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Saturday, 30 January 2021

Thalapakatti Mutton Biryani

 

          This is a traditional South Indian style Biryani from the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also called Dindigul Thalapakatti Biryani. The name is derived from the word Thalapa (turban), worn by the creator of this Biryani in a place called Dindigul. The secret to this type of Biryani lies in the special aromatic garam masala or biryani masala that is freshly ground. So go ahead and try this yummy Biryani by following an easy step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

           




          A small grain variety of rice called seeraga samba is generally used to prepare this delicacy. This is a Perfect party dish or a sunday lunch menu for your family and friends. 





           I had the opportunity of relishing this delicious Biryani innumerable times during my stay in Chennai. It is very simple to prepare and I tried the easy way - the pressure cooker method. Hope you will give it a try. Bon Appetit!!!



  • 1 & 1/2 cups short grained rice (preferably seeraga samba variety), soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 500 gms. mutton with bones
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1-2 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • biryani masala
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • handful of coriander & mint leaves, chopped



Biryani masala - 

  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 cardamoms
  • 1/2 tsp. peppercorns
  • 7-8 cloves
  • 1 piece stone flower (dagad phool)
  • 1 mace
  • 1 star anise









            Pressure cook the mutton in 2 cups water for 15-20 minutes on a low flame after the first whistle. Separate the mutton from the stock and keep aside. Dry roast the spices for the biryani masala and grind to a fine powder. Keep aside.

          Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Sauté the onion till light brown. A
dd the chopped tomato and green chilies. Cook till it is mashed. 

          Add the ginger-garlic paste and all the dry spices (except biryani masala) mixed with some water. Mix well and sauté till the oil separates. 


          Add the yoghurt and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add the strained mutton pieces, followed by the biryani masala. Give it a stir and sauté for 2 minutes.


          Add the drained rice and sauté for 2 minutes more. Add 2 cups of the stock, coriander-mint leaves and salt. 

          Pressure cook for 2 whistles. Once it cools down, open the lid and then fluff it up with a fork. Serve with raita and salad, if preferred.



                                  The ground Biryani masala powder.



                                 Heat oil & ghee in a pan. Sauté the onion till light brown. 



                              Add the chopped tomato & green chilies. Cook till it is mashed. 



                    Add ginger-garlic paste & all the dry spices (except biryani masala) mixed 
                    with some water. Mix well & sauté till the oil separates. 



                                  Add the yoghurt & stir fry for 1-2 minutes. 



                                 Then add the strained mutton pieces, 



                         followed by the biryani masala. Give it a stir & sauté for 2 minutes.



                                  Add the drained rice & sauté for 2 minutes more.



                                   Add 2 cups of the stock, coriander-mint leaves and salt. 


                       Pressure cook for 2 whistles. Once it cools down, fluff it up with a fork. \





                                 Serve with raita and salad, if preferred.








Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Gobi Musallam

 

          Got bored of the same Aloo-Gobi Sabzi (Potato-Cauliflower Curry)? Then try Gobi Musallam, which is the vegetarian version of the Shahi Mughlai dish of Murgh Musallam. Traditionally, whole cauliflower is marinated in a yoghurt based sauce and cooked in a smooth & delicately flavored rich gravy. 

          However, I skipped the marination part and directly cooked the parboiled cauliflower in a makhani sauce. This exotic and yummy dish is a great party recipe and can be enjoyed with naan, tandoori roti, roomali roti, jeera rice, pulao or plain Biryani. You can also use this elegant dish as a centerpiece during special occasions. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it. 






  • 1 small size whole cauliflower
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 mace
  • pinch of salt & turmeric powder.
  • pinch of nutmeg powder
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. ghee 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander-cumin powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/4 cup almond paste
  • 1 tsp. kasuri methi, crushed
  • coriander leaves, sliced almonds and onion rings to garnish 



           Wash the cauliflower and cut off the leaves and the hard stem. Be careful not to break the florets. Handle extremely gently in the entire cooking process.

          In a deep pan boil sufficient water along with bay leaves, cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, mace, nutmeg powder and a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.

          Drop in the whole cauliflower and simmer for 4-5 minutes on one side. Flip it over carefully  and simmer the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

          For the gravy - Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Sauté the onion till light brown. Add the tomatoes and continue to sauté till it is nicely mashed.


          Add the ginger-garlic paste and all the dry spices (except kasuri methi) mixed with some water. Sauté till the oil separates. 

