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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Egg and potato biryani

First of let me wish Happy Ramadan to all you lovely readers out there. I hope everyone is enjoying a peaceful and spiritual Ramadan this year with your loved ones. I am really excited to be back here doing yet another guest post for our lovely host Lubna :). She's been extremely patient with me while waiting for my post over the days, since I missed all the deadlines she gave me (I am extremely sorry dear)!!! Thank you so much for making me a part of this event for a third time and this time I am bringing you a fantastic Egg and Potato biryani which is quite easy to make and a fantastic addition to your iftaar menu. First I couldn’t decide which recipe I was going to share but made this biryani when we invited our friends over for iftaar dinner. Then I thought why can't I share this recipe because it's really simple and quick to make. So here it is! :)

For the gravy:
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Red onion - 5 big sliced thin (cut one half extra fine to fry for garnish) 
Tomatoes - 1 big chopped 
Curd 3/4 cup 
Lemon juice - juice of 1/2 lemon 
Potato - 1 big cut into small cubes 
Turmeric pdr - 1/4 tsp 
Chilly pdr - 1/2 tsp 
Fennel pdr - 1/2 tsp 
Pepper pdr 1/2 tsp 
Biryani masala - 1.5 tsp 
Mint leaves - a bunch chopped 
Coriander leaves - a bunch chopped 
Salt as required 
Eggs - 6 hard boiled 

Grind the following to a coarse paste:
Ginger - 1.5" piece
Garlic - 1 bulb/10 big cloves
Green chilly - 10 medium ones

For the rice:
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Star anise - 1
Cloves - 10
Cardamom - 7
Cinnamon - 2" piece
Bay leaf 1
Rice - 3 cups (I use kaima/jeerakashala rice you can use Basmati as well) 
Water - 5.5 cups boiled (up to 6 cups depending on the rice) 
Salt as required

For the layering/garnish:
Saffron - a few pinch (mix in 2 tbsp of warm milk) 
Lemon juice - 1/2 lemon 
Biryani masala - 1/4 tsp 
Coriander & mint leaves chopped - a little for garnish 
Fried nuts, Fried raisins & Fried onions

For the rest of the recipe please hop over to Lubna's beautiful space here.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ghee Rice (Nei/Ney choru)

We all have our list of go to recipes that we pull out when impromptu guests come knocking on our doors or revisiting some fond memories or planning a lazy Sunday meal or just because it makes you happy and its simple and easy to create yet tastes fantastic. Whatever the reason, these recipes get made quite often in your kitchen. The recipe I am sharing today ticks all the reasons mentioned above for me.
I remember while growing up my vellumma (my maternal grandmother) making ghee rice for Sunday lunches or when we had unannounced guests and it was always paired with a non-veg curry or fry, pappadam, raita, and parippu curry. Every time I make it the irresistible aroma transports me back to her kitchen. I don’t get to indulge in her cooking as often as I like to these days since she’s back home in Kerala but I do try to recreate the dish she so loving used to make for us. 
Ghee rice is quite easy to make and you will fall in love with the delicate earthy flavours of rice combined with a distinct taste of ghee and whole spices and a hint of sweetness from caramelized onion. This to me is the ultimate comfort food!! :) So, what's your idea of comfort food?
Rice - 2 cups (Kaima/Basmati rice)
Water - 3.5 cups (or 4 cups depending on the rice)
Garam masala - a pinch 
Ghee - 4 to 6 tbsp
Cloves - 8
Cardamom - 8 pods
Cinnamon -2 inch long piece
Bay leaf - 1
Star anise - 1 
Onions - 1/2 sliced
Salt as required

For Garnish:
Cashews- 2 tbsp,(use roasted or fry white ones)
Raisin- 1-2 tbsp
Onion- 1/2 cup, sliced extra fine
Garam masala- a pinch

Wash and soak the rice for 10 minutes, drain and keep aside. Lightly crush cardamom and cloves in a mortar and pestle. Heat 4 cups of water separately to boiling point (easier to do this in a kettle).
Heat ghee in a wide deep bottom pot and fry the cashews, raisins and extra thinly sliced onions separately till golden brown. Remove and spread on a paper towel.
In the remaining oil fry the crushed spices along with the remaining whole spices and a pinch of garam masala for a minute. Add sliced onion and fry till it turns translucent.
Add the drained rice and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Pour 3.5 cups of hot water along with salt and give it a good stir (check and adjust salt). Bring to boil on high flame, then cover and cook on low flame for 10 minutes (give the mixture a stir after 5 minutes).
After 10 minutes when there is no water visible at the top, open the lid and fluff the rice using a fork.
Take off flame, if the rice is not cooked keep the lid back on and let it rest for another 5 to 10 minutes. This will also help to absorb any excess water left at the bottom.
Fluff the rice before serving and garnish with fried onion, cashews, raisins and a sprinkle of garam masala.

If you want the rice to be separate and non sticky, add 3.5 cup water first and add more boiling water, if required. 
If the rice is cooked to your liking then fluff the rice and separate half to another bowl so the rice doesn't cook further in the steam. 
Always use a wide pot to cook the rice so it doesn't get too sticky. 
You can also use chopped fresh mint and coriander leaves for garnish.
Use a tsp of lemon juice along with boiled water to prevent rice from getting sticky.

