"You want Pokil?..a vigorous nod of the head said no and I then heard a firm aaplam" This was my conversation with Chinnu a week back. It was after knowing that Chinnu wanted to eat his friend's appalam during their lunch! Till then somehow I never gave them appalams, though Friyams are an everyday dish. Konda was all excited that evening when I reached home, saying the boys' teacher asked me to send them Apalam for lunch from now. Chinnu was frivolous in demanding the appalam that was his friend's lunch box item.
Pokil, what is this you might ask? Oh, that's a long story! This is the word the boys use for friyams, those golden fries made with sabudana. One fine day I remembered that Konda used to love these and got two packets, one coloured and the other plain yellow ones. Both the packets were completed almost the same day. They were even fighting over which colour they want. It had green, yellow, orange, white, and pink. While Konda wanted only pink, Chinnu refused to share. Peddu was content as long as he got the Pokil. Two days later, Peddu came back home asking for pokil. I didn't have a clue what he was referring to. We had completely forgotten about the friyam episode.
None of us realized what it was but he cried a fitful for it for days. Every time he will come to the kitchen, asking for Pokil, Pokil. I open all the shelves and ask him to show me. He will have that forlorn look and pout his lips and say Pokil Amma Pokil. As if that would make me understand what he was referring to! I was feeling sad, angry, and wild, and lost all in one go. I know their language well but this was getting way too out of control. So whenever I thought he was going to say Pokil, I tried distracting him somehow.
A few days later, I was playing the videos I had shot of them. Both the boys were on my lap, watching the videos. All of sudden I heard a shrill and felt Peddu becoming jubilant. He was shouting Pokil Pokil seeing the videos. I turned and saw all three of them were eating those friyams in the video! Imagine for Friyams there was so much hungama and confusion. I somehow convinced him that I would get the "Pokil" soon. Hubby dear and Athamma were laughing knowing what Pokil means.
Anyway in the end I am sending them Pokil or Aapalam on alternative days and they thoroughly enjoyed eating this Potato Pulao that I made for us last week!
Today's Lunch Box had
Tomato in coconut Milk curry
Cumin Pepper Rasam
Rice - 2 cups
Potatoes - 2 big
Onions - 2 medium
Tomato - 1 medium
Curds/ Yogurt - 3 tbsp
Green Chilies - 2 -3 medium
Red Chili powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Water - 3 & 1/2 cups
Mint leaves - 5 -6 springs
Coriander leaves for garnish
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf - 2 small
Star Anise - 1
Cardamon - 2
Cinnamon - 2"
Mace - 1
Method to prepare:
Wash and soak rice for 15 - 20 minutes.
Chop onions as julienne, tomatoes very finely. Slit green chilies in middle.
Heat a pressure cooker with ghee and oil. Once its hot, sauté all the wholes spices for 1 min.
Then add the julienne onions along with green chilies, mint leaves and fry till the onions start sweating. Add in the ginger garlic paste. Fry till it turns brown.
Peel the potatoes while the onions are getting brown, cube them into 2" chunks. And add to the pan. Simmer and cover with the lid for the potatoes to get little soft.
Add in the chopped tomatoes along with chili powder and salt. Fry well till the tomatoes are well mashed. Simmer this for 2 minutes. At this stage add the curds and drained rice. Sauté will so that the rice gets well coated.
Add water and adjust salt, combine everything well and cover with lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Notes: If you are using Basmati rice, use 1: 1 ratio of rice & water. Cooking this rice in pan gives the best results. But when you are hurried on a weekday, the pressure cooker gets done in 15 mins. Only have to keep an eye on the water added. So always soak rice for longer time and cook with the exact measurement of water.
Roasting the potatoes along with the onions will give a beautiful brown coating to potatoes.
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