Month: June 2014

Fish Biriyani

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Fish biriyani is one delicious dish that will tingle your senses..Thats an assurance from me.I had fish biriyani for the first time in a hotel that was renouned for specialising in Biriyani Dishes and Tandoori chicken in Thiruvananthapuram,Kerala.I was first a little reluctant to order this..because during those times..my college days..I was a person reluctant to changes..specially when it came to selecting food.I would rather stick on to the regular Malabar Chicken Biriyani which I always relished,on my restaurant visits.But that day it was the treat of one of my friends on her birthday.So..she suggested Fish Biriyani..I very very reluctantly agreed..Cant disappoint the Birthday Baby..Can I?! 🙂 After a few minutes,the waiter brought us the “Fish Biriyani” …I tasted it…infact I was awfully surprised at its delicious,mouthwatering taste…the beautiful aroma of spices that filed the ac cooled atmosphere…I was sooo delighted…You know the delight when we get a perfectly delicious dish in a restaurant…After that day,I went many times to that restaurant ,just to have that Fish Biriyani…My favourite!

Now after a long time,today I decided to rekindle those  mouth watering restaurant memories,by preparing it at home..And it turned out to be really awesome..Thats the perfect word “Awesome”..the perfect blend of spices,along with the tanginess of the lime..It will leave you craving for more and more!Try it out guys!!

Ingredients:

To fry the fish:

  • King fish – 1/2 kg
  • Chillipowder – 2 1/2 tbsp.
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp.
  • Crushed black pepper – 3 tsp.
  • Powdered Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp.
  • Lime juice – 2tbsp.
  • Salt.

Oil (To fry fish)

For Biriyani Masala:

  • Oil – 4tbsp
  • Ginger paste – 2tbsp.
  • Crushed Garlic – 2tbsp.
  • Onion – 4 (sliced)
  • Tomato – 1 big (Chopped)
  • Coriander leaves – a hand full
  • Mint leaves – a hand full.
  • Green chilli – 2
  • Lime juice – 1/8 cup.
  • Chilli powder – 1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Garam masala – 1tbsp.

For cooking rice:

  • Basmati rice – 3 cups
  • Ghee – 2tbsp
  • Water – 5 cups.
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • salt
  • Dry spices:
  • Cinnamon – 4 1 inch pieces
  • Cardamom – 5-6
  • Cloves – 4-5
  • Bay leaves – 2

For Garnish:

  • Caramalised onions – 1/2 cup
  • Cashewnuts – 4tbsp
  • Raisins – 4 tbsp
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves
  • A pinch of saffron dissolved in 2 tbsp of milk(optional)
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp

Procedure:

  1. Marinate the pieces of fish with the ingredients under “To fry fish”,except oil and keep for half an hour so that the fish pieces absorb the masala well.
  2. After half an hour,heat oil in a pan and fry the fish till browned on both sides and keep aside.
  3. In a pressure cooker,heat ghee,add the ingredients under dry spices and saute till it emits aroma,then add rice and water and coconut milk,along with salt and pressure cook for 3 whistles.When pressure releases,open the lid and fluff gently with a fork and keep aside.
  4. In a grinder,grind the mint and the coriander leaves into a coarse paste.
  5. Now in a pan,heat oil,add ginger paste,garlic paste,mint and corainder paste and saute well till the raw smell disappears.Now add Onions,green chillies and saute till onion turns transparent.The add chopped toamtoes and saute well.Now add chilli powder,turmeric powder,coriander power,salt,garam masala,and lime juice and saute well.Add the fried fish pieces to it.Mix gently taking care not to powder or crush the fish.Add 4-5 tbsp of water and cook for 8-10 minutes on low flame.After that switch off the flame.
  6. In another pan,heat ghee and fry the cashew nuts,raisins to garnish and keep aside.

Layering and Dum:

Grease your dum pot with some ghee and randomly spread some fish pieces along with gravy onto the bottom.On the top,spread some rice and a few drops of saffron milk and a little caramalised onions,coriander leaves,fried cashews and fried raisins.On top of this again spread randomly some fish pieces along with gravy and repeat the procedure for the remaining rice and fish pieces with gravy.Then cover the dum pot with aluminium foil and close it(on top of the foil) tightly with a lid. Place the dish on the hot iron tawa for 2mins and then reduce and cook for 20mins. Turn off heat and keep it aside for 15 mins before serving.DSC02204

Conventional Oven method:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Close the oven safe dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Transfer directly to the serving plate. (Do not mix the gravy and rice). Serve with Salad  and Enjoy!!

