuse the long term) but very famous as Bathua used in making Rotis,Paranthas and Raita,huge heads of Cauliflower and Cabbage and lovely fresh green chickpeas(Hare Chane) dominated the stalls in the market.In the fruit sections were luscious and sweet Guavas,plump Chickoos(Sapota),crispy Apples and Grapes and divinely sweet Oranges.
These days the market is commercialised and we get almost all vegetables throughout the year.However being an 80’s baby I saw how people waited for seasons to get the associated crops and prepare food accordingly.There would be delicacies associated with seasons and people would enjoy the seasons based on the food prepared!
But now as we can prepare any delicacy anytime I find it as an excuse to enjoy halcyon days by preparing food according to the season.Tehri is a one pot meal – it has rice,vegetables and for those people who scream – Where is the Dal(lentils),it has them in the form of peas.The basic philosophy in preparing these meals were to ensure that women did not work much in the cold and still the family enjoyed a meal with wholesome goodness.It is had with Raita and Pickle(so you have Yogurt which aids in digestion and more spice of the pickle to tingle your tastebuds) and warms you up so much that you find it in being one of the best comfort foods on earth!It is made in a Pressure Cooker which further adds to the ease of preparing the meal.Remember to use a cooker which is slightly bigger than the quantity made.The ingredients will cook uniformly throughout.
The lovely vegetable combo for Tehri!
It is also so very easy to prepare that it can be made when you are in a hurry,or when you do not want to cook or even as a special tiffin option.So here goes the recipe:
Preparation Time – 45 minutes
Makes – 3-4 servings
1 1/2 cups long grained rice
1 cup Cauliflower florets
1/2 cup fresh/frozen green peas
1 big Onion – sliced
2-3 small Potatoes – diced
1 tsp Turmeric Powder(Haldi)
Salt to taste
2 tsp Garam Masala
1 Black Cardamom Pod(Badi Elaichi)
2 Green Cardamoms(Choti Elaichi)
2 Bay Leaves
1 tbsp Ghee
1 tbsp Oil
Water as required
Soak the rice in water for 20-25 minutes.Drain and keep aside.
Heat the Ghee and Oil in a pressure cooker.The original recipe calls for 2 tbsp Ghee but I use a combination of both.Oil also does not make the Ghee burn.Add the Bay leaves,Black Cardamom,Green Cardamom seeds(peel them to remove the black seeds) and Cloves.Fry on medium heat till the spices give out their wonderful aromas.
Then add the sliced Onions and saute till transparent.
Add the Cauliflower florets and Potato dices.
Stir for 2 minutes and add the green Peas.
Stir again for a minute and add the drained rice.
Reduce the heat to low and fry the rice in the ghee,oil and spices for approximately 3-4 minutes.Add salt,Turmeric Powder and Garam Masala.Mix well to amalgamate.
Now add water to the rice and stir to combine.The water should be a little above the rice and vegetables.Here check for salt by tasting the water.If you feel it needs more salt then add accordingly.However be careful not to add too much.
Close the pressure cooker and cook for 2-3 whistles.Remember not to overcook as the rice will turn too soft and mashy.Allow the cooker to cool gradually and open.
Ladle the Tehri on to plates and serve with Raita and Pickle.
A bowl of delicious Tehri!