vegetarian

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!

 

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BREAD HALWA

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Halwas are one of the most popular and loved Indian sweets..There are many kinds of halwa made from different ingredients like Flour,Fruit etc…!The halwa recipe I am sharing here today is a total variation..!Its Bread Halwa !Sounds new?It is something I developed with left over Bread(Not Stale Bread).Its a perfect -to- go halwa recipe for Moms like me who are always in a hurry burry 🙂 My kids and hubby just loved it.Do try it out.You will love it!

Ingredients:

  • Bread – 7-8 slices
  • Ghee – 1/2 cup+( 2 tbsp for later use)
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup +3 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – 15
  • Cardamom – 3
  • Almond – a few slivered(For garnish)

Method:

  1. Soak the cashews in a little warm water for about 15 minutes and keep aside.
  2. Cut the bread in to tiny pieces.
  3. Heat ghee(1/2 cup) in a pan.Add the bread pieces to this and roast till a golden brown on low to medium flame,tossing it frequently.
  4. Meanwhile boil the milk with sugar.
  5. Add this milk to the roasted bread pieces.Bring this mixture to a boil and then turn the flame to low,allowing it to cook for a few minutes,mashing the bread pieces with a big spoon as it gets cooked.
  6. Grind the soaked cashewnuts with a little water to a smooth paste.
  7. Add this to the cooked bread-milk mixture,along with the 2 tbsp of ghee and combine well on low flame until oil appears on the sides.Turn off the flame.Transfer to serving bowls.Garnish with slivered almonds.Serve and Enjoy!

 

 

DAHI ALOO | POTATOES IN SPICED YOGHURT GRAVY

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As I had said earlier that I hate Brinjals/Baingan ..But Dahi Baingan I had prepared using Brinjals was totally impressive. Surprisingly..I liked it..Me and my kids unlike my husband love potatoes/Aloo…we love potatoes in anything…So today I just thought why not make Dahi Aloo! The combo of potatoes with Dahi(Yoghurt) is simply super! And this dish turned out to be “Super”….thats the word my elder sonny boy told me when I served Dahi Aloo with Rice and Spiced Vegetable Omelette for lunch today! So sharing this simple and humble yet utterly delicious recipe with you!

Ingredients:

  1. Potatoes – 2 medium
  2. Yoghurt – ½ cup
  3. Water as needed.(I used ¾ cup)
  4. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  5. Cumin seeds/ Jeera – 1 tsp
  6. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  7. Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
  8. Fennel seeds – ¼ tsp
  9. Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  10. Grated ginger – Use ½ inch piece
  11. Oil/ghee – 1 tbsp
  12. Salt to taste.

Method:

  • Boil the potatoes. When cool, Skin and crumble with clean fingers.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Then add grated ginger and sauté for a few seconds. Now add the asafoetida. Add the crumbled Potatoes to this. Saute.
  • Then add Turmeric powder, Red chilli powder, Garam masala powder and combine well.
  • To this add the yoghurt and stir. Add water and stir again. Add salt.
  • Simmer for a few minutes until the gravy is thick.
  • Garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves .Serve hot with Rice/ Roti.

SAMBAR ~ ARYA BHAVAN RESTAURANT STYLE TIFFIN SAMBAR

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Arya Bhavans are a very popular chain of restaurants of Tamil origin in Kerala…And due to its popularity,there are a lot of Arya Bhavan Restaurants in many different parts of Kerala.And when ever I travel with my folks to some faraway place to attend a marraige or any other family function,we make it a point to have breakfast only from Arya Bhavan…The food they serve there is absolutely delicious…We love the Ney Roast and Masala Dosas…and most of all the moutwatering Sambar…my very favourite.At home,I had tried many different Sambar recipes,but still had not achieved that particular “Arya Bhavan Sambar Taste”…So my quest for that particular Sambar recipe went on and on….Thats when I stumbled upon this particular recipe and with my own changes,I made it…Its a keeper really!!I have made Sambar like almost 5 times after I got this recipe…And each time…its sooo tasty…exactly the Restaurant Style Sambar…So I decided to share this recipe today…for those who crave for the Restaurant Style Tiffin Sambar…Trust me guys…!You will really love it!