 

 

 

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Ginger Surprise

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This is one of the juices straight from my Moms Kitchen…I remember her preparing this for us during thise hot summer vacations..and it used to be such a relief for us kids coming into the house after our usual outdoor games in the hot summer sun..My mom used to prepare this juice concentrate and store it in the fridge on the very first day of our vacation.And now here I am,preparing this for my kids..I guess the cycle continues 🙂

This is a drink in which the concentrate of this juice is prepared and refrigerated and then it can be poured upto 1/4 th of a glass and diluting the rest of the glass with cold water..here you go!!..A Cool refreshing drink!!This is also a big relief when we have unxpected guests coming over.You dont have to run to the stores to buy drinks.Just refrigerate,dilute and serve,then wait for their compliments.Thats all you have to do!! 🙂 So what are you waiting for??Try it out!!

Ingredients:

  • Lime juice – 1 glass.
  • Water – 2 glasses.
  • Sugar – 4 glasses.
  • Ginger – 2 medium pieces.(Crushed)
  • Ice cubes/crushed ice

Procedure:

  1. Boil the Water and Sugar,stirring in between so that all the sugar dissolves.Whe it starts boiling,add the crushed ginger and boil for a minute and put out the flame.Allow to cool completely.
  2. Now add the lime juice to the above syrup and mix well and refrigerate.
  3. To,serve,take a glass,add 1/4 glass of the above prepared syrup/juice concentrate and then fill the rest of the glass with chilled water.Add ice cubes/Crushed Ice and a piece of lime and serve!!

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Notes:

This Concentrate or syrup can be used upto 1 month if refrigerated.

Mambazha Pulissery

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Todays post is a Naadan Mambazha pulissery..and it comes with a lot of Nostalgia!!Memories of my childhood comes flowing to my mind when ever I see ripe mangoes..because it reminds me of the vacations I had in Kerala,Gods own Country.The lush green paddy fields..the cool breeze making wonderful music through the Bamboo trees…the very tall Jackfruit trees,the gigantic coconut tress,swaying in the wind and ofcourse the very aromatic 🙂 mango trees or the “Maavu” as it is called in Malayalam,the language of Kerala.

I specially remember one of my vacations in my Ancestral home in Thalavady,a small village in Kuttanadu,with its beautiful backwaters.That was were my Great grand mother,whom I lovingly called Ammachi lived..The house was surrounded by the Kaayal(Back waters) with lots of trees near by..there was this small mango tree I remember..it was not tall..and I could climb it with ease..and there was a small swing tied on this tree…the tree used to be full of sweet,ripe and juicy mangoes..I dont remember how many mangoes I used to eat a day..i think may be a countless..It was soooo tasty..and when it was afternoon,the lunch would be served with Mambazha pulisserry ..I still dont find the exact words to express that taste..it was just pure heaven!!I lost my ammachi 13 years back..and today I got a few ripe and juicy mangoes from our backyard..it instantly reminded me of the Mambazha Pulissery that I used to have in my childhood.I never asked my ammachi the recipe..I didnt get the chance to..but I decided to make it  with remembering the taste and a basic idea about the recipe from my Mom..and I found the taste of her paachakam(cooking) today..I am really happy and here I share with you this very tasty,very juicy Mambazha Pulissery recipe!Try it out!!

Ingredients:

  • Mango –  5
  • Turmeric powder – 1/8th tsp.
  • Coconut grated – 1 cup.
  • Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp.
  • Garlic pearls – 2
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Coconut oil – 1tbsp.
  • Mustard seeds – 2tsp
  • Dry Red chilies – 2
  • Asafoetida (Kaayam) – a pinch
  • Yoghurt (Beaten well with a spoon)- 1/4 cup
  • Water

Procedure:

  1. Peel 4 mangoes out of the 5 using clean hands(Do not use knife) and keep aside.
  2. In a grinder,grind grated coconut,cumin seeds,garlic,turmeric powder with a little water to a smooth paste and keep it aside.
  3. Cut the remaining 1 mango into small pieces and cook with 1/2 cup water,green chilli and very little salt ,until soft.
  4. When cooked well,lower the flame and mash it well .To this add the coconut paste and salt.Bring it to boil ,Now add the whole mangos and keep in low flame for 10 -15 minutes till the gravy clings on to the mangoes.(pour the gravy on top of the mangoes in between) and then put out the flame.
  5. Now add the yoghurt to this and mix well.Add a little sugar if the curry is a little sour or salty and then keep aside.
  6. In a pan,heat oil,splutter mustard,add curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida and then pour it into the mango gravy.
  7. Mambazha Pulisserry ready!Serve hot with Rice and Enjoyyyy!!!!

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Notes:

  • Use sweet and ripe mangoes for this recipe.
  • Adjust the sweetness of this pulisserry with sugar depending upon the sweetness level of the mangoes,since this curry is supposed to be on the sweeter side.

 

 

 

Undampori

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Undanpori is good evening snack or to speak in the malayalam slang, is a very good “Naalu mani palahaaram” Undampori..the name might sound a little funny..but it means round fried ball.!!It goes very well with a hot cup of Tea.Its origin is from the Small tea shops on the road sides in Kerala,known as the “Chaaya kadas”,where the cooks used to use up the excess bananas at the end of the week ,combined with easily available wheat flour to create this dish..Initially this was a snack to prevent the wastage of bananas..but as time passed by..this snack became soo popular among thousands,that it became an unavoidable snack in the menu list of the Tea shops.

