Gold out of Scrap – Our Adventure with DIY Projects for Our New Home

What good is a used pickle Bottle?

The obvious answer is “nothing”. And that’s what our answer too was, until a month back when we decided on decorating our new home.

We shopped around a little but did not find something that fit into our scheme of things.

And one evening when we were segregating things that were to be disposed. There was a used pickle jar that had to be disposed. I looked at it as it sat there on the dining table and  it suddenly struck my mind.

“Why not make something ourselves?”.

The two of us said that together as if in chorus. Our thoughts matched.

“I was thinking, we could make something out of all these scrap that can be recycled. That way we will not have to roam around finding for that exact thing that is there in my mind. Everything in our home will be as per our taste and would reflect our personalities”.

As Dilip finished speaking, I felt as if he was lip-syncing for me. Because it was the exact same words that crossed my mind.

And there started our adventure.

2 weeks on and we had a bunch of things that we could call out creation. A few were flops, but yet others were a “beauty”.

But it was satisfying. There was that feeling of contentment; our house decorated with our own creations.

In fact, it is surprising that we can make so many things out of what is otherwise a waste. And you will realize that when you see some of the our DIY projects below.

This is the used pickle bottle that gave the idea of this entire DIY thing.

DIY Flower Vase

All that we need was a few pebbles that we had bought for our fish tank, a colored jute thread and some teddy faces from old broken hair clips.

DIY Flower Vase

And we used an old artificial flower bunch after we had washed it and given it a little touchup.

DIY Flower Vase

We had a nice flower vase ready for our TV unit.

This second one was made out of a waste glass that was slightly broken on the edge and a fading old statue of a dancing couple.

DIY Showpiece

We got some red jute thread, a pack of small thermocol balls and the cap of the used pickle bottle. And that was it.

The mouth of the glass was closed with the lid of the pickle bottle. We wound it with a few layers of scotch tape, so that it fitted tightly into the mouth and then used some plastic glue to stick it.

Then we wound the mouth with red jute thread. Inside we dropped a little of the thermocol balls so that it gave a nice look of snow. We wiped and cleaned the resin statue and gave the colors a little touchup. And that’s it.

This found its place on one of the corners in our corner-shelf.

DIY Showpiece

What you are seeing below is an empty plastic bottle for Chyawanprash (it is an ayurvedic food supplement). We have thrown away numerous of these bottles in the past.

But this time round we said, we will make something out of it.

About an hour of work by the 2 of us and our snowman was partially ready. What you are seeing here is the body of the snowman. We have a little more work to do on this one. We weren’t able to find a good thermocol ball for the head, so we decided we will make it using waster paper and Plaster of Paris.

In about a week, we should be able to complete this one.

DIY Showpiece

We used some colored jute threads, some glue and a jute piece to wrap this entire thing. For the head, we will be making a ball out of waste newspaper and wrapping it in plaster of Paris.

After we looked at this incomplete work, we felt we could even use it as a flower vase. The only thing is that we will need a nice and thick bunch of flowers for this one to look good.

DIY Snowman

The below ones were the most funniest of all. These are 2 shot glasses. The remaining in the set had broken and we were left with only 2.

A few sprinkle of red acrylic color inside and then invert the glasses so that the color flows down. And we had something nice.

Then we picked up a flower bunch that had worn out and was ready to be thrown, and we cut their leaves and gave it a nice shape. Put 5 such leaves into the glass and pressed it in the middle with a pebble.

We then placed in the corners of our TV stand and we get the first appreciation… lol.

Some of our friends thought it was a complicated work, whereas it wasn’t really.

DIY Projects

That click from the top will show you the 2 pebbles we placed inside the glasses to hold these leaves in place.

Isn’t that beautiful?

DIY Showpiece

This next one was a little difficult to do and most of it was done by Dilip.

We actually wanted a small table on which we could place our Fish bowl. We had a Betta in it (my daughter calls him, “BLUE”). But we weren’t really able to find something that could go well with the rest of the things in our drawing room.