Friday, January 30, 2015

New Year and some Cherry fun.....

Cherry Cheesecake!!!

Hello peeps,
Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and new years eve. I am a bit late with my new year post, but better late than never, right? :) So it's adios 2014 and welcome 2015. Although my 2014 was a whole lot of fun and very exciting, I have no idea where it went. It was a series of trips which were fun but as always too short, having family and friends staying with us and lots of other things in between. I was left with no time to blog, I know it's a lousy excuse but that's all I have...:-> But I do hope my 2015 is as fun and spontaneous as 2014 with lot's of time to blog too!! :D And my resolution this year is to not begin most of my posts with a sorry note for not blogging enough. ;)
I saw this recipe while flicking through a woolworths magazine and once I saw the pictures I just couldn't leave it well alone. :) And the other compelling reason being my mum absolutely LOVES cheesecake and I wanted to make it for her before she left. I am totally glad that I tried it because everyone who tasted the cheesecake loved it, even W who's a cheesecake hater...hehe
So, let's begin this new year with some cherry cheesecake and wishing all my readers a fabulous 2015 ahead, lets move on to the recipe.

Recipe source: Woolworths magazine
Unibic coconut macaroons - 2 packs
Gelatin - 2 tsp
Water - 2 tbsp
White chocolate melts - 250 g
Cream cheese - 500 g (at room temp)
Caster sugar - 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Thick cream - 300 ml (whipped)

Candied Cherries:
Cherries - 200 g (pitted and chopped)
Whole cherries - 15
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/3 cup
Rum flavouring - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch

Heat a pan and melt the sugar along with the other ingredients under candied cherry except the cherries.
Allow the syrup to thicken a bit before adding the pitted cherries, once coated set the cherries aside. Reserve the remaining syrup to use as a topping sauce while serving the cheese cake.  
Lightly grease a cheese cake/muffin tray with removable bases and flatten the macaroons to the base of each muffin hole using your fingers.
In a small heatproof bowl combine gelatin and 2 tbsp water. Let it stand in a bowl of simmering water until the gelatin dissolves. 
Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Stir the gelatin mixture into the melted chocolate until combined. Set aside.
In another bowl beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy.Add chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Fold in the whipped cream and candied cherries into this.
Spoon the cheesecake filling into each muffin hole and smooth with a spatula.
Chill for 2 hours or until set.
When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, dip the whole cherries in the sauce and place them on top.

If you can't find coconut macaroons replace the base with digestive biscuits. Grind the biscuits along with butter in a food processor until crumbly and press it down in each muffin hole.
If using a normal cake tin then line it with baking paper so it's easy to lift the cheesecake after chilling. Also run the sides with a knife after dipping in hot water to make this process easier. Please check out this link for additional help.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Avocado Milkshake {Ramadan Special} - Guest Post

Ramadan Mubarak to all! Time just seems to fly and here we are celebrating yet another Ramadan and I am doing another guest post for Lubna of Kitchen Flavours. Every year she hosts this wonderful event - "Joy From Fasting To Feasting" which brings together bloggers from all over the globe to share their wonderful Ramadan Favorite Recipes. Thank you Lubna for letting me be a part of this event this year as well.

Ramadan - a holy month for Muslims all over the world, a month of worship, a month of being closer to Allah. It presents the perfect opportunity to cleanse our mind and soul, to share with those in need, to rekindle and rebalance our lives away from materialistic things and lead us towards spiritual awakening. While the focus of Ramadan isn't necessarily food, it still ends up getting most of the attention. Well, it's definitely not a bad thing as it's also a time to be grateful for what you have and also share your bounties with those in need.
I am sure we all have fond memories of Ramadan associated with food. Today I am sharing a recipe I made during Ramadan when we were in Singapore - Avocado milkshake!! I had some overly ripe avocados on my hand and had no idea what to do with them. So I searched online and found a simple recipe with just 3 ingredients. The recipe has evolved since then and has been a part of my Ramadan specials...


Avocado - 1 1/2
Skim milk - 2 cups
Cold water - 1.5 cups
Mint leaves - 5
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp
Condensed milk - 1/4 cup
Ice cubes - as required
Vanilla ice cream - 2 scoops (optional)

You can read the rest of the recipe here on Lubna's blog....

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kerala Beef Fry/ Nadan Erachi Varattiyathu

Beef - 1.3 kg (chuck steak)
Ginger 2" long piece
Garlic 10 cloves
Vinegar 1 tsp
Coriander leaves & mint leaves - handful chopped
Onion - 1/2 sliced
Small onion - 6 sliced
Green chilly - 3 slit
Salt as required. 

