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Masala bhaat. Leftover rice hurrah!

Leftover sheftover ©Cookaroo

Last Saturday, I had a very fun dinner at home. It all began when my friend Ira decided she wanted to come over for dinner. She, her husband and another couple of friends. They wanted to eat Kashmiri food (or atleast Ira's husband Vivek did) and so I asked another couple to drop by. Then my friend Shawoo flew in from Dubai on work, she wanted to eat some too. And then another friend wanted to meet one of the chappies coming for dinner. Anyhoo, by the time I knew it I was cooking for 12.

Which is great fun. To me, cooking for 2 people is plain B-O-R-I-N-G! You can barely eat two things, and the portions have to be rather small. Having grown up in a family, where at least 8 people sat down for dinner every night (and some friend or the other dropping by in the nights), I find it rather hard to cook for two people.

Cook for 4 or cook for 20. I say it's the same effort. And I find making Kashmiri food a lot easier than regular Indian food, only because there's a lot less cutting and chopping and the curries are rather simple. Plus, you just have to make plenty of rice. Which honestly is a life saver, because rice is a lot easier to cook there and then.

(In case you want to know the menu - I'd made Roganjosh, gustaba, Chicken kaliya, paneer and aloo in red curry, nandru yakhni, haak, phool roganjosh and dum munj and nandru cutlets and anar chutney) 

So when I had quite a sizeable amount of rice leftover the next morning, I had to figure out ways to use it. Thaiyyar Sadam is a staple at home in the summers, so that had to be made. I used some of the rice to make appam batter and some we ate for breakfast Monday morning as a masala bhaat.

Masala bhaat is one of my favourite things to eat with leftover rice, because I love caramelised onions and this rice has plenty of it. My mother used to make this when we were younger. It's a cross between a poha and vangibhaat. A more south Indian sort of version. I love the potatoes that go into this because it's like your personal french fries in a small helping of rice. And it's super quick to make. In under 20 minutes, you'll chop, carmelise and be eating the rice.

Are you peanuts? ©Cookaroo
Masala Bhaat
Serves 3


2 cups leftover cooked rice
2  tsp oil
1/2 tsp ghee
3 large onions
2 potatoes
2 stalks curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 whole dried red chill
Salt to taste
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cashewnuts


1. Slice the onions - thin and long. You'll get a lot of it. Don't worry you want that. Thinly slice the potatoes as well.

2. In a pan heat oil. Prepare for tempering. Splutter the mustard seeds, add the whole dried red chillies and a stalk of curry leaves. Add the onions. Saute for 10 minutes till the onions are slightly caramelised.

3. Add the potatoes to the mix. Cook till the potatoes are semi soft. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Cook for 5 minutes. At this point the onions should have caramelised quite a bit and the potatoes will be soft. 

4. Add the rice and peanuts. Mix well. In another small saucepan, heat the ghee add the cashewnuts and the remaining stalk of curry leaves. Let the cashew brown slightly add to the rice.

5. Serve hot with pudina chutney or a nice raita.

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  1. Very interesting, I love both poha and vangi baath..this one I will definitely try :-)


    1. btw totally inspired by you for the appams :)

    2. Thanks. Let me know when you try them :-)