Today we travel back in time to explore a traditional dish selected from India’s rich culinary heritage – a delicious vegetarian rice preparation from the ancient kingdom of Awadh. The dish is known as Tehri and diverse variations of the recipe can be found all across Uttar Pradesh even today.
In the ancient Awadhi style of cooking, this dish used to be cooked in an earthen pot that would simmer over a slow fire for a long time – but now, we will use the convenience of the modern-day pressure cooker to make the process much faster.
Here are the ingredients that you will require.
Basmati Rice: 300 grams
Potato: 200 grams
Cauliflower (Gobi): 300 grams
Onion: 1, large
Green Chilli: 1
Mustard Oil: 5 tablespoons
Bay Leaf (Tej Patta): 1
Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
Ghee: 2 tablespoons
Coriander (Dhania) Leaves: 2 tablespoons
Salt: to taste
The quantities mentioned above are for serving four persons. Adjust the quantities proportionately to suit the number of servings that you require.
Wash and soak the rice in one litre of water for at least half an hour. Then drain the water and keep the rice aside.
Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into small wedges.
Wash the cauliflower and cut it into small florets.
Wash, peel and finely slice the onion.
Slit the green chilli lengthwise.
Coarsely chop the coriander leaves.
In a pan, heat one tablespoon of Mustard Oil on a Medium flame. Fry the cauliflower florets and potato pieces for a couple of minutes. Add a pinch of salt as you sauté. You need to ensure that the cauliflower and potato are lightly fried. You don’t have to fry till they turn brown. Remove the fried cauliflower and potato from the pan and keep aside.
Add a tablespoon of ghee to the pan and then add the rice. Sauté for two minutes or so. Then remove the pan from the flame.
Take the remaining Mustard Oil in a pressure cooker and heat it on a High flame. After a while the oil will reach its smoking point and start emitting streams of aromatic white smoke. Reduce the flame to Medium and add the cumin seeds along with the bay leaf. Stir to mix the oil and the spices.
Next, add the sliced onion and sauté till the slices turn golden brown in colour. Add the green chilli and continue to sauté for another 30 seconds or so.
Now add the fried cauliflower and potato and stir to mix well.
The next step is to add the red chilli powder and turmeric powder and mix well.
Next, add the rice along with around 700 millilitres of water. Add salt to taste and stir well to mix all the contents.
Add the garam masala and mix it well. Now close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on a Medium flame for one whistle.
Turn the flame off and let the pressure release slowly. Then open the pressure cooker and transfer the contents to a serving dish. Sprinkle the remaining ghee over the top of the dish and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.
Your traditional Awadhi Tehri is now ready. Serve it hot and bask in the warm spicy flavour and aroma of this ancient recipe.
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