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Friday, March 5, 2021

Vegan Tehri recipe (it’s not pulao)

Muskaan Gupta
Muskaan is a history undergraduate at Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi. Having grown up in different cities in India, she is passionate about food and culture. When she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you can find her invested in films and music. She is always looking for new things to do, is interested in studying food history and juggles between her love for filmmaking, writing and knowing the quirks of the world.

A North Indian Sunday lunch staple, here’s a vegan version of tehri, a one-pot rice dish that is comfort on a plate.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients

180g aged basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes
600ml water (If not using aged basmati rice, use 500ml water and adjust as needed)
25g soya chunks
60g peas
8 to 10 cauliflower florets, cut
1 medium potato, cut into thin wedges
1 small red onion, sliced crosswise
1 medium tomato, pureed
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste

Method

  1. Take a kadhai (wok), a deep dish or a heavy bottom pan, heat the oil and cumin seeds, until they start floating.
  2. Add the onions, salt, turmeric, chilli and coriander power. Sautée till the onions turn golden.
  3. Throw in your vegetables and stir till they’re coated with the spices. On a high heat, add your rice and water. Stir once and cover with a lid.
  4. Once the water boils (which should take about three minutes), reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 20 to 25 minutes with the lid on.
  5. You’ll come back to a pot of cooked tehri ready to be served with vegan curd, mango pickle and roasted papad (poppadums).

Tehri, a staple from Awadhi cuisine, is a very forgiving dish. Every household has its own variation, so if the idea of cauliflower is displeasing, you could replace it with beans — or just omit both of them. If you don’t have soya chunks, you don’t have to add them either. Feel free to spice up your vegan tehri with garam masala, cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves if you’re in the mood for a fancier dish, or cook it like this as a comfort meal.

Read our story on how biryani, pulao and tehri differentiate from each other.

The only daunting part about this recipe could be the rice to water ratio. Aged basmati soaks a lot of water, while regular basmati could use as little as 450 to 500ml for 200g rice. Worse case scenario, you’ll have to drain some water. Tehri shouldn’t be wet and mushy; you’re looking for a standard steamed rice consistency.

Tehri could be extremely elaborate if you wish or as simple as yellow-rice with potatoes. Cook this as per your palate and take all the liberty in the kitchen. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this as much as I do.

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