Vegetable Dum Biryani

Preparing dum biryani at home may sound quite overwhelming. It is definitely more time taking than your regular pulao and other kinds of rice, but it is totally worth the time you spend making it. If made with the right balance of ingredients and spices, your biryani will taste amazing, bursting with flavors.

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I had asked a friend of mine to bring Kabsa Spice Mix from Saudi Arabia. It is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. The spice mix mainly consists of cardamom, black pepper, cumin, cloves and coriander powder. It can easily be made at home too. I didn’t have to add any other spices to my biryani. The spice mix was more than enough. It just made the whole process so much more easier for a lazy person like me. You can add various other vegetables, dried fruits, etc to your biryani. I chose to keep it simple as I was making it for the first time.

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Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 1/2 Cup Long Grain Basmati Rice (washed pre-soaked for 15-20 minutes)

200 gms cottage cheese cut in cubes

3 medium sized onions (one cut in julienne and two finely chopped)

3 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped

A handful of French/green beans

2 roughly diced carrots

5-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped

3 green chillies

2 tsp finely chopped ginger

1/4 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

Kabsa Spice Mix (use whole spices if not available)

½ tsp red chili garlic paste

Few sprigs of finely chopped coriander

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 pinch asafetida

2-3 tbsp curd

Oil/Ghee

Salt to taste

Wheat flour dough for sealing the lid (dum)

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Method

  • Boil pre-soaked basmati rice. Add 2-3 whole peppercorns, 1-2 cloves and salt (optional) to it. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry onions that we cut in julienne. Sprinkle salt in the oil to release moisture from the onions. Keep aside

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  • In the same oil fry cottage cheese cubes until golden brown (optional). In a separate bowl, add curd, cottage cheese cubes, chili garlic paste, salt. Keep aside

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  • In the same pan, add cumin seeds and asafetida to the leftover oil
  • Next, add garlic, ginger and green chilies. Saute for two minutes until it releases its flavor
  • Add chopped onions and saute until translucent
  • Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder, 1 tsp kabsa masala. Mix well and let it cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add carrots and green beans. Cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • In the end add cottage cheese and mix well. Add 1/4 cup water if required. Cover and cook until oil comes to the surface. It will take not more than 5 minutes. Add little coriander and mix well.

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  • Next, for the layering; spread one portion of paneer and vegetables, then boiled rice. Sprinkle few crispy fried onions and kabsa spice mix. At this point you can even add saffron and milk or dried fruits at this time.
  • Add another layer the same way. It is up to you as to how many times you would like to layer it. I did it twice. It also depends on the pot you’re using.
  • In the end, cover the pan with a lid and seal it with dough. Put is on a low flame for 15-20 minutes and serve hot. Alternatively, you can layer it in an oven proof pot and place it in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. The dough becomes hard. That’s when you know your biryani is ready.

Biryani4Serve it with nice chilled raita or plain curd.

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Enjoy :)

Mushroom and Baby Corn in Green Chilli Sauce

We as human beings, are bound to make mistakes at some point or the other in our lives. Most important thing is to accept those mistakes, learn from them and try not to repeat them again in future. I guess that’s how one moves on in life and grows into being a better person. I remember my initial days in the kitchen. There are numerous kitchen disasters I have had from them till now. During that course of time I have learned so much and in fact still learning.

Coming to my recipe, I have used store bought green chili sauce. It is very simple to prepare it at home too if you like. All you have to do is blend green chilies, onion and garlic in a mixer grinder. Heat oil in a wok  and add the green chili paste; let it cook for 15 minutes on a medium-low flame. Add 1/2 tsp sugar and vinegar and salt to taste. Check the consistency. Turn off the flame when cooked. Use veggies according to your liking. This curry is spicy and tangy because of the lemon juice. Overall, it is light on the palate and tastes best with mildly flavored rice.

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Ingredients

5-6 sliced mushrooms

1 medium-sized red onion

3-4 pieces baby corn

2 red (cayenne) pepper

4-5 cloves of finely chopped garlic

1 finely chopped green chilli

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

6-7 zucchini slices (optional)

½ cup green chilli sauce

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tsp cornflour

A pinch of asafoetida

Juice of a half lemon

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

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Method

  • Heat oil in a wok and add asafoetida. Next, add garlic, green chilli and ginger. Saute on a medium flame until it releases its flavor. Next, add onions and saute until translucent.
  • Next add zucchini, cayenne pepper and baby corn. Saute for 2 minutes and add green chilli sauce.
  • Add a cup of water to the wok. Next add mushrooms. Let it cook on a high flame.
  • Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • While the vegetables are getting cooked, in a separate bowl add cornflour and 2 tbsp water; form a paste and add it to the wok and stir immediately to avoid lumps.
  • Add lemon juice and tomato ketchup. Stir and give it a taste. Adjust the taste accordingly.