           Now add the almond paste and kasuri methi. Give it a stir and add 1 cup water. Bring it to a boil. 

          Gently place the cauliflower over the gravy. Cover and simmer on a low flame for 4-5 minutes. Keep spooning the gravy over the cauliflower at intervals.

          Gently flip it over and simmer, covered for a further 4-5 minutes or till the gravy thickens slightly and the oil separates. 

          Transfer on a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve as a side dish with any type of rice or Indian bread.

  


                                 Boil sufficient water along with bay leaves, cardamoms, cinnamon,

                                 cloves, star anise, mace, nutmeg powder and a pinch of salt and 

                                 turmeric powder.


                             Drop the whole cauliflower & simmer for 4-5 min. on one side. Flip

                             over & simmer the other side for another 4-5 min. Drain & keep aside.


                                    Heat oil & ghee in a pan. Sauté the onion till light brown. 


                                       Add tomatoes & continue to sauté till nicely mashed.



                             Add ginger-garlic paste & all dry spices (except kasuri methi) 

                             mixed with some water. Sauté till oil separates. Add almond paste 

                             and kasuri methi. Give it a stir.



                                 Add 1 cup water & bring to a boil. Place the cauliflower 

                                 over the gravy. Cover & simmer on low flame for 4-5 minutes. 

                                 Gently flip it over & simmer, covered. for 4-5 minutes more or

                                 till the gravy thickens slightly and the oil separates. 


                       Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with any type of rice or Indian bread.

  









Monday, 25 January 2021

Achari Keema Matar

 

          Keema Matar is a very popular dish in most of the Indian restaurants and Dhabas. They are served with naan, tandoori roti, kulcha, paratha, phulka, jeera rice or veg. pulao for a nice comfort meal. 

          However, I gave a slight twist to this recipe by adding some lime pickle to enhance the flavour of the dish & for a lingering achari flavour. It took the dish to a next level and turned out very yummy with a slight tang. So check out a step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it. 






  • 400 gms. chicken keema / mince, washed well & drained
  • 1/2 cup green peas (I used frozen ones)
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1" cinnamon 
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste 
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1-2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin powder-coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • salt to taste 
  • 1 tsp. kasuri methi, crushed
  • 1-2 tsp. lime pickle
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped






          Heat oil and temper with cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Sauté for a few seconds. 

          Add 1 chopped onion and stir fry till light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste and all the dry spices mixed with some water. Sauté till the oil separates.

          Now add the keema and combine well. Cook on a high flame for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup water, salt, green peas and green chilies. Cover and cook till it is semi dry.

          Add the kasuri methi, pickle, remaining chopped onion and garam masala. Give it a stir and cook further for 2 minutes. 

          When done, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with naan, tandoori roti or kulcha for a nice comfort meal. 



                      Heat oil & temper with cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom 
                      and cloves. Sauté for a few seconds. 



                                 Add 1 chopped onion and stir fry till light brown. 



                     Add the ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste & all the dry spices mixed with 
                     some water. 



                                  Sauté till the oil separates.



                       Add the keema & combine well. Cook on a high flame for 2-3 minutes. 



                   Add 1 cup water, salt, green peas & green chilies. Cover & cook till almost dry.



                   Add kasuri methi, pickle, remaining chopped onion & garam masala. Give 
                   it a stir and cook further for 2 minutes. 


                                 When done, garnish with coriander leaves.





                             Serve with naan, tandoori roti or kulcha for a nice comfort meal. 









Sunday, 24 January 2021

Dahi Baingan (Eggplant in Yoghurt Gravy)

 

              This is one of my quick fix recipe where I cooked the eggplants in a yoghurt based gravy. Very simple to prepare, it tastes absolutely yummy. It is truly a vegetarian delight with no onion, garlic or ginger involved. You can enjoy it with any form of rice or Indian bread. 







  • 3-4 long eggplants, cut lengthwise of 1"
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 2-3 cardamoms
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tsp. roasted chickpea flour
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped


          Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and stir fry the eggplants till light brown. Drain and keep aside. Whisk together yoghurt and the roasted chick pea flour well and keep aside.

          Add remaining oil and temper with cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and asafoetida. Sauté for a few seconds. 

          Add all the dry spices and give it a stir. Then add the yoghurt mix, green chilies and the sautéed eggplants. 

