One of the most common culinary plants of India, its seeds roasted and crushed or just left raw to use as spice, its leaves chopped and used to dress salads and soups, curries and cuisines of many kinds, its medicinal uses are many…be it a thrush of the mouth when we rush to mix it with warm water and use as gargle or take the case of conjunctivitis when it is mixed with cold water and used as eye lotion. Called by the name of Coriander or Cilantro, its seeds and leaves are both indispensable to spice and dress our cooking or to cure the ones who are ailing.

Extract from The Herbarius Litnus:  Mark that the juice of coriander blown up the nostrils restrains nosebleeds. . . And coriander is effective in tremors of the heart when its powder is given with borage water.”

 Dish Type:  South Indian Rice Variety Coriander Rice 1 copy

Preparation Time:  10 min

Serves:  4 persons


Basmati Rice       1 cup (250 gms)

For grinding:

Raw coconut grated        2 tbsp

Green chilli                      3 nos. chopped

Ginger                             1/2” pc

Cumin seeds                     ½ tsp

Saunf (Fennel seeds)     ½ tsp

Fresh coriander leaves  ½ cup packed

For seasoning:

Oil                           2 tbsp

Bay leaf                   1 (break it to slightly smaller size)

Cinnamon               ½” pc

Clove                     2 nos.

Pepper                  6 to 8 corns

Cashewnuts          10 to 12 nos. (optional)

Onion                    1 no. (medium size, thinly sliced)

Turmeric               A pinch

Salt to taste         2 tsps approx.

Ground Masala  (transfer from mixie)

Peas                      50 gms

Soaked Basmati Rice

Water                   2 cups (use same size cup that you used for measuring rice)


Wash basmati rice in running cold water. Soak it in water. Let it stand for about half an hour. Also wash coriander leaves (roots removed), green chillies and ginger thoroughly with water. Drain out the water. Meanwhile….

Peel the skin of ginger and onion. Chop ginger and green chillies to smaller bits (for faster grinding). Chop the onions into thin slices. Grate fresh raw coconut and keep aside. If the stalks of coriander leaves are tender, use them too along with the leaves for grinding. You are now ready for grinding.

Grind all the ingredients listed above “For grinding” to make a smooth paste.  Get ready for seasoning….

Heat oil in a pressure pan in low flame.  Add ingredients listed above “For seasoning” in the same order. When cashews turn golden brown add sliced onions immediately followed by salt and turmeric. When onions turn transparent, add the ground masala. Fry for about 5 min. Now drain the water in basmati rice, keep aside this water to use it a while later for cooking. Transfer rice to the pan and continue frying for another 5 min. Now add the drained water, mix them well, cover with a lid and weight on, turn the flame towards high and pressure cook for up to 2 whistles. Switch off the flame. Let it cool completely.  Fluff up the rice slowly and gently using a fork or spatula. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves if you wish.

Coriander Rice is now ready. Serve it with plain curd, spicy raitha, pickle and/or roasted/fried papad or side it with spicy potato curry or cauliflower curry.

Also view in this website, recipes of other rice varieties “Ellina Chitra Anna” “Greens Pulao” “Vegetable Biryani” “Raw Mango Rice” “Bisi Bele Bhaath” and “Veg Fried Rice


Green beans, Potatoes, Carrots, Cauliflower may also be used.

Onions can be skipped if you wish.

Adjust quantity of green chillies, pepper corns and ginger to suit your choice.

Using Coconut milk (as against just grated coconut) adds to the flavour and taste.



Can “fried” n “light” go hand in hand? Yes, of course and a Great Go it can be with this ‘Light Fried Rice’. Few ingredients….fabulous flavour. Believe me, it’s unbelievable! Serve it with a spicy curry…savoury that’s lip smacking when savoured! fried rice in red n yellow copy

Basic Ingredients: Rice, Vegetables, Oil.

Short and simple statement…yet feels too vast and vague an outline, right?  Since it gives rise to some very basic doubts like “Which oil should I use, which rice is better, which vegetables to choose ….etc.” and when asked, isn’t a reply like this highly likely…. “You can use any oil, any rice, any vegetables!” Simple answer, yet a complex set of doubts crop afresh clouding our misty minds furthermore! So, we at Sarapaaka try to list, in our recipes, (wherever required) choice of ingredients to choose from. If the list is long, it will be mentioned at the end, like in this case.