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There you go! This recipe does not take much of your time. Enjoy it with your favorite stir-fried rice. We chose to have it with Broccoli Rice this time.

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Happy Cooking :)

Broccoli Rice with Cottage Cheese in Chilli Garlic Cream Sauce

This dish is really simple and will just take you not more than 15 minutes to make it, as it requires very less preparation plus cooking time. It is definitely filling too. I won’t say the dish is healthy as the sauce does have good amount of butter and cream in it. So if you’re on a diet WATCH OUT, and as far as kids are concerned; they will definitely enjoy it. ;)

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Ingredients

100gm Cottage Cheese

200 ml cooking cream

1 cheese slice

1 small broccoli head

4-5 cloves of garlic

2 green chillies

2-tbsp garlic butter (I have used Amul Garlic Butter here)

2 cups boiled rice

2-3 sprigs of fresh coriander

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Method

  • Brown cottage cheese slices in a non-stick pan on both sides. Sprinkle some salt and add a little butter to the pan. Toss and keep aside.

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  • In a separate wok add garlic butter and broccoli florets. Cut them into smaller pieces if you like. Add a little salt and ½ cup water and simmer for 2 minutes. Add boiled rice and toss well. Add chopped coriander.

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  • For the cream sauce, add butter to a non-stick pan. Next, add finely chopped garlic and chili. Let it release its flavor; then add freshly ground black pepper and cooking cream. Bring it t o a boil. Add cheese slice and salt to taste. Add cottage cheese and mix well.

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  • Serve hot.

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Enjoy! :)

Banana Cake/Bread

During my trip to Australia, I noticed people over there ate Banana Bread quite often; especially for breakfast. I personally didn’t like the taste of it though. My elder sister is really fond of banana bread. She tried to bake it at home and it turned out pretty well. I thought I could share her recipe with you all. You can take an idea from my recipe here for pictures as I don’t have them for this one in particular. Everybody really enjoyed it back home. Hope you all like it too. :)

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This is what you will need:

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

Plain flour- 1 cup

Baking Powder- 1tsp

Baking Soda- ¼ tsp

Wet Ingredients:

Fresh Cream – 1 cup

Sweetened Condensed Milk- 1 cup

Overripe Banana- 1

Vanilla Extract- 1-2 drops

Method

  • Prepare the baking tin- Line with oil and dust with flour and keep aside.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients.
  • Beat the condensed milk, vanilla extract and banana until fluffy and smooth.
  • Fold in the cream.
  • Add the prepared wet mix to the dry ingredients.
  • Fold well the two mixes and taste, if it needs more sweetening you can add more condensed milk.
  • Pour the whole mixture into the baking mould.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade (Time may vary a little). Check with a toothpick. It should come out clean.
  • Let it cool and slice it.

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Eat fresh or store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator and eat your way with Nutella, butter, toasted or just plain.

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Happy Baking :)

Paneer Pepper Garlic Rice

This recipe is really healthy and has very subtle flavors. It can be had with any Indian gravy or on its own as well. Freshly ground black pepper gives this rice a really nice punch. If you like, you can add more spices and veggies to it. Adding curd to the rice gives it a very mild flavor.

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This is what you will need:
Ingredients
100 gm Cottage Cheese/Paneer
200 gm Curd
2 cups Boiled Rice
1 medium-sized red onion cut in julienne
½ cup green peas (I have used frozen here)
5-6 cloves of garlic
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 finely chopped green chili
Few sprigs of fresh coriander
1tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp red chili powder
2-3 tsp freshly ground black pepper powder
2 tsp refined oil
1 pinch asafetida
Salt to taste

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Method

  • Add cottage cheese to the curd mixture and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add garlic, green chili and ginger. Saute until it releases its flavor.
  • Add onions and saute until transparent. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  • Next, add green peas and cottage cheese we had kept aside. Make sure the heat in the pan is not too much. As soon as u add in the curd, give it a stir for a minute or two.
  • Let it simmer for 10 minutes on a medium flame. You will know it is done when oil comes on top.
  • Add coriander and give it a taste.

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  • In the end add boiled rice to it and mix well.

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Enjoy :)