That’s when we saw a few of these Plywood pieces lying in a corner. These were some of the leftover pieces from the Kitchen work.

These were really of the same sizes, but we were able to find 2 each of the same sizes.

We decided to make a small table out of it.

A few clamps, some screws and about 3 hours of work and we had the table ready for the Fish bowl to be placed.

DIY Table

You can now see how nice the bowl looks on the table and the table matches our drawing room decor too.

DIY Table

This flower vase is made out of an empty honey bottle which we had almost thrown out.

This was in fact our second project. We didn’t really expect this to look too great but this was another one that got us a lot of appreciation.

DIY Flower vase

All that we used in this one was some jute thread, a little glue, some knitted mat pieces and a small teddy face from a broken hair clip and this flower vase as ready.

DIY Flower Vase

This flower vase now nicely adorns our Inverter table. Actually that corner was a little dull looking, so we placed this bright colored flowers in the flower vase and it has lit up the corner.

DIY Flower Vase

There are a few more projects including a waterfall that we made. We will show that in another post because it is an interesting one to discuss.

It was an amazing experience making all of these and we feel that these might also be an inspiration to a few of you who are looking at making some DIY things for themselves.

DIY Projects

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Bhindi Raita Recipe – How to Make Okra Raita

Bhindi Raita Recipe is a spiced yogurt mixed with fried bhindi and can be a nice side dish to most flavored rice recipe.

bhindi raita

Offlate there is  lot of discussion about saving the earth and then there have also been all of these conventions and meetings where the world leaders participate like the Paris Climate Accord and such.

But the question is how much of all this is helping?

I was watching this video at Ted Talks, where the Prime Minister of Bhutan was talking and I literally had tears in my eyes. The video is a bit long but it is worth watching..

All of this talks about Carbon neutral and Carbon negative seem too much to digest. But there is one thing that I could read and understand out of this video and that is,

This country is doing everything to save the environment but they are still hugely impacted only because their neighboring countries give a damn to all this preservation of nature thing.

So, the real question is – are all of these conventions and meeting really helping and are we as individuals who are responsible to ensure that our kids are handed over this world in the exact same way we inherited it from our forefathers, doing our bit to save and preserve the earth.

And if you are wondering why all of this, then let me confess the fact that this is also partially due to frustration; frustration at the way we are destroying our earth.

One of the best things about the flat that we just moved into was our balcony which looked over a beautiful lake. It felt so refreshing to stand in our balcony and look at the lake. There were so many migratory birds that would come to the lake during this time of the year.

And all of it made the sight a beautiful one.

Here in Bangalore, as per government norms, there shouldn’t be any constructions on the sides of lakes up to about 150ft and this was part of the lake conservation initiatives by the government.

bhindi ka raita recipe

Ironically a few days back, we happened to see a board just on the sides of the lake stating that it was the site for an apartment project. We were stunned.

And upon enquiry we got to know that the builders had got all required approvals from the government agencies in spite of the fact that the project was in clear violation of norms.

This essentially meant that even some of the government agencies were also working hand in glove with such guys. And when this happens, all such plans and systems put in place to conserve and preserve our environment is going to be made a mockery off.

And that clearly explains why we are still not able to make any progress on any of the decisions taken by some of the leaders of the world.

At times I feel pity on myself and my fellow human beings who are not able to understand the gravity of the situation we are in. And I feel sad for the people of the Bhutan, the country that gets impacted in spite of them doing their bit.

bhindi ka raita

Bhindi Raita Recipe – How to Make Okra Raita

Bhindi raita recipe is a Quick Indian Recipe made with fried and crispy okra mixed with spiced thick creamy yogurt. This recipe goes really well along with Toovar Dal Rice Recipe. Bhindi raita can also be served along with any other flavored rice, puri, paratha or naan.

