indian

Spinach Biriyani| Palak Biriyani

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Spinach biriyani or Palak Biriyani is a very easy to make one pot dish..You dont need to make any side dishes other than a simple Raita and pickle to go with.Its also one way you can include spinach in your little picky eater’s diet.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups basmati rice soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 medium size tomato, chopped
  • 4 or 4.5 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp ghee(I used sunflower oil)
  • some fried cashews for garnishing (optional)
  • salt to taste
Whole Spices needed:
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 small star anise
  • 3 cardamoms  slightly crushed
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of mace

Dry powders to be added:

  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • a pinch of asafoetida
For the spinach puree:
  • 1 medium bunch spinach (palak)
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 1 or 2 green chilies
  • 5-6 almonds or cashews
Directions:
To prepare Spinach Puree:
  1. Rinse the palak/spinach leaves well. chop and keep aside. Rinse & chop the green chilies, mint and coriander leaves.
  2. In a blender, add the chopped spinach, mint, coriander, green chilli and almonds.
  3. Now add ½ cup water and blend to a smooth paste.
Preparing the biryani:
First rinse and then soak the rice. When the rice is soaking, prepare the spinach puree as mentioned above.
  1. Heat oil in a thick bottom and deep pan or pot. Add all the whole spices.
  2. Fry for a few seconds and then  add the sliced onions & fry till they are browned. remove some of the fried onions for garnishing.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for some seconds. Now add the chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes becomes soft for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Keep on stirring so that the ingredients do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the spinach puree and saute. for 3 to 4 minutes. Now all the dry spice powders one by one and saute.
  6. Drain the soaked rice and add to this. Combine well and saute for 1-2 minutes. Pour 4 or 4.5 cups water. Add salt as needed.
  7. Cover tightly with a lid and cook till the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  8. Fluff the rice gently with a fork and now garnish with fried onions and cashews.Serve hot with a pickle and Raita and Enjoy!

 

Kadumanga Achar| Kerala Mango Pickle

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Have you noticed this strange fact?We crave for a particular food/dish/fruit more when its not in season or is not easily available at our part of the world.. 🙂 This is strange but true.Its October and I crave for Mangoes.So I satisfied myself with some tinned Mango 😦 …though its taste comes no where near a  fresh juicy and ripe mango 😦 ..

Yesterday was Market day or Thamu(as it is locally called here).I was lucky enough to see a lady selling some raw mangoes.So I immediately bought them.First I thought of making Mango pachadi.Then I thought Pachadi wont stay for more than 4 days..So I decided to make this Kadumanga achar…or kadumanga uppilittathu..that way i could Mango everyday 🙂

This is my mother’s recipe…its simple and easy and a perfect recipe.I strongly recommend to use gingelly oil in this recipe.It imparts that typical nadan ruchi(taste) to the achar(pickle).

Ingredients:

  1. Raw Mango – 2 cups(Lightly pared and chopped small)
  2. Ginger – 1 tbsp(finely crushed)
  3. Garlic  – 1 tbsp (sliced)
  4. Dry Red chilli – 2 to 3 (broken into two)
  5. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  6. Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
  7. Water – 1 cup
  8. Red chilli powder – 5 tbsp(according to your spice level)
  9. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp.
  10. Asafoetida – 1 fat pinch
  11. Gingelly oil – 3 tbsp
  12. Salt to taste

Method:

  1. In a big bowl,take the chopped mango pieces.Add salt to it and mix thoroughly.Leave aside(covered with lid) for about 8 hours,preferably overnight.
  2. After 8 hours/overnight,heat oil in kadai/or deep pan.Add mustard seeds and when it splutters,add the curry leaves and Dry red chillies.Then add the crushed ginger and sliced garlic and saute till the raw aroma disappears.
  3. Now add the powders from ingredients 8 to 10.Saute for 1 or 2 minutes and then add salt and then water and bring to boil over  a low flame until thick.Remove from heat.
  4. To this add the Mango pieces(from step 1) and combine well.Add salt is needed.Allow to cool.Transfer to clean and dry bottles.Leave aside for two whole days in a cool dry place.
  5. After that serve when needed with a clean dry spoon, along with Curd Rice/Thayir sadam or plain Rice.Enjoy!!

CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP( No Cream version)

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Nowadays nights here are often very chilly due to heavy thunder showers with flashes of lightning..It will be sometimes totally hard to believe the sudden change of climate here because the day time it will be scorching hot and nights just the opposite.

So today , this chilly night, I come to you with a soup recipe. This infact is my very first time at trying soup. Usually what I do is I reach for a packet of readymade soup. But this time I decided to give it a go..!I decided to make homemade soup and results were really good. It was really tasty.

This is my recipe of Cream of Chicken Soup. I haven’t used any cream here though. But still it is quite rich and creamy.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken – 1 cup (shredded)
  • Chicken stock – 2 cups.
  • Oil /Butter – 1 tbsp.
  • Onion – 1 (Very finely chopped)
  • All purpose Flour – 3 tbsp
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper powder – as needed
  • Chopped Spring Onions to garnish.

Method:

  1. Take 350 gms of chicken pieces in a pressure cooker along with 1 ½ cups of water. Add salt and pepper and cook for 3 whistles.(You can even cook the chicken in a pan adding the water, salt and pepper and cook till the chicken is done).When done, seperate the chicken from the stock. Reserve the stock and shred the chicken to bite size pieces and keep aside.
  2. In a pan, heat oil/butter. Throw in the onions and sauté till transparent (If you are adding chopped vegetables, this is the time to add it and you can sauté it for 2 minutes).Now lower the flame/heat and add the All purpose Flour and mix well with a whisk. Now add the stock and mix well so that there are no lumps. Bring to a boil.
  3. Now add milk and combine. Add Pepper powder and salt(If needed).Simmer for a minute. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve hot and Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can make the soup more nutritious by adding a few chopped vegetables like carrot and French beans.

CABBAGE FRIED RICE

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Hello everybody! I am back again with a simple yet very delicious rice dish. This recipe  shows you the best way to deal with  left over rice. Actually, I have never used it with left over Rice.I have cooked rice  specifically to make this cabbage fried rice. Because my family just love this dish.And I have made it like a zillion times. This is one best way you can sneak cabbage into your little one’s diet though this dish. And you can prepare it in a jiffy, there is no advanced preparations..nothing!

This Rice has some great asian flavours. It is so flavourful. Seriously you wont realise that you are eating cabbage! I always rack my brains thinking of ideas to add variety to the menu of my family. Like yesterday it would have been totally traditional…like Rice with Pineapple Pulisseri and Kerala Naadan Fish Fry ; Today it will be this very flavourful Indo Chinese Cabbage Fried rice with Gobi Manchurian or Chilli Beef .After all we all love  changes in life don’t we?This Cabbage Rice will surely bring that change to your menu!And it is an ultimate comfort dish.

Here goes the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Cooked Basmati Rice – 2 cups.
  • Oil – 3 tbsp.
  • Onion – 1 small(Chopped finely)
  • Ginger crushed – 1 tbsp
  • Garlic crushed – 1tbsp.
  • Cabbage – 1 small(Sliced Finely)
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper– 1 heaped tsp.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Soy sauce – 2 tbsp.
  • Sesame oil – 1 tsp(optional)

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the crushed ginger and Garlic and sauté for 1 minute.Now add the chopped Onion and sauté well till light brown.
  2. Add the freshly ground black pepper to this and sauté well.Now add the Finely sliced cabbage and salt and sauté well and keep the pan covered on low flame until the cabbage is cooked(for about 4 minutes).
  3. Once you find that the cabbage is cooked, add soy sauce and sesame oil and turn the flame to medium. Add the cooked Rice and gently combine well. Add salt if needed. Turn off the flame. Transfer to a serving plate and serve !

GOBI 65 | CAULIFLOWER 65

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Hello everybody..I am back after quite a long break..by break i meant gap J and not break…Life keeps us so busy..we don’t get time…Recently to see one of my friend’s whatsapp status..It was like this..”Live life like it was your last day ever”..It touched me a great deal..I mean what if it was my last day..?Cant tell what happens next in the present day world..guys..am i sounding psychonic J..well here goes..today my post is of a snack..or you can use it as a starter too..I have made it either ways.Its Gobi 65 or Cauliflower 65..Its quite easy to make and very delicious.Check it out.

