When I visited my daughter in Lucknow a couple of months ago, I heard the word Tehri for the first time. (Do not be surprised. I am a south Indian and never heard the dish there) I was curious to know what it is and Esha, my daughter asked the resident cook to make it. The anticipation was palpable and I was waiting for the dish to arrive from the other apartment. The cook lifted the lid of the casserole with a flourish for me and I twisted my nose and said, “This?? This is what my mum made when she was tired and wanted to feed us a healthy one pot meal.” Well, Tehri is nothing but Vegetable pulao or Biryani with a few aromatic spices thrown in. Yes, it belongs to Awadhi cuisine but it is a universal dish in North India.
The recipe is easy and you can use any vegetables that are available or any of your choice. Most people make it with cauliflower, potato and peas but I opted for carrots instead of cauliflower. Tehri can be served with raita or just plain dahi or yoghurt. I find it very easy to cook rice dishes in the slow cooker or rice cooker. The rice turns out just perfect with each grain standing out nice and firm and not sticky. My mum made the best Tehri ever. I miss my mommies cooking 😦
Vegetable Tehri Recipe
1 cup diced potatoes,
1 cup cubed carrots,
1 cup green peas
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoon ghee
1 large onion sliced
1large tomato diced
1 tablespoon ginger garlic coarsely ground
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
2 green chillies
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 tsp pav bhaji masala
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1.5 cups basmati rice
½ tablespoon lemon juice optional
3 cups water
salt to taste
2 tej patta or bay leaves
4 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
1-inch cinnamon stick
Wash the basmati rice in water very well and then soak in enough water for 30 minutes.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, add the spices and sauté till they splutter and become fragrant tej patta or bay leaf, green cardamoms, black cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon.
Then add the sliced onions and sauté till pink. If you add a pinch of salt the onions cook faster.
Add the coarse ginger/garlic paste and saute for a few seconds till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away. Then add the chopped carrots, green peas and the cubed potatoes. Once they are cooked a bit add the chopped tomatoes.
Stir all the veggies and add the green chillies, red chilli powder, pav bhaji masala, turmeric powder and salt. Stir nicely and add the soaked and drained rice.
Sauté and add 3 cups water. I cooked the tehri in a rice cooker but you can cook it in a pan or a pressure cooker.
Once the rice is almost cooked, drizzle the ghee and gently fluff the rice.
Serve vegetable Tehri after garnishing with coriander and mint leaves; serve with a raita or plain dahi or yoghurt, pickle and papad.
Dig in and savour the multiple flavours invading your senses.