Dry roast:
Coriander pdr 2 tbsp
Chilly pdr 1 tbsp
Kashmiri chilly pdr 1 tbsp
Fennel 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Pepper pdr 1 tsp

For tempering:
Coconut oil
Coconut slices - 1/4 cup
Onion - 1 med sliced
Shallots - sliced 1 cup
Green chilly - 4 slit 
Curry leaves - a sprig 
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp

Mix all the ingredients and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
Let it stand till all the pressure escapes.
Open the lid and check if the meat is cooked, if not cover and cook again. 
Once the meat is cooked, heat a pan and tip the beef in. 
Cook till all the water evaporates on high heat. 
Stir every few seconds so it doesn't get stuck to the bottom.
In the meantime heat oil in another pan and fry coconut slices till golden.
Tip all the other ingredients except garam masala and sauté till colour starts changing to brown.
Add the garam masala and combine. Mix it into the beef and stir till everything comes together.
Let it fry till the beef is dry on low flame.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Potato masala/Aloo Bhaji

My previous post about Poori will be incomplete without this side-dish Potato Masala. Whenever we go to a South Indian veg restaurant I always end up ordering poori masala or masala dosa and a tumbler of piping hot filter coffee. Due to the lack of any good Indian vegetarian restaurants nearby Poori masala is one of those heavenly combos that makes infrequent appearances in my kitchen. You must be wondering why infrequent? Well I like pooris for breakfast and most mornings I am too lazy to do the kneading, rolling and frying! There, now you know why! :)
In a way me being lazy is a blessing in disguise I must say because these deep fried goodies are hard to resist. But a few weekends ago I had this real bad craving to eat poori masala. So I had to roll up my sleeves and make them to appease my rumbling tummy. They turned out really well except for one sad looking poori which didn't puff. I also use this potato masala as a filling for masala dosa (so you know what to make for dinner). :)

Potato - 4 medium sized
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seed - 1/2 tsp
Chana dal - 1 tsp
Dry chilli - 3
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Ginger - 1 tsp
Green chilli medium - 3 to 4 chopped
Onion - 2 chopped medium size
Garam masala - a pinch
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Salt as required
Sugar - 1 to 2 tsp
Water - 1/4 cup
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp chopped

  1. Boil the potatoes until they are cooked in a pressure cooker or microwave, let it cool.
  2. Peel the potatoes and crumble it using your hands or a masher.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium-high. When the oil is hot enough pop the mustard seeds.
  4. As the seeds crack turn the heat down to medium-low and ddd the chana dal. Fry till it starts to change colour. Immediately add the dry chilly, curry leaves, ginger and green chilly, toss for a few seconds.
  5. Add the onion and fry till it starts to caramelize. Mix the turmeric, garam masala, salt and sugar. Saute for a minute.  
  6. Combine the potato with the masala and add the water. Mix until the masala is coated well on the potatoes. 
  7. Cook till the potatoes are slightly moist and not very dry. 
  8. Mix the coriander leaves and serve hot with Poori

Friday, May 9, 2014

Poori - Fried Indian Bread

Hello peeps,

How's everyone doing? Getting ready for an exciting weekend I hope.. :) We haven't planned anything yet,
probably laze around at home. I wanted to post this before we swing into the weekend, so it wouldn't be forgotten in my drafts for another couple of days. Besides, piping hot, puffed up pooris belong on a lazy weekend brunch menu...right? So, I wanted to share this recipe with my readers to enjoy over the weekend. :)
Pooris are perhaps the most versatile and most liked among Indian breads. Making pooris is not a difficult process, and some tips and tricks will ensure you get perfect pooris every time. The dough, although similar to chapati dough, is thicker and less moist. Too much moisture in the dough and the pooris will absorb a lot more oil. The balls are rolled out into smaller circles and deep fried in oil until they puff up. They are best served hot with aloo/potato masala.  

Wheat/atta flour - 1 1/2 cup
Salt as required
Warm water - 1/2 to 2/3 cup (adjust as you go)
Oil - 2 to 3 cups, for deep frying

  • Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Add water little at a time and knead to form a slightly stiff, non-sticky, pliable dough. Make sure the dough is a bit more firmer and less moist than a chapati dough.
  • Once the dough is formed, do not allow it to sit as it will soak more oil while frying. Form longish logs by rolling the dough between your palms. Pinch off equal ping-pong sized balls and roll them into smooth balls.
  • Flatten the balls and roll out into circles smaller than chapatis (about 5 to 6 cm in diameter). Try not to use flour for dusting as this will leave a burnt residue in the oil. Use a little bit of oil instead while rolling out the pooris so it doesn't stick to the rolling surface. 
  • Roll out all the pooris, lay them flat without overlapping and cover them using a paper towel. Do not stack pooris as they will not puff up properly.
  • Heat oil in a kadai, when the oil starts to shimmer carefully slide in one poori (work with one poori at a time). When the poori starts to float to the surface, gently push it down using a ladle so its covered in oil. Once the poori puffs up, flip it over and fry till golden brown. 
  • Remove and drain on paper towels and serve hot with potato masala.

  • Do not stack rolled out pooris on top of each other.
  • Avoid using flour for dusting but if you are using flour then use to a minimum. 
  • Check if the oil has reached the right temperature by dropping a small piece of dough, if it sizzles and floats to the top immediately the oil is ready.  
  • The oil temperature can go low once a few pooris are fried, so adjust the heat accordingly.