Tahiri or teheri is a rice preparation cooked along with vegetables, a perfect one pot meal which is usually served with raita. It is cooked like a pulav but addition of a lot of vegetables makes it healthier. I remember I used to cook tahiri quite often in my hostel too and girls used to take a dabba for their boyfriends much to my annoyance :-)
It has been a childhood favorite for me and my husband both but the flavors we like in a tahiri are different unfortunately. He likes his tahiri little bland, with potatoes and peas essentially and aromatic with loads of ghee. While I like it very spicy with lots of vegetables into it, no potatoes, mostly greens like spinach, sowa, methi etc.
Needless to say I have to make it somewhat in between, not too spicy not to bland and I find it very easy to sneak in a lot of veggies into it by adding vegetables of different types, like here the potatoes and cauliflower pieces retain their shape while the spinach and dill greens get wilted and mixed up with rice to give it a nice green color. This kind of a preparation is a good way to make one eat a lot of vegetables without even realizing.
I would emphasize that It is actually a great way of eating a lot of vegetables with small quantity of rice. Sometimes I add paneer or soy nuggets when there is no other source of protein in the meal. But here the akhrot ki chutney fills that gap.
This time we enjoyed it with akhrot ki chutney which is a kashmiri specialty. I used to love it at one of my aunt's place where it was served with biryanis and elaborate Kashmiri meals. Later on I made many versions of this akhrot ki chutny adding ginger and green chillies to it because I did not remember exactly how my aunt used to make it. I had apparently lost the recipe.
But recently I found this recipe by Gaurav and it tasted exactly like that one I had been craving for and it's much simpler too. It is a regular chutnyy at my place this season (we eat more walnuts in winters out of habit ).........
ingredients for the tahiri ...
cauliflower florets 10-12 nos.
potatoes cubed 2 nos.
green chillies chopped 2 tbsp
ginger julienne 2 tbsp
spinach leaves chopped finely ( or processed ) 3 cups
dill leaves chopped 1 cup
shahi jeera 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
black pepper corns crushed coarsely 1 tbsp
star anise 1 flower
cinnamon stick 1 no.
cloves 4 nos.
black cardamom crushed lightly 1 no.
salt to taste
ghee 1 tbsp
everyday curry powder ( or a mix of coriander, cumin, black pepper n bay leaf in 4:2:2:1 ratio powdered together ) 2 tsp
procedure for tahiri...
Heat oil in a pan, preferably a stock pot or a thick flat base pan. Throw in all the whole spices and the cut vegetables together and stir fry till the aroma of whole spices comes through and the veggies look slightly translucent ..
Add the green chillies, ginger julienne and the rice and stir fry till the rice gets fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, add the powder spices mix well and turn a couple of times and then tip in the chopped greens. Mix well and let the greens wilt and mixed up...
Add salt and a cup of boiling water (double the quantity of rice), mix well and cover, let it cook on lowest possible heat for 10 minutes or till cooked. Let it rest for another 5 minutes and serve hot with a raita or salad and chutney...
ingredients for akhrot ki chutny...
walnuts 100 gm
curds 150 gm
salt to taste
red chilly powder 1-2 tsp as per taste
water if required to adjust the consistency
to make the chutny... just powder the walnuts in a mixie first , them mix all the other ingredients and give it a quick mix...it's ready to be savored with a tahiri , a biryani or any kind of tandoori tikka etc...addition of grated radish to this chutny tastes yummy but it should be added at the time of serving as it can not be stored in the fridge....without adding radish the chutny can stay fresh for a couple of days in fridge.....
Enjoy a simple and healthy tahiri with a nutty hot chutney that can be used like a dip for crackers or vegetable crudites too.
With this hari tahiri this chutney feels like a perfect companion, much better than the hostel wali tahiri.