If you are spending January 26 at home, put together a tri-colour meal your family will love.

Masala Bhaat doesn’t necessarily need to be restricted to comfort food.

When presented and plated well, as per Chef Jerson Fernandes‘s recipe, it can brighten up your Republic Day celebrations.

Chef Fernandes has been 17 years in his field and specialises in food presentation.

Masala Bhaat

Serves: 3

Ingredients

  • 300 gm Basmati rice
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 100 gm palak or spinach puree
  • 100 gm carrot puree
  • 50 gm dahi or yoghurt
  • 150 gm cream
  • 150 gm chopped onions, divided into 4 equal parts
  • 30 gm chopped garlic, divided into 4 equal parts
  • 1½ tbsp tbsp jeera or cumin seeds
  • ¾ tbsp rai or mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 4-5 red chillies
  • Dash black pepper powder
  • 200 gm tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp chilly powder
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp jeera or cumin powder
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • Ring mould
  • Butter for greasing the ring mould

To garnish

  • Whisked dahi or yoghurt + ¼ tsp jeera or cumin powder.
  • Rolled papad
  • Chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro
  • A lemon wedge

To serve

  • Roasted peanuts
  • Chana dal
  • Fried red chillies
  • Curry leaves
  • Edible flowers of your choice like rose petals

Method

  • Wash and soak the rice for 20 minutes.
    Drain the water.
    Place a saucepan filled with water over medium-high heat.
    When the water boils, add the washed rice.
    Add the salt and let the rice cook for 10-15 minutes.
    Once cooked, take off heat and drain excess water. 
    Check salt, divide into 3 equal portions and keep aside. 

For the carrot rice

  • Heat 2 tbsp of the ghee in a frying pan over medium heat.
    Add ½ tbsp of the cumin seeds, ¼ tbsp of the mustard seeds and let the spices crackle.
    Then add the few curry leaves, ¼ portion of the chopped onions and ¼ portion of the garlic.
    Saute.
  • Once the onions turn translucent, add the carrot puree and let it fry for 5-8 minutes.
    Add 1 portion of the boiled basmati rice.
    Add 2 tbsp of the cream and ½ tbsp of the garam masala powder.
  • Mix to get saffron-coloured rice.
    Take off heat and keep aside. 

For the spinach rice

  • Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of ghee in a frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add ½ tbsp of the cumin seeds, ¼ tbsp of the mustard seeds and let the spices crackle and then add a few curry leaves, ¼ portion of the chopped onions and ¼ portion of the garlic.
    Saute well.
    Once the onions turn translucent, add the spinach puree.
    Add the chopped coriander and the mint leaves and fry for 5-8 minutes.
    Add one portion of the boiled rice, 2 tbsp of the cream, ½ tbsp of the garam masala powder and mix to get a green-coloured rice.
    Take off heat and keep aside.

For the dahi rice

  • Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add ½ tbsp of the cumin seeds, ¼ tbsp of the mustard seeds and let the spices crackle and then add a few curry leaves, ¼ portion of the chopped onions and ¼ portion of the garlic.
    Saute well.
    Once the onions turn translucent take off heat, cool, and add the yoghurt.
    Add one portion of the cooked rice.
    Mix well and keep aside.

For the tomato sauce

  • Boil the tomato puree in a saucepan.
    Temper using the remaining oil, the remaining chopped garlic and the remaining onions.
    Add the salt, pepper powder, 1 tbsp chilly powder, 1 tbsp cumin powder and the remaining ½ tbsp garam masala powder.
    Stir and take off heat.
    Keep aside.

Assembly

  • Start plating, by using a ring mould brushed with butter to plate the 3 flavours of rice, one above the other to resemble to colors of the Indian flag.
    First place the mould on the plate and start with the green-coloured rice, followed by the dahi rice and then the saffron-coloured rice.
  • Top it with few tbsp of the dahi and a rolled, crispy papad.
    Add a few fresh sprigs of coriander.
  • The tomato sauce should be poured around the rice.
  • Mix the remaining dahi with ¼ tsp cumin powder and line it on the side of the plate.
    You can also add for garnish and decoration, roasted peanuts, chana dal, fried red chillies, curry leaves, a lemon wedge and the edible flowers.

Chef Fernandes’ Note: Always brush butter/oil on the inner surface of the ring mould to ensure the rice grains don’t stick to the mould while demoulding.

While roasting the papad, it should be hot when rolling it up to get the desired shape and finish. If it’s cold, it will break while rolling.

Chef Jerson Fernandes is the Culinary Director at Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach.

  • REDIFF RECIPES 

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