Bhindi Raita Recipe – How to Make Okra Raita

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • Yogurt/curd – 1/2 litre
  • Bhindi – 250 gms
  • Chaat masala powder – 1 tsp or (to taste)
  • Chilli powder – as per taste
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Oil – to deep fry

Method

  1. Rinse the bhindi in water and let it dry, you can also wipe the bhindi with a clean kitchen napkin.
  2. Chop them in 1/4 or 1/3 inch and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a deep pan.
  4. Fry the bhindi in batches until they are crisp.
  5. Drain the fried bhindi on paper towels.
  6. Now take a bowl, add yogurt to it and whisk it well.
  7. Add chaat masala powder, chilli powder and salt to it, stir well.
  8. Add the fried bhindi to it and mix everything well.
  9. Serve bhindi raita along with toovar dal rice recipe or any rice, roti, puri and paratha of your choice.
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Health Benefits of Ghee – India’s Liquid Gold

ghee

Image Courtesy: healthline.com

GHEE has started to receive the appreciation that was long due. “Fat” has been removed from the list of forbidden foods of the health conscious and Ghee has been quoted as the new superfood by health experts in the West.

Yet back at home, fear about eating ghee still persists. “Is it good for my cholesterol? What about my weight?” These are questions that still come to our mind every time our grandmom makes that halwa or douses our paratha with spoonfuls of ghee.

She definitely has the food wisdom passed on to her from her mother but unfortunately, lacks the skill to present it in the language of “science” to you. So when you fall sick, she knows that the ghee in your khichdi will help you feel better but is unable to inform you that ghee helps you recover from illness because it has antiviral properties and boosts immunity.

ghee

Image Courtesy: english.fashion101.in

Ghee or clarified butter (as it is popularly called in the “West”) has more to it than just being saturated fat. Few reasons why you should have ghee in your daily diet are-

  • Weight loss– Ghee is especially unique amongst all dietary fats due to the presence of SCFA (short chain fatty acid). The SCFA in ghee makes it “lipolytic”- that which breaks down body fat.
  • Gut microbiota– Since ghee enhances the strength and diversity of gut flora, it is beneficial for those with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/ or allergies
  • Lowers cholesterol– By increasing the excretion of bile constituents, consumption of ghee in the diet helps to lower down serum (blood) cholesterol levels.
  • Improves fertility– Being a rich source of Vit A and Vit D, ghee helps improve fertility and increases the probability of getting pregnant naturally.
  • Anti-carcinogenic– The unique fatty acid in ghee called the butyric acid has anti-carcinogenic properties. Also, being rich in antioxidants, ghee makes for a potent anti-carcinogenic

By MUNMUN GANERIWAL, Nutritionist & Fitness Consultant

AUTHOR BIO-

Munmun Ganeriwal

Munmun Ganeriwal, founder of Yuktahaar is a well-known Mumbai-based Dietitian, Nutritionist & Fitness Consultant specializing in Indian food diets. An ardent advocate of local & traditional Indian food, she is India’s only professional to have acquired both a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science and International Certification of Health Fitness Instructor from the American College of Sports Medicine. She has been studying & practicing Iyengar Yoga. Over the last 15 years, she has worked as a Nutrition and Exercise Consultant with a diverse set of clients from all walks of life. To know more about her- http://ift.tt/2k4MnQa

 

 

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Toovar Dal Rice Recipe – A Quick and Healthy One Pot Meal Recipe

Toovar Dal Rice Recipe is one of the easiest and the tastiest one pot meal recipes, especially for bachelors out there and for people who are looking for something quick and easy.

toovar dal rice recipe

The last couple of weeks have been particularly exciting for the two of us.

Why?

Because we are designing and decorating our new home with hand-picked and handmade items. Did you notice that emphasis on “hand-made”?

And that is why we were exciting.

We did a lot of DIY in the last couple of weeks. In fact, it was a decision that we (me and Dilip) had taken when we were putting together our plans of doing some interior decorations.

toovar dal rice

Ready-made flower vases and other showpieces were common and we could see that pretty much everywhere. In fact, I had also seen the same flower vase and flower arrangement in two different houses as well.

But we wanted to be different. We didn’t want to pick up one of those common things and arrange it just as it would be at our neighbour’s house.

Instead, we decided to do things a little differently. We decided to do everything DIY.

