Author Leena Clover announces a brand new cozy mystery series set in a small Oklahoma college town. Mystery readers will enjoy this culinary cozy murder mystery featuring plenty of yummy recipes like Masala Fried Chicken and Shish Kabob Blue Plate Special.
Meera Patel is back home with the family after she dropped out of graduate school. Now she shelves books for a living and rustles up fusion recipes at Sylvie’s Cafe & Diner. Everything is fine until her old nemesis Prudence Walker floats up in the local pond. Meera is accused of murder! Well, she did publicly declare Prudence would drop dead.
Meera cries foul and screams police harassment. But she has no defense when she is accused of a second crime. Flanked by pals Tony and Becky, Meera puts in the leg work, trying to solve clues and discard red herrings.
Fall in Oklahoma has never been more exciting.
Cozy mystery fans will love this new mystery series featuring an Asian American amateur sleuth. There is a full cast of characters with a professor father, young sibling, old grandparents, loyal friends and a candid glimpse into South Asian culture.
Meera’s Masala Khichdi
Khichdi or khichree is a rice and lentil pilaf that is a staple in the Patel family. Meera’s amped up the traditional family recipe to give it a bit more oomph. Ghee (clarified butter) is a must while serving khichdi. It is almost always served with Indian pickles, papad and kadhi, a sour soup made with buttermilk.
With the cold weather coming in, this is the kind of comforting dinner the Patel family loves.
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup yellow moong dal lentils (split dehusked moong beans)
4-6 cups water
¼ cup carrots, chopped
¼ cup green beans, chopped
¼ cup green peas, chopped
1 small potato, chopped
1 inch ginger root
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric, ground
½ tsp cumin, ground
½ tsp coriander, ground
Or 2 tsp curry powder (instead of turmeric, cumin, coriander)
½ tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Wash the rice and the moong beans and drain.
Heat oil in a stock pot.
Add all the veggies. Add the ground turmeric, cumin and coriander (or curry powder).
Fry for a minute.
Add the cayenne pepper.
Now add in the washed rice and lentils.
Stir and mix well.
Add in 4-5 cups of water.
Season with salt and sugar.
Grate in the ginger.
Option 1 – Transfer this mixture to an electric rice cooker and switch it on. The cooker will switch off when khichdi is done.
Option 2 – Continue cooking on stove top
Bring mixture to a boil.
Lower heat, cover and let it simmer and cook. Stir occasionally so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
When water is almost absorbed, check if the rice is cooked. If it is still al dente, add some more water.
Cook with lid on and low flame until the rice and lentils are both cooked. To test this, hold a grain of rice between thumb and forefinger. When you press it, the rice should become mushy and stick to your finger. If it breaks into two, it is still uncooked.
Switch off heat and keep covered for 10-15 minutes. The khichdi will cook more in residual heat.
Serve with a dollop of ghee on top with Indian pickles on the side.
Makes 4-5 cups of khichdi.
Note – Using 4-5 cups or double the amount of water will give you a texture like a pilaf. Using 6+ cups water will give a mushy risotto type texture.
You can substitute all veggies with 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables.
Where to source ingredients for khichree?
Moong lentils, turmeric, cumin and coriander are available at your local Indian grocery store. They can also easily be ordered from online retailers like Amazon.
Here are a few sample links –
About the Author
Leena Clover is the author of the brand new Meera Patel Cozy Mystery Series, starring a 20 something Desi girl as the protagonist. The series is set in a small Oklahoma college town Meera calls home.
Leena Clover offers plenty of clues for her readers so that they can solve the mystery as they read along. Readers can expect a unique look into Indian/ South Asian culture and plenty of yummy recipes.
Twitter – http://twitter.com/leenaclover
Facebook – http://facebook.com/meerapatelcozymystery