For cooking rice

Basmati Rice               1 cup

Water                          2 cups

Oil                               1 tsp

Salt                              a pinch

For stir frying:

Oil                               2 tbsps

Cumin seeds                ½  tsp

Onion                          2 nos. (medium size, cut to thin, long slices)

French beans               ¼  cup (cut into diagonal pieces)

Carrot                          ¼  cup (cut to matchstick size)

Capsicum                    ¼  cup (shredded)

Cabbage                      ¼  cup (shredded)

Turmeric                     Just a small pinch (it’s antiseptic…why miss it?)

Salt to taste                 2 tsps approx. (put it in pinches at different stages of cooking)

Pepper powder           3 tsps

For garnishing:

Spring Onion               ¼  cup (fine chopped)

Coriander leaves         2 tbsps (fine chopped)


Wash rice thoroughly in water. Drain out the water and keep rice aside for half an hour.

Wash vegetables thoroughly in water. Drain out the water. Chop or shred vegetables (as the case may be) as mentioned above under “Ingredients – for sautéing” and keep aside.

Cook rice in a pressure cooker along with the other ingredients listed under “Ingredients – for cooking” for upto 2 whistles.

A tip or two before you begin cooking….Rice has to be just cooked al dente. Cooking rice in vegetable broth adds to the flavour. Adding lime juice while cooking rice also adds to the flavour.

Heard 2 whistles…now switch off the flame. Let it cool.

While it is cooling….

Heat oil in a frying pan (or sauté pan) over medium heat. Swirl oil all round the pan to form a coat. The secret here lies in selecting a sturdy pan so that the veggies can be cooked evenly.

Put cumin seeds. When it splutters, add onions, a pinch of turmeric powder and salt. Sauté till it turns golden brown. (If you wish, you can keep this aside for garnish at the end). Now add all other vegetables and sauté. Also add pepper powder and continue tossing the veggies till they are cooked enough to be tender inside, crispy and crunchy outside.

By now, pressure in the cooker would have subsided. But has the rice turned cold….no, for sure.

(While you wait till it cools down readTechnique of cooling hot rice cold”  given  below under Chefs’Chat)

Now that the rice has cooled down, add a pinch of salt and mix well. Its time to heat it up! Add this to the cooked veggies in the pan or vice versa (i.e., transfer the cooked veggies on to the cooled rice). Mix them well. Garnish with fine chopped coriander leaves, fine chopped spring onions…many more choices listed a wee bit below.

Veg Fried Rice is ready to serve.

Also view in this blog recipe for “Vegetable Biryani

Chefs ‘Chat….about

Choice of oil, rice, vegetables, garnish and flavour; Basmati Rice; Technique to turn hot rice cold; Sauteing; Stir Frying; Saute Pan; Frying Pan.

Choice of oil: Olive, canola, dark sesame, peanut, soy

Choice of Rice: Basmati Rice, Brown rice or any long grain rice since they remain fluffy and don’t get clumpy.

Choice of Vegetables: (In addition to the ones listed under ingredients) Onions, Peas, Bell Pepper, Garlic, Ginger, Green soybeans, Baby beans, Baby corn, frozen Broccoli, Button mushrooms etc. Adding sugar retains colour of veggies. Whichever vegetables you choose, the time spent in the pan is short n sweet, so choose those that are tender by nature.

When using tougher, thicker vegetables head them straight not into the pan for sautéing but for blanching them briefly (by cooking in boiling water). They are now ready to be mixed with the other softer veggies.

Choice of Garnish: Toasted slivered almonds, fresh coriander leaves, fresh lime juice, fried brown crisp onion slices.

Choice of flavour: White pepper powder preferred. Crushed red pepper gives a hint of heat (optional), Toasted sesame seeds (optional), Soy sauce

Basmati Rice:  A variety of rice that is long bodied with a unique aroma. Cooked basmati rice results in grains that are long, dry, light, fragrant, slender, separate and non sticky.

Technique to turn hot rice cold: The golden rule of thumb to follow while sautéing rice for “Fried Rice” and certain other rice varieties is to make sure that the hot cooked rice is cold. To cool down the hot cooked rice grains and keep it separate, spread it on a wide flat tray and let it become warm. Rub it with a spoon of oil and keep aside till you use it.

Sautéing is a cooking term that means “to cook food fast using minimum amount of fat on a fairly high heat” as against Stir Frying which means “to cook food fast using relatively higher amount of fat on a fairly high heat”. Food is tossed once in a way during sautéing whereas stir frying needs accelerated and constant stirring action. The word sauté originates from a French verb “sauter” which means “to jump”. Sautéing preserves the texture and flavour of food intact.