We had a lot of scrap bottles, plastic boxes etc. And it was just a matter of putting our brains together and conceptualizing some of the creatives.

We then had a handful of the unique hand-made showpieces, starting from Flower vases to an indoor water fountain.

That’s right. We even made an indoor water fountain.

And it was such a satisfying moment to see it function and to see people appreciating the uniqueness.

The best part. All of these costed us almost half of the price of such ready-made items.

I would recommend all of you to try it. There are a lot of scrap items around you, which can be turned into something really nice. It is just a matter of starting. (and that is of course if you have some spare time)

In the next couple of weeks, I will post some pictures and also show you how we created these wonderful pieces.

So that’s it for today, I think we can start with the recipe now……

Toovar Dal Rice Recipe

Tooval dal rice recipe is an easy recipe for those who do not want to spend much time in the kitchen.

This recipe consist of toovar dal which is again a good source of protein, along with pepper, lots of garlic and cumin. Pepper and garlic give a very nice flavor to this recipe.

Toovar dal rice recipe goes really well along with bhindi ka raita or you can also have it along with any raita of your choice.

 

Toovar Dal Rice Recipe – A Quick and Healthy One Pot Meal Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • Rice – 3 cups
  • Tuvar Dal – 1 3/4 cups
  • Coconut – half
  • Cumin seeds – 1 1/2 tbsp (roughly crushed)
  • Pepper- 2 tbsp (roughly crushed)
  • Garlic- 1 full and half (roughly crushed)
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Onion – 3 (finely chopped)
  • Green chilli – 8-9 (finely chopped)
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 6 tbsp

Method

  1. Soak dal for half an hour and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add mustard seeds in it.
  3. Once the seeds starts crackling add curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
  4. Now add onion, green chilli, turmeric powder and salt.
  5. Fry until the raw smell of turmeric goes off.
  6. Now add coconut, dal and rice and mix.
  7. Add water to it.
  8. Add cumin seeds, garlic and pepper and mix everything well. (You can add garlic in the beginning also, if you don’t like the raw taste of it).
  9. Close the lid and cook until 1 whistle.
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Revealed! The List of Best Resorts in Ooty

If you are looking for getaway during these holidays, then Ooty is the place to be and this list of best resorts in Ooty is your handy guide.

Ooty is usually known as the Paradise on the Earth due to its unbelievable natural scenic beauties which are surely a treat for a lifetime. Most of the people visit Ooty with the notion that the resorts and hotels are quite expensive. In fact, there are a number of people who strike off Ooty from their dream destinations only because they think they would not be able to afford a good stay. Thus, this misconception needs to be rectified this very moment.

Ooty is not only a place that has an abundance of natural beauty but also a place with innumerable hotels and resorts. Thus, you can easily plan a holiday there. However, apart from all of these things, the most important thing that comes to a traveller’s mind is what the best resorts in Ooty are to stay with your family, friends, or the closed ones. Here is the list of some best recommendations for the resorts available in Ooty.

Best Resorts in Ooty

Sinclairs Retreat Ooty

Situated near Gorishola Road, the hotel includes the astonishing views of the nearest hills and greenery. Lavishly decorated with the planters and the vintage style furniture, the hotel exhibits an old classic charm. So, if you get a room with a view, you will cherish staring at the peeping sun that rises in the morning to spread its charm.

Global Village Ooty

Located near the popular tourist destination Katary Water Falls, Global Village Ooty provides the facilities like a coffee shop, a restaurant, a business center, banquet facility, arcade room, and the lobby with an all-time front desk service. The hotel also provides luggage storage space and travel counter to their guests. These amenities make this resort one of the finest in the class of luxurious resorts in Ooty.

Vinca West Downs Heritage Resort

In Vinca West Downs Heritage Resort, each of their spacious room offers the welcome amenities, LED television, room heater, bottled mineral drinking water, tea/coffee maker, desk, en-suite bathroom, and a separate seating area for the visitors. The hotel room gives you the scope to enjoy the breathtaking view of the natural beauty all around.