          Mix everything well and keep stirring continuously on a medium flame till the gravy thickens to a desired consistency

         Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves. Relish with steamed rice, jeera rice, pulao, paratha, poori or chapatti.












Friday, 22 January 2021

Brown Rice Bisi Bele Bath (Rice-Lentil Porridge - Karnataka style)


          This is a traditional rice & lentil dish / porridge / khichdi from the South Indian state of Karnataka. It is very nutritious and healthy as it has the goodness of mixed veggies, lentils and rice. It is commonly prepared in every household and is generally enjoyed for breakfast. So it is a balanced first meal of the day. However it can also be served for lunch.

          I have used brown rice in this recipe, but it is purely optional. The taste and the flavour of this dish comes from the special homemade Bisi Bele Bath masala and the tempering that is poured on the end product. It is a one-pot meal which is relished with papad / chips and any pickle of your choice. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.





          This one-pot wonder is just perfect when you want something quick and easy to prepare.
There are various methods of preparing it. Some prefer to pressure cook the rice and dal at one go. 

          Others cook them separately and then incorporate it with the boiled veggies, ground spice mix, followed by the tempering. You can also add any veggies of your choice and those that are easily available in your kitchen. 

          Any leftover rice and boiled lentil can be quickly turned into this flavorful rice preparation, to be relished as a comfort meal with papad and pickles. 




  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentil)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. peanuts / cashew nuts
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped veggies (beans, carrots, peas, eggplants, potatoes, etc.)
  • 3-4 tbsp. bisi bele bath masala (Recipe given below)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup tamarind pulp


Tempering - 

  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves to garnish
  • extra ghee to serve 






           Soak the rice and tuvar dal for an hour. Pressure cook the dal in 1 cup water for 4-5 whistles. Keep aside. Cook the brown rice in enough water till done. Drain and keep aside. 

          Add 1 cup water to the veggies and pressure cook for one whistle. Heat 1 tbsp. oil and sauté the eggplants till light brown. Drain and keep aside. 

         Add 1 tbsp. oil and fry the onion, ginger, curry leaves and green chilies till light brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and peanuts. Cook, covered, till it is mashed.

          Now add the boiled dal, followed by the cooked rice, boiled veggies, sautéed eggplant, tamarind pulp, ground spice powder and salt. Simmer for 5-10 minutes on a low flame.

          Adjust the water. The consistency should be that of khichdi / porridge. When done, transfer to a serving dish.

          For the tempering - Heat the ghee in a pan and temper with dry red chili and mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering add curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds. 

          Switch off the flame and pour this tempering over the prepared Bisi Bele Bath. Garnish with coriander leaves and drizzle some ghee. Serve hot with papad / chips and pickle.




Bisi Bele Bath Masala (Spice Mix)


  • 6-7 dry red chilies
  • 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 2 tbsp. chana dal (Bengal Gram)
  • 2" cinnamon stick
  • 5-6 green cardamoms
  • 8-10 cloves
  • pinch of salt






          In a pan dry roast all the above mentioned ingredients for 1-2 minutes or till you get a nice aroma. Switch off the flame and keep stirring for another minute.

          Transfer to a plate and allow it to cool. Then grind to a fine powder and store in an air tight container.



                 Dry roast all the mentioned ingredients till you get a nice aroma. When cool,
                 grind to a fine powder & store in an air tight container.



                          Cook the brown rice in enough water till done. Drain & keep aside. 



Pressure cook the dal in 1 cup water for 4-5 whistles. 



                            Add 1 cup water to the veggies and pressure cook for one whistle.



                    Heat 1 tbsp. oil & sauté the eggplants till light brown. Drain & keep aside. 



Add 1 tbsp. oil & fry onion, ginger, curry leaves & green chilies till light brown.



 Add chopped tomatoes & peanuts. Cook, covered till it is mashed.



                                 Add the boiled dal, followed by the cooked rice, 



                                  boiled veggies, sautéed eggplants



                                  ground spice powder, 



                              salt & tamarind pulp. Simmer for 5-10 minutes on a low flame.



                       Heat the ghee in a pan & temper with dry red chili & mustard seeds.
                       After it stops spluttering add curry leaves & sauté for a few seconds. 

          

                                  Pour this tempering over the prepared Bisi Bele Bath.


                    Garnish with coriander leaves & ghee. Serve with papad / chips & pickle.










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