It’s been hot and I think I’m melting! I could’ve sworn I was an inch taller just two weeks ago!! Thank goodness for the rain Gods, it’s been much cooler the past two days. I feel that I can now actually enter my beloved kitchen, without getting cooked myself. Although I enjoy making elaborate meals and spending precious time creating culinary art, there are times when I just want to come home and not take more than a few minutes to whip up a delicious yet wholesome meal.
It is often at such times when I find retreat in my always over-stocked pantry. I love my pantry, and I sincerely believe that if I happen to have an unexpected emergency at hand, I’ll most probably be very well prepared to cook up a meal for 10 people using just the contents from it. I always make sure my shelves are well stocked with a variety of pasta, flour, canned beans, sauces and quick eats.
I’ve always loved grocery shopping, which only added to my pantry stock. I love losing myself in the aisles with the variety of oils, sauces and international fares. Learning to grocery shop the right way is an acquired art. It takes brain power and perfect precision to buy things in just the right amount to stock a pantry. There were times when I would find myself staring at 5 cans of tuna, each with an expiry date well past.
It took time, and a lot of practice, but I learnt. I now have the perfect pantry to help me build my meals each day. And at times like tonight, when all I want is a quick fix and hours in front of the TV, my pantry is what I can count on!
TAWA PULAO (INDIAN-STYLE FRIED RICE)
Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 15 min | Serves: 4
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
salt, to taste
3 cups cooked rice (I used brown Basmati)
finely chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnish
lime wedges for garnish
Heat oil in a large non-stick pan and fry onions and ginger-garlic paste till lightly browned and fragrant. Add in spices, tomato paste and chopped tomatoes, and fry for a few minutes it starts to combine and give out oil along the sides.
Add in the veggies and stir-fry for a few minutes till they start to soften up a bit. Season with salt, add in rice and mix well. Cook covered on low heat for a few minutes till all the flavours blend in together.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve warm with a sprinkling of lime juice on top.