Recipe Source:Vegrecipesofindia

INGREDIENTS:
For cooking the lentils:
  • 1 !/2 cup Tur Dal
  • 2.5 to 3 cups for water for pressure cooking
For sambar and tempering:
  • 9 to 10 small brinjals, 100 gms
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 large onion or 4 to 5 shallots, 90 to 100 gms
  • 3 medium to large tomatoes, 220 to 230 gms
  • 1 tbsp tamarind soaked in ¼ to ½ cup warm water
  • 1.5 cups water added later or add as required
  • salt as required
  • tempering:
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 to 5 curry leaves
  • ½ tsp asafoetida powder/hing – if you have a strong asafoetida, then add ¼ tsp
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal/husked and split black lentil
For the sambar masala:
  • 4 dry red chilies (reduce depending upon the heat in the chilies)
  • 11- 12 large curry leaves or 16-18 small curry leaves
  • 1.5 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp chana dal/split & husked bengal gram
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp whole black pepper
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp oil
INSTRUCTIONS:
Cooking the lentils:
  1. Rinse lentils well and then add them to the pressure cooker with 2.5 to 3 cups water and ¼ tsp turmeric powder.
  2. pressure cook the lentils for 8 to 8 whistles or more, till they are soft and well cooked. mash the lentils and keep aside.
Preparing the sambar masala:
  1. In a small frying pan, heat 2 tsp oil. first fry the mustard till they crackle. then add the coriander, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, chana dal (bengal gram), curry leaves and dry red chilies. stir and saute till the spices become aromatic. keep aside to cool. don’t burn the spices. saute the spices on a low flame.
  2. once the spices cool, grind them to a powder in a dry grinder or coffee grinder. keep aside.
Preparing the sambar:
  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 25 to 30 mins.
  2. Later squeeze the tamarind pulp. strain and keep aside.
  3. Chop all the vegetables. quarter the onions. peel and dice the carrots and potatoes.
  4. Dice the brinjals and add them in water to prevent discoloration. chop the tomatoes in small pieces.
  5. In a pot, heat oil first. add the mustard and urad dal. let the mustard crackle and the urad dal turn into a slight brown color.
  6. Add quartered onions or shallots, curry leaves and asafoetida. stir and and saute for 2 minutes.
  7. Then add the veggies and saute for 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Add the tomatoes, salt and continue to saute for 6 to 7 minutes more.
  9. Pour water. then add the strained tamarind pulp and stir well.
  10. Simmer until the raw aroma of the tamarind goes away. about 8 to 9 minutes.
  11. If the vegetables are not cooked, then continue to simmer till they get cooked.
  12. Now add the ground sambar masala which we have already prepared. stir.
  13. Add the mashed lentils. stir and simmer sambar for about 6 to 7 minutes. add hot water if required depending on the consistency you want. The sambar which is served in the hotels is on the thinner side.
  14. Check the taste and add more salt if required.
  15. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve the tiffin sambar hot with idli,Dosas and Enjoy!!
NOTE:
you can add your choice of vegetables.

 

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 MANCHURIAN | CAULIFLOWER MANCHURIAN

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Today I wish to share with you the recipe of a very popular Indo- Chinese dish , Gobi Manchurian or simply Cauliflower Manchurian. Cauliflower is not a favourite vegetable of many , but Gobi Manchurian surely will change your attitude towards this vegetable like it did to me 🙂  .Its so tasty. Crispy on the outside yet juicy in the inside. Gobi 65 is another such dish  that can surely make you love cauliflower.Its so easy to make.When ever we have any  function at our house,I make it a point to make Gobi Manchurian.Here goes the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower – 1 medium sized.
  • Maida(All purpose Flour) – 2 tbsp.
  • Corn Flour – 2tbsp.
  • Baking Soda – 1 pinch.
  • Onion – 2 (cubed)
  • Garlic – 7-8 (Finely chopped)
  • Spring Onion – 4 sprigs(chopped)
  • Sweet Chilli Sauce – 1tbsp(You can substitute it with Chilli Tomato Sauce)
  • Soy Sauce – 3 tsp
  • Pepper powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste.
  • Oil – as needed.