So this evening,I decided to rekindle those memories when I used to have the famous “Undampori” from the Chaaya Kadas(Tea shops),during my Holidays in Kerala.Here goes the recipe loved by each and every Keralite out there!

Ingredients:

  • Wheat Flour – 1 1/3 cup.(I used all purpose flour 🙂 )
  • Rice Flour – 1/3 cup
  • Baking Soda – 1 1/2 pinch
  • Banana – 3
  • Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Dry coconut pieces – 1 tbsp(optional)
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Water
  • Oil to deep fry

Procedure:

  1. Mix Wheat flour,Rice flour,Baking soda and cardamom powder well and keep aside.
  2. In a mixer/grinder,smash the banana along with sugar.Add this mixture to the dry Flour and then add the coconut pieces and mix thoroughly.Add a little water and knead till soft and fluffy(Chapathi dough consistency).
  3. Now roll out into small lime sized balls.
  4. Heat oil in a pan,deep fry the balls,constantly turning over, until it turns golden brown uniformly on all sides.
  5. Remove and put on a kitchen towel to drain off the excess oil and serve hot with tea.
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Potato Fry

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Mondays are really lazy days for me when it comes to cooking for lunch after the weekend..I am sure you totally agree with me.Dont you?..At those times my status will be “Physically lazy but mentally very active” 🙂 ..thinking ideas or cooking up new easy peasy recipes.This is the outcome of such an innovative thought 😉 This is a comfort food giving you that extra time to relax and chase away those Monday Blues.This dish goes very well with rice and kids will love it!Try it out !!

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes – 4 medium sized
  • Oil – 3tbsp.
  • Sambar powder – 3 tbsp.
  • Salt to taste.

Procedure:

  1. Wash and peel the potatoes.Then steam cook till done.
  2. Heat oil in a pan.Add the cooked potato pieces and saute for 5 seconds,taking care not to mash.
  3. Now add Sambar powder and salt and once again saute well till the masala clings on to the potato pieces,taking care not to mash the potatoes.Put out the flame  and transfer to a serving dish.
  4. Serve hot with Rice/Chapathis and Enjoy!

Beef Stew

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Ingredients:

  • Beef – 1 1/2 kg(Cut into cubes)
  • Potatoes – 1 cup(skinned and cubed)
  • Carrots – 1/4 cups(Skinned and Cubed)
  • Beans – cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Ginger – A small piece(Crushed)
  • Garlic – 4 pearls(Crushed)
  • Onion – 1 Big(sliced finely)
  • Vinegar – 1 1/2 tsp.
  • Green chilli – 2 (halved)
  • Coriander powder – 2 tbsps
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp.
  • Crushed black pepper – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Thin Coconut milk – 3 cups.
  • Thick Coconut milk – 3/4 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam Masala – 2tbsp
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – a handfull

Procedure :

  1. In a pressure cooker,cook beef,potatoes,carrots,Beans,Ginger,Garlic,Onion,Vinegar,Green chillies,Coriander powder,Turmeric Powder,Crushed black pepper,thin Coconut milk,garam masala and salt for 6 whistles or until beef is tender.
  2. After the pressure releases,open the lid and mix well with a spoon and on low flame,add the thick coconut milk.Add salt again if needed and keep on low flame for 2-3 minutes.Turn off and keep aside.
  3. Now in a pan,heat oil,splutter mustard seeds,then add curry leaves,then turn off the flame and pour it into the beef gravy in the pressure cooker.Mix well.Beef stew is ready.
  4. Transfer into a serving dish and serve with Appam/Chapathis/Bread and Enjoy !!

 

Idli Batter Bonda

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With the onset of monsoons here in Brunei..the evenings are always very rainy.This automatically calls for something fried to accompany with the hot tea..It was on such a rainy evening,I decided to prepare a fried snack for my family,who are very fond of deep fried snacks 🙂 ..and I remembered the leftover Idli Batter in the fridge and I made these lovely bondas.They were sooo yummy and crispy..perfect with a cup of tea.So here I am sharing this simple recipe with you friends..Enjoy the monsoons with a hot Idli Batter Bonda!

Ingredients:

  • Idli Batter – 2 cups.
  • All purpose Flour – 1/4 cup.
  • Rice Flour – 2tbsp.
  • Green Chillies – 2(Finely Chopped)
  • Coriander leaves – a handful(Finely Chopped)
  • Onion – 1 big(Finely chopped).
  • Salt
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Oil For frying

Procedure:

  1. Combine all the above ingredients except Oil  until there are no lumps.The resulting batter should be a little more thicker than Idli Batter.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and spoon in or drop spoon fulls of batter in a round headed spoon into the hot oil.Fry on both sides,turning until golden brown.
  3. Remove from oil,drain off the excess oil on a kitchen tissue and serve hot with chutney and Enjoy!!

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