Gem Park-Ooty

The rooms in Gem Park-Ooty resorts have a good location. The modern amenities like room heaters, sitting lounge, travel desk, and others ensure that the guests enjoy a comfortable stay there. This resort also boasts of an authentic restaurant that serves not only the local cuisine but a variety of dishes.

La Flora Amberley Resort

La Flora Amberley Resort offers a picturesque view to its visitors. Located in a beautiful position in Ooty, this is a budget hotel for the holidaymakers. Apart from the regular amenities, this resort also conducts sight-seeing. Thus, you don’t have to worry about your trip as you can rely on them completely.

Mountain Retreat – A Hill Country Resort

The Mountain Retreat – A Hill Country Resort is comprised of about 30 rooms. Equipped with all sort of modern amenities, this resort provides the health club and the spa centre facilities. Travellers can stay here safely because the hotel services include the most important facility which is the proper medical assistance. The multi-cuisine restaurant opens a gala night for the guests every evening. The Sunday brunch is also something you can look forward to.

Therefore, you can perceive by now that Ooty is not a place that can only be afforded by the rich people. Even if your pocket is tight, you can enjoy top-class amenities at affordable prices at many of the hotels and resorts in Ooty. The list of best resorts in Ooty is sorted. So, why wait? Enjoy the beautiful ambience of Ooty on your next vacation.

If you liked this collection of  the best resorts in Ooty, don’t forget to share it with your friends and do share your experience during your stay in Ooty. 🙂

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How to Make Sabudane Ki Khichdi Recipe

Sabudane ki Khichdi recipe is a healthy fasting recipe. This recipe can also be prepared for breakfast or snacks on normal days.

sabudana khichdi

You remember, the last week I was talking about allergy and pollution. And coincidentally the last week proved to be one that gave people a serious pinch in terms of making them aware of the deteriorating environment.

Delhi, the capital city of India and one of my favorites cities, when it comes to food, declared “air emergency”.

Wondering why?

sabudana khichdi

Because the pollution in the air was near critical.

So much has changed in the last 6 years that I left Delhi and came to Bangalore. Air pollution just kept increasing every day and in just 6 years it has reached a critical level.

sabudan khichdi

I am shocked at how negligent people would have been that in spite of repeated warnings from agencies, we just didn’t care about what was happening.

And the situation today is that people are falling ill just by breathing the polluted air.

Who is responsible for all this?

sabudane ki khichdi recipe

While the state administration is busy blaming all agencies except themselves and the people are busy blaming the civic agencies, the question that we need to ask ourselves is, “Have we contributed to this situation in any way?”

Even if our contribution was by a 0.001%, then we are responsible for this pitiful condition that we are in today.

I pray that this act as a wake up call for every one of us, so that we behave as better human beings and work towards a better and cleaner environment. If not for ourselves, at least for our kids.

sabudane ki khichdi recipe

Sabudane ki Khichdi Recipe

Sabudane ki Khichdi is fast to cook and is nutritionally good for health. Sago (Sabudana) can also be eaten on fast days. If Sabudana khichdi is being used for fasting, do not use the normal cooking salt, mustard seeds, and oil. In India, instead of the normal salt, Sendha Namak (fasting salt) is used. You can use Ghee instead of Oil, but completely prevent using jeera or, mustard seeds. Personally, whenever I keep fast I avoid adding even rock salt in it and I just make this recipe by adding ghee, potato, green chili, and peanuts. It tastes good if eaten with curd.

Sabudane Ki Khichdi Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Sabudana (tapioca sago pearls) – 2 cups
  • Peanuts – 1 cup
  • Onion – 2 large (thinly sliced)
  • Potato – 2 large (thinly sliced)
  • Green peas – 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Carrot – 1-2 (cut into long and thin pieces)
  • Green chilli – 5-6
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 4-5 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp (chopped)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Immerse the sago (Sabudana) in enough water for a couple of minutes and then drain the water completely.
  2. Cover the sago and let it remain for the whole night or, for at least 8 hours.
  3. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds.
  4. Once they start spluttering add curry leaves. Fry for few seconds.
  5. Add slit green chillies, onion, potato, turmeric and salt.
  6. Fry for few minutes until slightly brown and cooked.
  7. Now add carrots, green peas and cook till carrort are tender and potatoes are cooked.
  8. Add soaked sabudana and peanut powder.
  9. Cook the mixture over medium heat and stir for about 10 minutes, until sago is crisp.
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
  11. Sabudana ki khichdi goes really well along with thick curd.