Method:

  1. Cut the Cauliflower(Gobi) into tiny florets.Wash it thoroughly and keep aside in a bowl.
  2. In a sauce pan,boil some water.Turn off the flame and pour this hot water onto the cauliflower florets allow to sit for 1 minute and drain the water away.
  3. Now in a bowl,mix Maida(all purpose flour),corn flour and baking soda and a touch of salt together.Add a little water and make into a smooth and uniform batter without any lumps,consistency thick enough to coat the florets.
  4. Heat oil to deep fry the florets in a pan.Now dip the florets into the batter and deep fry till crisp.Drain the excess oil on a kitchen towel and keep aside.Once you have finished deep frying all the florets,turn off the flame.
  5. Now heat 3tbsp of oil in a pan.Add chopped Garlic and give it a quick stir.Then add the white of the spring onions.Saute.Now add the cubed Onions and sauté till transparent and soft.
  6. Now add the pepper powder and stir.To this add the sauces and salt and mix well .
  7. Add the deep fried Cauliflower florets toss to mix uniformly.Lastly,add the green of the spring onion and mix gently and serve with Noodles or Chinese style Rice and Enjoy!

Notes:

You can also add some cubed capsicum for extra flavour.

 

VEGETABLE BIRIYANI

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Hello again..I have got  quite a lot of biriyani recipes in my draft..I am not boasting 🙂 .There is a reason for this..I am crazy and totally in love with Biriyani dishes right from my college days..Be it non vegetarian or vegetarian.By far i have posted Malabar style Chicken Dum Biriyani and Beef Biriyani and Kappa Biriyani in my blog..there are a lot more to come..i think so…as long as I don’t take long gaps/breaks from blogging..When ever I think about my home back in Kerala,India, the first thing that comes to mind is the delicious aroma that fills up the air drifting from the kitchen…And now being a mom to my kids..I want them to remember their home like that too..a home sweet home filled with mouthwatering aroma..Biriyani is one such dish that during its preparation fills the air with MAGIC..which automatically brings everyone to the kitchen..So I make it a point to prepare Biriyani once a week..That has been like that ever since I have been a mom..And my family shares that special love towards Biriyani…

Today my post is of a Vegetable Biriyani..I prepared it during the Lent Season (Easter lent)…It was so delicious..with the goodness of vegetables.The kind of vegetables you want to include in this Biriyani entirely depends on you..Check it out.

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Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice – 2 cups
  • Ghee  – 3 tbsp.
  • Cinnamon – 2 one inch sticks
  • Cardamoms – 3
  • Cloves – 3
  • Water – 3 ½ cups.
  • Salt to taste.

For the Vegetable gravy:

  • Carrots – 1 medium chopped.
  • Potatoes – 1 medium potato cubed.
  • French Beans – ½ cup.
  • Onion – 1 medium sliced.
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp.
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp.
  • Garam masala – 2 tsp.
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp.
  • Yoghurt –  2 tbsp
  • Water – ¼ cup
  • Salt to taste.
  • Oil – 3 tbsp.

To grind:

  • Mint leaves – a handful
  • Coriander leaves – a handful.
  • Raisins – half a handful
  • Cashewnuts – 10
For layering & garnishing:
 raisins – 1/2 cup
 cashew nuts – 1/2 cup
1 medium size big onion, thinly sliced
Caramalised Onions – 1 cup
finely chopped fresh coriander leaves – 1/2 cup
A pinch of saffron
2tbsp warm milk

Method :

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.Drain the water and  keep aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker,heat ghee.To this add cinnamon,cardamom and cloves and wait till they emit an aroma(less than a minute).
  3. Now add the soaked and drained rice and saute .Now add 1 ½ cups of water and salt and pressure cook for 3 whistles and wait till the pressure releases.Open the lid and fluff the rice gently with a fork and leave aside.
  4. Grind the ingredients under “To grind” and keep aside.
  5. Heat oil in a pan.Saute onions till soft.Now add the ground paste and sauté till the raw aroma disappears.To this add chillipowder,Turmeric powder,coriander powder and garam masala powder and sauté well.Now add the yoghurt(Lower the flame).To this add the ¼ th cup of water and salt.Simmer for a minute and keep aside.
Layering and Dum
Grease your Biriyani pot with some ghee. Randomly place some  vegetables along with gravy along in the bottom of the dish; then spread some cooked rice, some fried nuts, fried raisins, caramalised onions and finely chopped coriander leaves,  and also a few drops of saffron milk. Repeat this layering process for the remaining rice.Place lid and and seal the edges with wheat dough. 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.
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). Garnish with fried onions, nuts and raisins.Serve with Salad.