Sauté pan has a long handle with slightly taller sides compared to a frying pan. This permits stirring food easily without spilling or jumping out of the pan. Frying pan is deeper to accommodate larger quantities of fat for frying.

BISI BELE BHAATH (Rice Variety with Lentil and Veggies)

Spicy, traditional, authentic delicious dish from Karnataka, India. A typical rice and lentil combination dish with a generous mix of veggies, giving you lot of flexibility to choose from among a variety of vegetables. While rice, lentil and vegetables contribute the most to the nutrition factor; curry leaves, asafoetida and tamarind play dual roles to give not just nutrition but also that unique flavour. However, the secret behind the awesome taste of this dish lies in the spice powder.Scroll down and get started….to discover more about this dish, also known as “Bisi Bele Huliyanna” or “Hot Lentil Sour Rice”.

Dish Type:  South Indian Vegetarian Rice Variety Bisi Bele Bhaath

Preparation Time:  20 min

Cooking time:  40 min

Serves:  4 persons


For cooking:

Rice                 100 gms

Toor Dal          100 gms

Water              500 ml

Oil                   1 tbsp

Turmeric pwd A pinch

Beans              50 gms  (chopped to 1” long pieces)

Potato              1 no. (chopped to ½” cubes)

Double Beans  30 gms

Carrot              1 no. (chopped to 1” long pieces)

Knol khol         1 no. (chopped to 1” long pieces)

For preparing masala:

Tamarind paste           1 tbsp (or soak 1 lime size ball of tamarind and extract the juice)

Salt to taste                 1 tsp

Spice powder              2 tbsp approx. (refer “Bisi Bele Bhaath powder” recipe in this website)

Water                          50 ml

For seasoning:

Oil                               2 tbsps

Mustard seeds                        1 tsp

Bengal gram dal         1 tsp

Black gram dal                        1 tsp

Asafoetida                   A pinch

Curry leaves                1 sprig

Onion                          1 no. (chopped to ½” cubes)

Turmeric powder        A pinch

Salt to taste                 1 tsp approx.

Capsicum                    1 no. (chopped to ½” cubes)

Tomatoes                    2 nos. (chopped to ½” cubes)

For garnishing:

Ghee                            1 tbsp

Coriander leaves         2 tbsps


Wash rice and toor dal separately and thoroughly in water. Drain out the water.

Put 300 ml of water, washed toor dal, few drops of oil and a pinch of turmeric powder into a pressure cooker and keep it for boiling. When the dal is half cooked (this can be known by pressing the dal with your fingers. The dal just splits without getting mashed) add all vegetables, salt (listed above under “for cooking”) and washed rice. Mix them well; add another 200 ml of water. Now close the lid of the pressure cooker and let it cook upto 2 whistles. Switch off the flame. Let it cool.

Put tamarind paste in a bowl. Dilute it to juice consistency by adding 50 ml of water.  To this add salt and bisi bele bath powder. Mix them well. Boil this mixture in a small thick vessel or skillet on low flame for 5 to 10 min. If the mixture becomes too thick, add some more water, mix well and again keep for boiling till it reaches “gojju” consistency.

By now, the pressure in the cooker would have subsided. Remove the lid. Add this boiled mixture into the cooker, stir the contents well and again boil it for another 10 min. Switch off the flame. While this is boiling, prepare the seasoning. For this,

Heat oil in to a kadai. Put mustard seeds. When they crackle, add bengal gram dal followed by black gram dal. When they turn golden brown in colour, add asafoetida, curry leaves, chopped onions, salt and turmeric powder. Sauté till onions turn transparent and golden brown. Now add chopped capsicum. Continue sautéing till capsicum is just cooked and feels crisp and crunchy. Don’t overcook capsicum. Now add chopped tomatoes. Stir for 2 or 3 min. till the tomatoes are slightly cooked and the rawness disappears. Do not overcook tomatoes either. Switch off the flame. Pour this seasoning on to the boiling bisi bele bhaath in the pressure cooker to form a top layer. Do not mix this till you start serving.

Garnish with ghee and finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Bisi Bele Bhaath is now ready.

Serve it steaming hot topped with a spoonful of ghee with fried papad, potato chips, fresh khara boondi, raitha or salad giving the bhaath cool company.

Also view other rice varieties in our blog “Vegetable Biryani“, “Greens Pulao“, “Ellina Chitranna” and “Raw Mango Rice


Broken wheat may also be used in place of white rice. Similarly rice can be substituted by Poha or Avalakki. Poha needs to be soaked for about 30 min. before mixing and boiling with cooked lentil and veggies.

Ensure Toor dal retains its shape even after it is cooked.