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower – 1 medium
  • Corn Flour – 6 tbsp.
  • Yoghurt – 3 tbsp.
  • Baking soda – 2 pinch.
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 ½ tsp.
  • Salt
  • Water to form the batter
  • Oil for deep frying.
  • Curry leaves.

Method:

  1. Cut the Cauliflower into small florets and keep in a bowl.Boil some water in another sauce pan.Pour this hot boiling water into the bowl containing the cauliflower florets.Let it sit for 1 minute.Then drain away all the water and keep aside.
  2. Now in another bowl,combine cornflour,yoghurt,baking soda,Kashmiri chilli powder and salt and a little water to form a batter.The batter should not be very loose and should not be very thick either.Just medium consistency.
  3. Now heat oil to deep fry in a pan.Dip and deep fry the florets until golden brown and crisp in medium flame.Add a sprig of curry leaves while frying each batch.It imparts a beautiful aroma to the florets.Drain on a kitchen tissue and serve hot with a cup of tea and Enjoy!

Pumpkin Muffins with Vanilla Glaze

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Recently i saw a lot of pumpkins at the maket…So I got some fo myself and made these muffins..I tell you they are super delicious and quite irresistable..And they disappeared within the wink of an eye..

Ingredients:

  • All purpose Flour – 2 cups.
  • Baking Powder – 1 tbsp.
  • Powdered Cinnamon – 1 tsp.
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp.
  • Eggs (large ones) – 2 (Room Temperature)
  • Milk – 1 cup.
  • Brown Sugar – 1 cup.
  • Pumpkin Puree – 1 cup.
  • Oil – 1/4 cup.

For the vanilla glaze:

  • Powdered Sugar – 1 cup.
  • Milk – 2 1/2 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence – 1/2 tsp

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200degree C and line the Muffin tray with the muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, Powdered cinnamon and salt and keep it  aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. It’s best to add one ingredient one at a  time, whisking after each addition.
  4. Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Combine well,but do not overmix.
  5. Pour into the Muffin cups till its 3/4 th level.
  6. Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool  before glazing.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together the glaze ingredients under “For the vanilla glaze”. Transfer the mixture to a small pastry bag (I used a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off 🙂 ). Glaze as desired.Enjoy!!!

PINEAPPLE JAM(No Preservatives)

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Recently I met one of my old classmates,now working in one of the leading fruit Jam companies in India..After a long talk over tea,I teased her asking why she didnt even bring me a sample bottle of Jam from her Company,she told me something that shocked me..!She said me that these store bought “Jams” or to be precise “Spreadable Fruit Servings” were not healthy at all!The so called “Fruit ” Jams contained very little fruit and more of sugar and corn starch and flavour enhancers.While you do need some sugar,its really the fruit you want to taste!..For a whole bottle of Jam,the quantity of fruit used was just 1 tbsp of fruit.Just imagine!And in addition to that ,the use of preservatives and some other artificial substances.I was shocked!I mean where is this world leading us to??

So after hearing all this,i spoke to my Mom about this..She was the one who told me..Why not make your own Jam instead of eating the Junk of the Store shelves!This recipe is from her kitchen.

Pineapple was in season here,so I decided to make Pineapple Jam the very next day!It contains all the goodness of Pineapple with NO added colour and NO preservatives.It tastes wonderful and soo healthy!You can make your own labels for the bottles and gift them to your friends.This homemade jam makes a great gift!Do try it out!

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Ingredients:

  • Pineapple – 1 medium(yielding 4 cups when chopped)
  • Sugar – 2 cups.
  • Pineapple essence – 1tsp(Optional)
  • Lime Juice – 1 1/2 tbsp.

Method:

  1. Peel and chop the pineapple and puree it in a Blender.
  2. Heat a Saucepan over the fire,to this add the pineapple puree and sugar.
  3. Combine until the sugar is well dissolved and the mixture is thick for about 15 minutes,stirring.Place a small amount on a dry spoon and tilt the spoon,if it gels and doesnt flow,thats the consistency,its ready!If not,cook(Stirring) till this consistency is attained.
  4. Now turn off the flame,add the essence and lime juice and mix well.
  5. Allow to cool completely.Then transfer to a clean dry glass bottle and store and use!

Notes:

  • This jam keeps well for 2 weeks if used with clean dry spoons and is kept in a clean dry place.To use for longer period,store in refrigerator.