Sahibjaan is a beautiful dancer with a past. On a train journey, a handsome forest officer named Salim enters a train compartment to find Sahibjaan sleeping and is enchanted by her beauty. He leaves a note at her feet: Aap ke paon dekhe, bahut haseen hai. Inhe zameen par mat utariyega, maile ho jayenge. Meaning: I saw your feet, they are very beautiful. Don’t let them touch the ground, they will get dirty. Ever since reading the note, Sahibjaan is constantly haunted by the feelings of love and hope and pines for her admirer to come and take her away from her life as a courtesan. Fate does bring them together and prince Salim falls deeply in love with Sahibjaan; even willing to marry her against the norms of family and society.
It’s time to make dinner. I want a quick one-meal dish for so that I could go back to watching the rest of
the Pakeezah movie. I have a pound of fresh and tender cluster beans in the fridge (thanks to Kamal spices
in Pleasanton) and have decided to make this spicy rice dish with it. It’s also one of my favorites. These
South-Indian style masala rice can be made with a variety of vegetables. Some of the popular ones are bell pepper, eggplant and methi. The main recipe remains more or less the same no matter which veggie or veggies you use.
1 pound fresh cluster beans / Gawarphali /Gorikayi cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup grated coconut (I use frozen grated coconut available in Indian grocery stores)
1 cup rice
1 table spoon chana dal
4-5 dry red chilies
1/2 tea spoon aamchoor (dry mango powder) or pulp extracted from a small lemon size tamarind
1 spring curry leaves
1 + 1/2 tea spoon salt
1/4 tea spoon turmeric powder
1/4 tea spoon red chili powder
1 table spoon vangi Bhath powder (available in Indian grocery stores)
1 tea spoon mustard seeds
1/4 tea spoon hing (asafoetida)
3 table spoon peanut or vegetable oil
1. In a broad pan add rice, 3 cups of water and 1/2 tea spoon of salt. A broad pan will allow each rice grain to cook to twice its size and keep the grains separate.
2. Cook on medium flame until rice starts to boil. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat until all the water is absorbed.
3. In another pan/kadhai, heat oil and do a tadka with mustard seeds and hing. Lower the heat and add chana dal, curry leaves and red chilies.
4. Add cluster beans and green peas. Stir well and cook until tender. (approx. 10 minutes)
5. Add turmeric, salt, chili powder, aamchoor (or tamarind pulp) and vangi bhath powder.
6. Mix well and cook for 3 more minutes.
7. Add grated coconut and shut off the stove.
8. Spread the mixture on the cooked rice.
9. After 10 minutes when the rice and the beans mixture are no longer hot to touch, mix the beans nicely into the rice.
Rice is ready. Dinner is over.
Will Sahibjaan marry prince Salim and live happily ever after or is she destined to the life of a tawaif?
Let’s get back to the movie. Yes, Hum hai taiyaar chalo…..