reStore Food Blog : Masala Bhath inspired

February 14, 2011

Dear All,

A Very Happy 3rd Anniversary to reStore and especial good wishes to all those who had the vision to start this and keep it up for 3 glorious years by pitching in and of course making reStore our primary food source… Wish you all good health, interesting and satisfying livelihoods and more time spent in beautiful thriving nature!

One of the pillars of organic and sustainable food movements is reducing or better still, avoiding wastage. For most of us it seems an elusive goal, especially when you manage to look at the bottom of the refrigerator on a Saturday morning and find wilted greens, a sad looking beetroot lurking in the corner eyeing half a bottlegourd at the other end. Instinct is to gather all of them and drop them in the trash. Two problems solved in one sweep! ūüôā ¬†But oh! the guilt!!

Here is a recipe that I use towards the weekend, which is a good alternative to the grand sweep into the trash.

It is a ‘one pot dish’, very inclusive and forgiving. With some simple condiments such as a favourite pickle or chutney, toasted papad for crunch and maybe a raita or kachumber, it makes a satisfying meal.

Use a stainless steel pressure cooker for quick and easy results.


1 cup Rice: Parboiled Ponni works very well.

1 tablespoon of oil (ghee if you prefer)

jeera 1/2 tea spoon

mustard seeds 1/2 tea spoon

Turmeric 1 teaspoon

Coriander powder 1 to 2 teaspoons ( as strong as you like)

Chilli powder to taste

Asafoetida to taste

Optional: Garlic to taste, garam masala to taste

Salt to taste

Water as needed

Vegetables about 2-3 cups: What you have in the fridge  Рchop quick cooking or tender ones like beans, carrots and potatoes in larger chunks.  Chop cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli stalks finely.  Medium chop any, onions, capsicum, tomatoes, if using.  Wash and chop and drain greens separately.


Clean and wash rice and set aside

Heat pressure cooker until almost hot.

Add oil and the mustard and jeera seeds and let sputter

Lower heat and add the turmeric and coriander powder quickly and let fry for 10 seconds

Add the onions, garlic, capsicum and any aromatic greens such as methi (fenugreek)  now, if using.

quickly add the chilly powder and asafoetida . Garam Masala also may be added here

Let saute for about a minute until the aroma is released.

Add the rest of the vegetables and rice

Add enough water to just cover the rice and veggies.

Add the salt and stir.

Cover and cook as you would normally for the kind of rice your using.  For Ponni parboiled, I cook for about 5-6 mins on sim ( simmer setting)  after the first pressure release.

Variations: Cooked left over channa, uncooked leftover sprouts, or panneer too may be added to the rice. Remember to adjust salt and water accordingly. In the summer serve with some yummy lime pickle or mint chutney with some chopped cucumber. Don’t worry if the texture varies from sticky to dry. It will, depending on the kind of vegetables you add in.

Here you have it a complete meal within 30 minutes, even less, if your chopping skills are good! And as a added bonus guilt free fridge cleaning.

Tip for vegan and non-vegan blended families. If you are vegan and your family is not this is a great dish for all to share. Raita for the lacto half and chopped salad or kachumber for the vegan half.

We look forward to your experience with variations from your fridge!

Love those comments, keep them coming!


  1. 2 Responses to “reStore Food Blog : Masala Bhath inspired”

  2. Hey
    Just to say my dinner plans went fine! Sorry you couldn’t make it, Gayatri!

    In fact we had my husband’s friend over that night, this guy who at present lives in Singapore and was in the US earlier. We got to talking about organic food and why reStore is doing this–he mentioned that his wife (they have a small boy), would always go to the organic store in the US, at least for vegs/fruits for their child. They always found them so much more costly (more than double)–and said that typically they would find them shrivelled, very sad specimens as compared to the “normal” ones.
    So just by sight it seemed they were getting “more” or “bigger” non-organic vegs for the same price.

    My answer was, well I have made you a 100% organic meal today!I told him to check out my masala rice of the evening–how did the vegs appear? I had used large caulis, potatoes, beans and carrots, flavoured with the methi leaves–if I say so myself the dish was bursting with good health and the “bigness” of our vegs was apparent! The tomato raita was good too. He said “Oh yes, ofcourse, this is great, but in the US that’s not the case”. He went on to enjoying the meal thoroughly!

    That got me thinking–reStore vegetables are not that exorbitant when you compare, and they are mostly glorious to look at too. The cabbages and greens taste so scrumptious, compared to the sulphurous, nastly tasting things you get outside.

    This is a longish “comment”–but I felt compelled to mention how wonderful and aromatic organic vegs are–irrespective of size, shape et al! They keep for a long while too–outside the fridge they last quite long if aerated well. Just to dispel this myth that organic vegs tend to spoil faster!

    By meera rammohan on Feb 25, 2011

  3. Agree with you totally on the aroma and taste of organic veggies. I too have found that organic veggies do last longer in the fridge and out.

    I am happy that you tried out the recipe and it worked well.. best of all you had friends to share it with.


    By gayatri on Feb 27, 2011

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