Notes

While draining the Sabudana make sure that there is no water remaining.

You can sprinkle some water after draining. Cover and leave overnight. This results in perfectly fluffed sago.

For best results, roast the peanuts and grind coarsely. Do not leave the peanuts in big chunks, make a fine powder with a few coarse pieces.

Sabudana khichdi can be served with curd.

If you are making this recipe for fasting than do not use the normal cooking salt, mustard seeds and oil. In India, instead of the normal salt, Sendha Namak (fasting salt) is used.

You can use Ghee instead of Oil.

If you want you can also use lemon juice for this recipe.

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Lemon Rice Recipe – Lemon Flavored Rice Recipe

Lemon rice is a delicious South Indian Recipe made with steamed rice, flavored with lemon juice. Lemon gives this rice an amazing tangy flavor and freshness.

lemon rice recipe

It’s been almost 3 weeks and my husband continues to struggle with the same problem. And it looks like, to some extent, I am also going that same route. 🙁

Guessing what it could be, right?

It’s that irritating flu because of allergies. I feel really bad when he goes down with flu. Because it’s not like the common cold and cough. He very rarely catches common cold.

But this allergic flu strikes about 2-3 times in a month itself.

As a matter of fact, most people in Bangalore face a similar problem. Just that my hubby is a little too sensitive and I become all the more upset when I see his swollen watery eyes, frequent running nose and swollen face.

I at times wonder what we have made of our environment. In spite of all the calling from people to save nature and help preserve our environment, I still see people ignoring it as if it is not meant for them and as if they are destined to leave earth for some other planet.

There is mass usage of plastics and no proper disposal, polluting vehicles with no proper checks from even the authorities and what not.

Anyways, I ensure that I don’t get swayed away with all of this happening around and that I do my bit to save the environment. I also ensure that I teach my daughter these good habits and tell her why we are doing it so that she understands.

lemon rice recipe

lemon rice

lemon rice recipe

Lemon Rice Recipe – Lemon Flavored Rice Recipe

I frequently use left over rice to make lemon rice recipe. I do not like throwing away food and since serving and eating left over rice is a little difficult and nobody at home prefers it.

So, instead of forcibly eating it I make lemon rice out of it and everybody likes it.

Lemon rice recipe is simple and will be liked by most, even by kids primarily because of its tangy taste.

Lemon Rice Recipe – Lemon Flavored Rice Recipe

Ingredients

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Onion – 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Lime juice – 1/4 cup
  • Dry Red Chilli – 3
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Chana Dal – 1 tsp
  • Black Gram (urad dal) – 1 tsp (split and skinned)
  • Peanuts – 1/4 cup (optional)
  • Cashewnuts – 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Ginger – 1/2 tsp (finely chopped)
  • Curry Leaves – few
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Green Chilli – 5 (slit in between)
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sesame seed oil – 2-3 tbsp

Method

  1. Saute peanuts in 1/2 tsp oil until brown and keep it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds.
  3. Once the seeds starts spluttering add urad dal chana dal, red chilli and asafoetida.
  4. When dal turns slightly brown, add green chillies, ginger, turmeric powder, curry leaves and finely chopped onion.
  5. Saute until the onions are slightly golden brown.
  6. Add lemon juice and salt to it. Mix well.
  7. Add the seasoning and peanuts to the cooked rice and mix everything well. Taste it.
  8. If reqired add more salt and lemon juice.
  9. Serve with coconut chuntey and papads.

Notes

Cook rice in such a way that each grains are separate.
You can also use cashew nuts for this recipe.
Do not cook after adding lemon.

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