What’s the best way to simplify your meals? It’s the super one-pot dishes that win hands down! And everybody loves it. For these can be done in just one crock pot with ingredients off the shelf or from the refrigerator. No elaborate preparations – just the usual ingredients and the right way – and you got them doing the magic!
Different cultures have their varieties of one-pot dishes which have evolved with time, even India has always had these super bowls! Probably, it was us who came up with this concept, who knows!? Much of a world trend today, these comforting pots can even become the star-performer at your next party. Presenting some of my favourite Indian recipes, all of which, are full of goodness and reach the table in a large pot for that sure-shot satisfaction.
For those special Sundays
Khichri, literally translates to ‘hodge-podge’ in English, lives up to its name for it is the ultimate mish-mash of rice, lentils, vegetables and sometimes dry-fruits too. This is the ultimate comfort food of the Indian subcontinent and varies from region to region. Accompany it with its chaar yaar – ghee, papad, dahi, achaar, and your Sunday will be made!
For the meat lovers, there are the popular khichra and haleem – both pretty much similar in nature. Wheat, meats like mutton/chicken, lentils and spices thrown in a pot with ghee and water and slow cooked to give the ultimate mélange of flavours! Garnish with fried onions, fresh coriander and serve with lemon wedges and onion rings. Also, popular during the Ramadan and Moharram months as there cannot be a better way to break those strict fasts!
From the city of pearls
…is the famous one-pot dish dalcha which is nothing but an Indian stew made with mutton, lentils and spices, tempered with a tamarind base. Flavourful, hearty and too good to miss out! Other variants include kaddu ka dalcha (made of bottle gourd) and char dal ka dalcha (Bengal gram, pigeon peas, red lentils and green gram minus the meat do the trick in this!).
Ruling the roost with rice!
Rice being a dominant crop in India sees its use widely in numerous recipes. Talking of the classic one that fits in the category of one-pot meals is the pulao, which is simple yet tasty. Rice browned in oil or ghee, and then cooked with vegetables/meats in a seasoned stock. Unlike biryanis, the ingredients in a pulao are not layered. Alternatives include tehri/tahiri (basically a vegetarian biryani, popular in North India), bisi bele huliyana (a South Indian special including vegetables, lentils, sambhar powder, dakshin masalas, a crackling tempering and lots of tamarind) and mishti pulao (a sweet one from West Bengal) to name a few.
Better with biryani!
Talking of the fabulous Indian one-pots and leaving an earthy biryani behind, too unfair! Hence, a separate section! Yes, the list will never be complete without these tasteful preparations for biryanis are visual delights: layers of beautiful array of long-grained rice, tender meat, pungent spices, nuts and most often, orange strands of exotic saffron. Cook it on dum and experience the flavours. To add, forgetting a raita alongwith it is almost a crime! Instant happiness and gratification is definitely guaranteed with a biryani, always!
And then, there are these quintessential preparations that are essentially not one-pot meals but can be turned into one – rajma-chawal (perfectly cooked kidney beans in a rich tomato gravy with aromatic steamed rice), kadhi-chawal (batter fried onion dumplings in a flavourful yogurt gravy with steamed rice) and curd rice (as obvious as the name – rice and curd, tempered with mustard seeds, asafoetida, red chillies and curry leaves).
Www.SanjeevKapoor.com is the place to check out for all these recipes, alongwith many more. Don’t forget to share your favourites!